How to maximize the tax benefits of migrating to New Zealand

msi - nzBy Michael Woodward, Mackay Bailey, Accountants, Christchurch NZ.

Deciding to support the All Blacks is easy. Choosing to support the New Zealand cricket team is less easy. Even harder again, is knowing what decisions to make and when to make them so as to maximise the tax benefits of migrating to New Zealand (NZ).

New Zealand, like a number of overseas tax jurisdictions has adopted a number of concessions which are available to taxpayers moving to New Zealand. These concessions include:

  • Transitional migrant status – under certain circumstances an exemption of four years can be granted which allows overseas income to be treated as non-taxable in NZ.
  • A reduced tax rate is currently in place for taxpayers who withdraw funds from their overseas superannuation scheme. Those that wish to take up this tax concession have a limited time to do so.
  • Elections can be made regarding the tax residency of your Trust. This can greatly affect the rate of tax paid on distributions to beneficiaries and income retained by the Trust.

Most importantly, many of these concessions require active steps to be taken prior to moving to NZ. In a number of instances, you only get one opportunity to take advantage of the concessions and not making the right tax elections at the right time may leave you with a tax structure which can’t be easily fixed.

Of equal importance, you need to consider the impact of your decisions on the tax status of your assets back in your original tax jurisdiction. What might be good from a NZ tax perspective could cause problems elsewhere.

MSI Global Alliance advisors are supremely placed to assist you with navigating the tax and legal issues of multiple jurisdictions. With representatives in over 105 countries, they are skilled at working together to ensure the best possible outcome for you.


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