Leaving New Zealand Checklist

It can be pretty hard to tear yourself away from this place once the time comes to go! Fortunately it’s not as hard to logistically cut ties (otherwise you might never leave…)

All good things come to an end, and I have no doubt you had your share of good times and created some fantastic memories in Aotearoa. Ensure you don’t spoil the good vibes by working your way through this short checklist before boarding that Air New Zealand flight back home (without Border Force chasing you down!):


Taxes and IRD

You’ll need to notify the IRD of the date you depart the country so they can determine if your tax residency status has changed (as your tax obligations will also change).

You can do this via your accountant, online myIR account or file an early individual tax return before the end of the tax year. Head to the IRD website for all the details.

As always, non-resident taxation, double tax agreements (DTAs) and a whole bunch of other international tax laws come in to play, so grab some professional tax advice if you’re unsure about anything.


Consider closing your bank account

While it’s mandatory to have a New Zealand address to open a bank account, it’s not necessary to keep one open (as far as my Googling can tell me anyway!). If choose not to close it, just update your address details with your bank and note you’re a non-resident taxpayer.


Consider moving your KiwiSaver over

If you earnt KiwiSaver as an employee in New Zealand and you’re an Australian resident/citizen with a Superannuation account you can apply to have the balance transferred across after your departure (minus any New Zealand Government contributions you might have acquired) if you’re moving home permanently. I haven’t done this myself yet but will write about it if/when I do – I might come back one day, and it sounds like it’s a fairly drawn-out process (no surprises there!)

If you’re moving away to another overseas country that’s not Australia, you can also apply to have your funds transferred to an approved foreign superannuation scheme (it’s not possible to withdraw the money into your own bank account) after 1 year.

Otherwise, you’ll pretty much have to wait until you’re 65 to withdraw the balance.


Physiotherapy Registration

No need to do anything much here. You’ll remain on the registration list having been through the PBNZ process. All that happens is you elect not to renew your APC again.


Life stuff

Notify anyone else you can think of that will be sad to see you go: landlord, telco, power company, subscription services, GP, new friends so they can organise your farewell party…


So far this is everything I can think of, and I’ve now been out of the country for 3 months without anyone hassling me for forgetting anything! I’ll update this post for you if I remember anything else, or go through the KiwiSaver withdrawal process.


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