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Working out your prescribed investor rate (PIR)

A prescribed investor rate (PIR) is the rate used to calculate how much tax you’ll pay on your portfolio investment entity (PIE) taxable income.

Depending on your circumstances, individual investors could choose a PIR of:

  • 10.5%
  • 17.5%
  • 28%.

Certain non-individuals may be able to choose a PIR of 0%.^

Working out your PIR

The information below is based on our understanding of taxation law that applies as at September 2020, and is intended as a guide only. Tax legislation is subject to change. For tax advice relating to your specific circumstances, we recommend that you consult a professional tax adviser.

If you do not notify us of your PIR, then your income earned from a fund will be taxed at the default rate of 28%.

The Commissioner of Inland Revenue can, by notice, require a fund to apply a different PIR to the PIR notified by you. In this case, the fund would have to apply the PIR that the Commissioner considers appropriate.

For more information about taxable income, PIRs and to determine your correct PIR please refer to the IRD website or contact your professional tax adviser.

Guide to work out your PIR

  1. Taxable income for new residents: in determining your PIR, you must treat gross income earned from foreign sources while you were a non-resident as if it were taxable income.

    However, you may choose that this rule does not apply if you expect that your taxable income in either of your first two years as resident will be significantly lower than your total income in the income year prior to becoming a New Zealand resident.

    In that case, you will be taxable at your marginal tax rate on your returns from a fund, with a credit being available for any PIE tax paid.

  2. Joint account holders will be treated as one account holder, with a PIR equal to the highest PIR of the joint account holders.

  3. If you choose a PIR of less than 28%, you will need to include PIE income in the Trust’s tax return. A tax credit will be available for any PIE tax paid.

If for the two previous income years you qualify for two rates, your PIR is the lower rate.

Why you need to check your PIR

It is important that we always have your correct PIR because:

  • if you notify us of a PIR that is lower than your correct PIR, you will be required to pay the shortfall (plus any penalties and interest charged by Inland Revenue) and may need to complete an Income Tax Assessment or income tax return at the end of the year.
  • if you notify us of a PIR that is higher than your correct PIR, any refund you are entitled to for the overpaid tax would be provided by Inland Revenue.
  • if you are a new resident who chooses not to include your non-resident foreign-sourced income to determine your PIR, you will be responsible for paying tax on the income attributed to you. A credit is available for the tax paid on your investment on your behalf.

If you notify us of a change to your PIR after the beginning of the tax year, the tax payable by a fund on PIE income allocated to you will be recalculated using your new PIR.

However, there will be no recalculation of any tax which has already been paid to the IRD on your behalf before we receive the notification.

Important: The information on this page is general in nature and does not constitute specific tax advice to any person. We recommend you obtain independent tax advice for your own circumstances. Neither BNZ Investment Services Limited nor any other person accepts any liability for the use of, or reliance on, this information.