Have you noticed everything getting a bit more expensive? With the rising cost of living in New Zealand, at the end of June, inflation hit a 32-year high at 7.3% as food, petrol, and housing costs soared after COVID. Thankfully, the Government has rolled out a Cost of Living Payment (CLP) to help New Zealanders through this challenging time.

Updated: The Cost of Living Payment 2022 was allocated to around 1.7 million eligible Kiwis as of July 2023. However, the cost of living continues to be a concern for many everyday Kiwis, with things like food prices (which were 12.5% higher in June 2023 than in June 2022) still hitting everyone’s pockets hard.

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You may notice that you’ve already received an email from IRD informing you that you’re eligible for the CLP, or you may have already received the first payment into your account and not know what it’s all about.

Here is everything you need to know about the Cost of Living Payment 2022/2023:


How much is the Cost of Living Payment?

The total Cost of Living Payment is $350, which will be paid in 3 monthly payments.


When will the Cost of Living Payment be paid?

IRD has already made the first payment on 1 August 2022 ($116.67), and the next two payments will be made on 1 September 2022 ($116.67) and 3 October 2022 ($116.66). If you have a credit union account, you’ll get your payment one day after each payment date.

The IRD will check if you are eligible for the Cost of Living Payment up to 31 May 2023.


Do I need to apply?

No, you don’t need to apply for the Cost of Living Payment in NZ. If you meet the eligibility criteria (more on that below), IRD will make the payment automatically to your New Zealand bank account. Payment cannot be made to overseas bank accounts.

So, make sure you have the correct bank account number in myIR, and update it if it’s not right.


I forgot to provide my bank account in myIR. What do I do?

Don’t panic! You have until 31 March 2024 to update your details and receive any payment you’re eligible for. But you must fill in your income tax assessment or IR3 tax returns before 31 March 2023 for IRD to assess your eligibility.


What are the eligibility criteria to receive the Cost of Living Payment in NZ?

You’ll need to meet the following eligibility criteria to receive your payment:

  • Earn a net income before tax of $70,000 or less between 1 April 2021 and 31 March 2022;
  • Have filled your income tax assessment or IR3 tax return for the 2021/22 income tax year;
  • Not be receiving a Winter Energy Payment on the date eligibility is assessed;
  • Are aged 18 or over;
  • Are a New Zealand tax resident and present in New Zealand; and
  • Not in prison or deceased.

If your IR3 is filed or income assessment is created on or before 31 May 2023, the IRD will check if you're eligible for the payment (even if your IR3 is processed or assessment completed after this date). If this is after 1 June 2023, the IRD will not check if you're eligible for the payment (even if your tax agent has applied for and been granted a deferment to file later).

Who else can get the Cost of Living Payment 2022 or Cost of Living Payment 2023?

You’ll get the payment if you meet the eligibility criteria and if you’re also receiving a Student Allowance.

If you’ve insolvent or bankrupt but meet the eligibility criteria, you’ll get the Cost of Living Payment 2022.


Who is not eligible?

You are not eligible if:

  • You do not receive a tax assessment for the 2021/22 income year
  • Your only income is from a Portfolio investment entity (PIE), e.g., KiwiSaver

Check out the IRD page for more information on eligibility for CLP.


Is the payment taxed?

Luckily, you will not need to pay tax on the Cost of Living Payment. The payment also doesn’t count as income for Working for Families, child support, student allowances, or other benefits and payments from Work and Income.


Does it matter if my partner earns over $70,000?

No. IRD looks at your individual income before tax, not household income.


I’m turning 18 in September. Will I be eligible?

IRD will check your eligibility before each monthly payment is made at the beginning of August, September and October. So, if you’re turning 18 in September, you won’t be eligible for the August and September payments but will be eligible for the October payment.


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