As an update to our website note earlier this year (On 23rd March – this is copied below in full for you) Best Start payments can now be applied for when registering your baby’s birth.

If your baby was due on or after 1 July 2018 but born early, you may be eligible for Best Start payments.

You can apply for these payments when registering the birth of your baby through the SmartStart website.

For more deails, and a link to a PDF flier, read the information below.



From 23 March website article:

Inland RevenueIf your baby was expected to be born on or after 1 July 2018 but was born before 1 July, there is financial support available to you and depending on your circumstances * you may have a choice to make *.  Read below and/or download this information flier.

The options are:
Best Start tax credit
Best Start tax credit is new and starts being paid from 1 July 2018. 
It is available to all eligible families for up to three years.  The payment is $60 each week (maximum $3,120 each year) for the first year of a baby’s life, no matter what the household income is.  
If your household income is less than $79,000, you will continue to receive $60 per week until your child turns three. 
You can get either Best Start payments (maximum $3,120 each year for up to three years) or parental tax credit (maximum $2,200 for 10 weeks) but not both 
If you receive paid parental leave, your Best Start payments will start once your paid parental leave ends.  
For more information:
Parental tax credit 
Parental tax credit is also a Working for Families payments and is up to $220 per week (total of $2,200). This is only paid for the first 10 weeks after your baby is born.   
You can’t get the parental tax credit if your family income includes:
  • paid parental leave
  • a Work and Income benefit, even if it is suspended
  • NZ Superannuation
  • a Veteran’s Pension
  • a student allowance, or
  • accident compensation from ACC, unless you get this for less than three months.
Note: If you choose the parental tax credit then you can’t get paid parental leave or Best Start payments. 
For more information:
Other financial support:  Paid parental leave (PPL)
Paid parental leave is extending from 18 weeks to 22 weeks from 1 July 2018. The amount you get paid depends on your income. The most you can get is $538.55 (before tax) a week.  
If your baby is born before the 37th week of your pregnancy you’ll receive extra paid parental leave payments.    
If you choose paid parental leave, you can’t get the parental tax credit but you can get Best Start payments.  Best Start payments will start after your paid parental leave payments end.

How to apply

Paid parental leave – please complete the application form on Inland Revenue’s website
Parental tax credit – please call Inland Revenue on 0800 775 247.
Best Start payments – If you are getting Working for Families tax credits, please call Inland Revenue on 0800 227 773. 
If you’re not getting Working for Families tax credits, please complete the Working for Families tax credits registration (FS1) form online, or 
From June 2018 you can apply for Best Start payments through SmartStart when you register your baby.