Paying levies if you work or own a business

Everyone who works or owns a business in New Zealand pays levies. These levies cover injuries that happen at work, at home, on the sports field, and when you’re out and about.

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    Paying levies on your income

    Everyone who earns a salary in New Zealand pays the Earners' levy.

    The Earners’ levy

    Your Earners’ levy goes into the Earners’ Account to help cover the cost of accidents that happen while going about your everyday activities. This could be doing DIY at home, working out at the gym, playing sport, hitting the ski slopes, or doing some window shopping in town.

    It also funds part of the Treatment Injury Account

    Current Earners’ levy rate

    This is a flat rate, currently $1.21 per $100 (excluding GST) of your liable income.

    How you pay the Earners’ levy

    If you’re a PAYE employee or PAYE shareholder employee, your employer will pay this on your behalf. This comes out of your income, like tax.

    If you’re self-employed or a non PAYE shareholder-employee, we’ll send you a levy invoice after you file a tax return.

    Paying levies if you’re self-employed or employ staff

    If you’re self-employed, a shareholder-employee or a contractor you’ll pay three different levies:

    If you’re an employer with staff, your business will pay the:

    • Work levy
    • Working Safer levy.

    The Work levy

    Your Work levy goes into the Work Account to fund cover for injuries and accidents that happen at work or are work-related.

    Current Work levy rate

    This is different for every business. We’ll base your Work levy on:

    • the risk of injury at work
    • the cost to the Scheme
    • your liable income or payroll.

    Risk of injury at work

    The risk of injury at work depends on your business activity. When you file a tax return with Inland Revenue or register your business for GST, you’ll choose a Business Industry Classification (BIC code). It’s based on your business activity and Inland Revenue sends us your BIC code.

    Find your BIC code

    Assigning your business a classification unit (CU)

    We use your BIC code to assign you or your business a classification unit (CU). CUs group businesses with similar levels of risk together to decide the levy rate you pay and share the cost of injuries fairly.

    We assign levy rates to CUs based on data from past claims. This information helps us predict how many claims we’ll get from each levy group and what they’ll cost.

    For example, a professional athlete has a higher risk of injury at work than an office worker. This means we'll assign the professional athlete a different CU and they'll pay a higher Work levy.

    The Working Safer Levy

    We collect this levy on behalf of WorkSafe New Zealand. It goes towards supporting WorkSafe’s activities and injury prevention across the country.

    Current Working Safer levy rate

    This is a flat rate, currently $0.08 per $100 of your liable payroll or income.

    How you pay the Work levy and Working Safer levy

    To pay the Work levy and Working Safer levy you’ll get an invoice from us. We’ll get your income and payroll details from Inland Revenue after you file your tax return and Employer Monthly Schedules.

    Working out how much you have to pay

    If you know your business and income details you can calculate your levies. If you’re new to business or just want an idea of how much your levies will be, try our levy estimator.

    Estimate your levy
    Calculating your levies

    Contact us

    If you have any questions about your business levies, contact our business team:

    Phone (employers) 0800 222 776 (Monday to Friday 7am – 7pm)
    Phone (self-employed) 0508 426 837 
    Phone (overseas) +64 4 816 7880
    Email business@acc.co.nz

    Last published: 21/09/17