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Understanding 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.

Glossary of terms

Claims history

Whether there's been any work-related injury claims made to us by your employees.


You're a person or company that works on a contract basis. You agree to provide goods or services at a mutually agreed price and within a specific timeframe.

Earner's Levy

This levy covers accidents outside the workplace. It’s charged at a flat rate for all levy payers.



You're responsible for paying salary or wages to one or more employees.

Liable income 

The part of your income that you have to pay levies on. 

Non-PAYE shareholder-employee

You own part of the company you work for. You also receive a salary or wage from the company and you don't pay PAYE tax.

PAYE shareholder-employee

You own part of the company you work for. You also receive a salary or wage from the company and you pay PAYE tax.

Treatment Injury Account

Pays for injuries that are caused by, or happen during, medical treatment. It’s funded by both the Earners’ and Non-Earners’ Account depending on whether the injured person is employed.

Working Safer Levy

This levy is collected on behalf of the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment to support the activities of WorkSafe New Zealand. It’s charged at a flat rate for all levy payers.

Introduction to levies quick guide page one information

It doesn't matter where you're injured – at home, work or while you're out
and about – everyone is eligible for ACC cover. The levies you pay as an
employer, shareholder employee or self-employed person help fund this,
and is separate from general tax.

Download pdf 575 KB

Paying levies on your income

The levies you pay are separate from general tax. They’re used to cover the cost of injuries caused by an accident and to help protect your most important asset – you and your people.

You're covered by us as soon as you start your business or start working for yourself. The cover we provide helps with payment towards medical bills, treatment, help at home and work, and loss of income. 

ACC levies

Video transcript for ACC levies

Are you new to self-employment?

Do you freelance, contract, or receive scheduler payments? If the answer is yes, you'll need to pay ACC levies.

ACC levies are paid by everyone who works or owns a business in Aotearoa New Zealand so we can help support you if you're injured in an accident at work, home, on the sports field, or just out and about.

You pay an ACC levy so if something does happen we're able to help with the cost of treatment, recovery, returning to work, and loss of income if you can't work because of an injury.

The ACC scheme is unique to us, it's something we have in Aotearoa for each other.

Here's what you need to know.

1. You're automatically covered by ACC's CoverPlus policy

2. You'll receive your first ACC levy invoice in your second year of being self-employed. Invoices are then sent once a year in September.

3. You'll need to check and update your details before September. This is quick and easy to do online in MyACC for Business. This includes your levy Classification Unit (CU). This is how we determine your levy based on what kind of work you do and potential risk of injury and if you work part-time or full-time

4. When you get your invoice it's important to pay it promptly, or within 30 days to avoid any penalties. 

MyACC for Business is here to help make life easier but if you do get stuck, you can chat to one of the team using the live chat function.

Join the hundreds of thousands of other self-employed contractors and freelances around Aotearoa doing their ACC mahi online with MyACC for Business

Register or log in today at business.acc.co.nz

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

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

  • Earners’ levy
  • Work levy
  • Working Safer levy

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

  • Work levy
  • Working Safer 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 $1.33 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.

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. It insures and protects your most important assets – you and your people. 

Current Work levy rate

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

  • the risk of injury at work
  • your claims history
  • your liable income or payroll.

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 or want to know more, contact our business team:

Email business@acc.co.nz
Phone 0800 222 776  (Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm)
Phone (from overseas) +64 7 859 8675

Use live chat through MyACC for Business

Talk to us using live chat:

Log into or register for MyACC for Business

Last published: 2 May 2023