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Cost of Living Payment

The Cost of Living Payment is a payment to help with the rising costs of inflation and you do not have to pay it back if you meet the eligibility criteria. On this page, we explain who can get the payment, based on the criteria set by the Government. 

You do not need to apply for the payment

We'll pay you the Cost of Living Payment automatically if you're eligible. You do not need to apply.

Make sure we have your correct bank account number for your Income tax account in case you are eligible. You can check your bank account information in myIR. If you do not have a myIR account, you can register for one. Otherwise, you can call us on 0800 473 777. If you’re registered for voice ID, you can do this 24/7 and there is no wait time. Alternatively, we have people to help you from 8am to 6pm on weekdays and from 9am to 1pm on Saturdays.

Register for myIR

Payment dates and rate

The total Cost of Living Payment is $350 which will be split into 3 monthly payments starting 1 August.

For most people, the 3 main payment dates are:

  • 1 August 2022 - $116.67
  • 1 September 2022 - $116.67
  • 3 October (the first business day of the month) - $116.66.

If you have a credit union account, you'll get your payment the day after each payment date. 

The payment will show as 'CostOfLiving' in your bank account. In myIR the date displayed is the processing date and may be earlier than the day you get your payment.

In some situations, you may get some of the main payments and a lump sum, or just a lump sum. Find out more under 'Your income tax assessment or return will confirm your income' below.

When you might see the payment in your bank account

Due to the large number of payments, we will stagger them throughout each payment day. Some customers will get their payment before others.

Who will get the payment

We'll check who is eligible for the Cost of Living Payment before each monthly payment is made. You'll get the payment if, on the day we check for eligibility, we can confirm you:

  • have assessed net income of $70,000 or less in the period 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2022
  • are not receiving New Zealand Superannuation or a qualifying benefit for the Winter Energy Payment from Ministry of Social Development (MSD)
  • are aged 18 or older
  • are both a New Zealand tax resident and present here
  • are not in prison.

The payment is not intended to go to people who have died.

If you get a Student allowance, you’ll get the payment if you meet the other eligibility criteria.

The $70,000 threshold is net income before tax

The income threshold is your individual income, not household income. For salary and wage earners, the $70,000 net income threshold is your gross income before tax, minus any expenses you can claim.

For IR3 filers, the net income threshold is your gross income after expenses, but before any losses from earlier years are included.

The term used of net income has a specific meaning in the Income Tax Act 2007, which is different to the commonly understood meaning of a person's income take home pay.


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