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Payday Filing and Casual Agricultural Employees

Payday filing:

Under the new payday filing rules, if you are an employer you are required to file a return within two days of paying your employees (or ten days if filing manually).


Also, nil returns are no longer required to be filed.  You are now only required to file a return when you actually make payments to employees.  Therefore, if you employ staff seasonally or on a casual basis then you are not required to file a return for the period/s when you are not paying wages/salaries. This is a change to the previous system when you were required to file Nil returns or suffer a $250 late filing penalty.


You can remain registered regardless of whether or not you are employing staff for the full year.  Just ensure that you remember to file your return within the specified timeframes when you do pay employees.


Casual staff over holiday period:

Summer is often a time when farmers bring in casual staff to help with seasonal labour intensive jobs like haymaking/shearing or to cover other farm workers while they take a break.  These staff are only required for a short period of time.


If an employer pays wages then PAYE needs to be deducted and a return sent to Inland Revenue as per the payday filing rules.  The Casual Agricultural Employer (CAE) tax rate is currently 18.89% (17.5% tax plus 1.39% ACC levy).  If a casual worker then earns under $14,000 in total for the tax year, then they may be due a refund as their earnings would fall into the 10.5% tax bracket.