Credit card rewards and tax

Co-author: Angela Young

Whether you earn thousands of credit card rewards points each year or you pick up a point or two here and there, you might be wondering whether or not these points are taxable.

Here’s what you need to know about your rewards points and your tax return.

Are my rewards points taxable?

If you’re an enthusiastic rewards points earner, you might be wondering whether or not you’ll need to pay tax on these points. In New Zealand, most credit card rewards remain tax-free.

Rewards points earned using your credit card, like Airpoints or Fly Buys, are not taxable. However, if your rewards program offers cash back rewards, these rewards may be taxable depending on whether you use your credit card for business or personal use.

If your card is owned by a business and you receive cash back rewards that are used to reduce the cost of a business purchase, these rewards are considered taxable income.

If your card is used for personal purchases only, then your cash back rewards should not be taxable, as they are not considered income.

If you use your credit card for some personal purchases, but mainly for business purchases, then all of the cash back rewards could still be taxable.

Can I pay my tax bill using my credit card?

Paying your tax debt using your credit card could reap its own rewards. The IRD accepts credit card payments, which can be a good way for businesses and individuals to earn more reward points.

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