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ACC levies

ACC levies fund claims for injuries suffered by all New Zealanders. As a small business owner, you’ll pay an ACC Work Levy every year. It’s used to fund ACC claims for work-related injuries.

From 1 April 2017, ACC Work levies will fall — and workplace safety discounts will no longer be available. This page will be updated then.

From 1 April 2017, ACC Work levies will fall — and workplace safety discounts will no longer be available. This page will be updated then.

What you pay for your employees

If you have employees, you’ll deduct ACC Earners’ Levies from their wages as part of their PAYE payments. This levy covers people for injuries that happen outside of work and not on the road, eg while playing sport or at home.

The amount deducted is based on how much your employees earn.

What your business pays

All businesses pay levies to ACC to cover the cost of work-related injuries. You'll pay for:

  • ACC workplace cover — the Work levy
  • Working Safer Levy — this is collected on behalf of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) to support WorkSafe NZ’s activities.

You’ll receive a provisional invoice with an estimated levy and a year-end adjustment.

How it's calculated

How much your business pays depends on:

  • your business description — this is assigned an ACC classification unit
  • how much you pay your employees
  • your claims history — the number of work-related injury claims your business has made.

You can work out how much your levy is likely to be using ACC levy calculator (external link) .

Classification units

These are used to set levy rates for different industries with different levels of risk.
ACC assigns your business a classification unit based on your Business Industry Classification (BIC) code. This is a code every business and self-employed person chooses, based on their main work activity, when registering for GST or submitting a tax return.

Find your BIC code (external link) — Business Industry Classification Code

Liable earnings

Liable earnings are the part of your payroll that levies are payable on. Things like holiday pay and overtime are liable earnings — but redundancy and retirement payments are not. How much your liable earnings are depends on how much you pay your employees.

Liable earnings (external link) — Inland Revenue

What you pay if you’re self-employed

If you’re not an employer, you’ll be invoiced for ACC levies once a year. You’ll pay for:

  • ACC workplace cover — the Work levy
  • non-work injury cover — the Earners’ levy
  • Working Safer levy — this is collected on behalf of MBIE to support WorkSafe NZ’s activities.

This is a percentage of your annual income — currently $1.21 for every $100.

How to reduce your ACC Work levy

ACC has an experience rating programme that takes your claims history into account when it calculates your Work levy. If you have a lower than average injury rate, with a better than average rehabilitation or return to work rate, you may receive a discount.

You’ll usually get your first ACC levy invoice after the end of your first year in business. After that, you’ll be invoiced once a year, usually in July for businesses or August for the self-employed.

You'll get:

  • Provisional levy invoice for the current year — this is an estimate based on your previous year’s liable earnings and any wages or salaries you expect to pay in the coming year.
  • Levy adjustment for the previous year — if you paid less than you should have for the previous year, ACC will send you an invoice for the difference. If you paid more, you’ll get a credit applied to your account.

If your circumstances change, eg your main work activity changes or you stop trading, ask ACC to reassess your levy calculation. Fill in an ACC4618 form and send it to ACC as soon as possible.
You’ll need to pay your levy by the due date on the invoice — even if you’re waiting for a reassessment.

Invoicing if you're self-employed

You’ll receive one invoice a year after your first year of trading if:

  • You work part–time — less than 30 hours a week.
  • You earn income from a mix of self-employment and PAYE or shareholder income.

If you work more than 30 hours a week, after your first year of trading you’ll get:

  • an invoice for your first year of self-employment based on your liable earnings
  • another invoice based on liable earnings for the previous year.
After these two invoices at once, you’ll then get one invoice each subsequent year.

After these two invoices at once, you’ll then get one invoice each subsequent year.

You can pay:

  • online via internet banking
  • online via credit card (a service fee applies)
  • by direct debit, as a one-off payment or in installments
  • by posting a cheque
  • by cash, cheque or Eftpos at any PostShop.
Common mistakes

Avoid these common levy pitfalls:

  • Not budgeting for your Work levy. Use ACC’s levy calculators to get an estimate — it’s worth regularly setting money aside in a savings account to help cover the cost.
  • Not paying your invoice by the due date — you’ll be charged interest and may face a penalty for late payment.

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