Gifts, Inheritance and Taonga

You don't have to pay duties on gifts, items you inherit, and artefacts if they meet certain conditions.


Gifts

If you live in NZ and someone from another country sends you a gift that’s worth NZ$110 or less, you won’t have to pay duties as long as:

  • you didn’t order or pay for it
  • it’s for your personal use.

If a parcel has more than one gift for different people, you may be able to claim this concession if you can prove it. You can’t combine gift concessions for multiple people on one item.

Alcohol may qualify for this concession if you can prove it’s a genuine gift, eg to celebrate a special occasion.

Tobacco products don’t qualify for this concession.

Heirlooms

If someone bequeaths you an item, you won’t need to pay GST and duties on it.

You can use a will or testament to prove it’s a genuine bequest. If there’s no will, you must give us documents that show that you’re legally entitled to the item.

If you’re showing us copies of documents, they must be certified by a Justice of the Peace, public notary or someone similar.

If the will doesn’t specifically say you’re entitled to the item, you must show us a letter from the solicitors, trustees or executors of the will.

If there aren’t any supporting documents for the item, you must write to us and:

  • describe the circumstances of the bequest
  • prove that you’re not trying to bypass the gift concession.
  • The items may be subject to examination to verify your claim

Someone can bequeath you an item/items if they’re still alive. You must give us:

  • a letter from the person, saying that they’re bequeathing you the item while they’re alive, and why
  • if possible, a copy of their living will, showing you as a beneficiary
  • any other documents or evidence to support your claim.

Māori artefacts and taonga

You don’t have to pay duties on Māori artefacts or taonga you get overseas, as long as you’re not importing them commercially.