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MIT blogger Rona W. '21

ew taxes by Rona W. '23

the new zealand government owes me money

Today I finally filed the tax returns I’d been putting off since March 2018.

From September 2017 to August 2018, I lived in Auckland, New Zealand, where I held a full-time job. 

Most salaried jobs will withhold taxes, or save part of your paycheck for the government overlords. In New Zealand, this happened as well; they took away roughly 30% of my paycheck. Taxes are often withheld at a higher rate than what you actually need to pay, so you’re supposed to file returns to get back what you’re owed.

And . . . I put off filing these returns for nearly four years, because . . . well . . . it seemed annoying, and I wasn’t really sure how much the government owed me anyway, and it seemed annoying.

Today, I finally got around to doing it. The entire process took less than fifteen minutes. And it turned out . . . 

total balance: -$4376

Note that this is in NZD and is about three thousand USD.

The government owed me thousands

So my procrastination cost me a lot . . . while, yes, I can still get it back (New Zealand allows you to file tax returns for up to five years after the original deadline), this money could have been invested into an index fund three years ago, or maybe I could’ve thrown it all into Dogecoin and be a millionaire right now. 

Do your taxes, kids.