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New to self-employment

what does self employment tax cover

ACC provides injury cover as soon as you start self-employment. You automatically get ACC CoverPlus, but have the option of ACC CoverPlus Extra. Your levy is calculated from the information in your IR3 tax return. If you are injured you can claim for help with treatment costs, medical expenses and loss of earnings compensation.

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These videos have been developed to give you a snap shot of ACC, who we are, what we offer, how we are funded, what discounts are available and how you can improve workplace safety and recovery from injuries.

What you need to do when newly self-employed

In your first year of self-employment you should note the following:

    Begin self-employment:
    You are automatically covered by ACC CoverPlus. Consider applying for ACC CoverPlus Extra. It gives you an agreed amount of lost earnings compensation. The compensation you get under ACC CoverPlus may be minimal if you are newly self-employed or self-employed part-time.


    Not all self-employed part time people are eligible for ACC CoverPlus Extra. See the ACC CoverPlus Extra section for the criteria. Consider applying for ACC Workplace Safety Discount. You get training and support to improve safety, as well as a 10% discount on your levies.
    File your tax return (IR3) with Inland Revenue from March:
    Inland Revenue processes your IR3 tax return and sends your liable earnings details and business industry code to ACC. ACC calculates your levy for the first year or part year of self-employment, based on income and business description (from July). ACC also calculates the levy for the year ahead based on the same income and business description (from July).


    This means you may have two invoices to pay the first time you are invoiced by ACC.
    Pay your ACC levy. ACC levy invoices are sent a few months after your first IR3 is submitted. Pay within two months to

    avoid overdue penalties.

Self-employment cover options

There are two cover options that apply to self-employed:

  • ACC CoverPlus. Standard cover that automatically applies for self-employed
  • ACC CoverPlus Extra. Similar to ACC CoverPlus but you can negotiate the level of lost earnings cover

What do I have to pay?

Payments to ACC for personal injury cover are called levies. The levy you pay when self-employed is based on:

  • the type of work you do
  • your liable earnings (from your last tax return)
  • the claims your industry has made in the past and what we think it will have in the future.

Invoices are sent each year after you file your IR3 tax return. Your levies each year are estimated using your income from the previous year. Your ACC invoice pack will include a summary of your account balance and a tax invoice for the year.


In your second year of full-time self-employment (ie more than 30 hours per week) you will receive two invoices, one for levies for the past year and one for the next year. ACC’s levy calculators help you estimate what your levy invoices might be.

If you work part-time self-employed (ie less than 30 hours per week on average) then you will not receive an invoice for the first year of your self-employment. Contact us once you have filed your first IR3 with Inland Revenue so we can ensure you are sent a correct invoice.

How do I make a claim?

The medical practitioner who treats you will submit your ACC claim. Delaying treatment delays your claim being submitted, and may make your injury worse. The sooner we receive your claim the quicker we can help you.

ACC can help with your injury costs, travel and medical bills, expenses and lost earnings while you recover. After your claim is accepted, we work with you to determine what support you need.

How much lost earnings compensation am I covered for?

Category: Taxes

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