Student loan repayment exemption


Are you a full-time student and working? Do you expect to earn less than $19,084 this tax year? Then you should apply for an exemption from making student loan repayments from 1 April 2012.

You can apply for the repayment deduction exemption if:

  • you expect to earn under the annual repayment threshold ($19,084) for the 2013 tax year, and
  • you’re about to start (or have already started) a programme of study that is:
    • 32 weeks or longer in duration in any 52-week period and at least 0.8 of equivalent full-time student units, or
    • 12 weeks or longer in duration in any 52-week period and at least 0.3 of equivalent full-time student units or the equivalent on a pro-rata basis

Once you’re given the exemption, you won’t have to make student loan repayment deductions from your pay or add “SL” to your tax code – leaving you with more money in your pocket.

The exemption applies for the period you meet the criteria, for up to one tax year (1 April – 31 March) at a time. It covers the time between semesters including the Christmas break as long as you’re continuing your study programme in the next semester.

Apply now for a repayment deduction exemption through Inland Revenue’s secure online services – you need to be registered for the service. Once you have completed your application, you can download a certificate which must be given to your employer so the exemption will apply to your pay from 1 April 2012.

There are other changes to student loans from 1 April 2012. To find out about these and to apply for the repayment exemption, go to