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Choosing a calculation method for your foreign investment fund (FIF) income

Calculation methods

The calculation methods you may use to calculate your FIF income are set out in the table below.

Method Description of calculation

Fair dividend rate (FDR)

0.05 multiplied by opening market value plus quick sale adjustment

Opening market value is the total of the market values of the attributing interests in FIFs held at the beginning of the income year.
Quick sale adjustment is an adjustment amount calculated when you both buy and sell attributing interest in the same FIF in the same income year.

Find out more about fair dividend rate (FDR)

Comparative value (CV)

(Closing value plus gains) minus (opening value plus costs)

Gains are amounts derived from holding (includes dividends), or disposing of the attributing interest and foreign withholding tax or other credits.

Costs include the cost of buying your investment(s) plus foreign income tax you are liable to pay and have paid on the FIF income.

Cost method (CM)

0.05 multiplied by opening value plus quick sales

There are four different methods that could be used to arrive at the opening value.

Branch equivalent (BE)

This method is not available for income years beginning 1 July 2011.

Branch equivalent income/loss multiplied by income interest

Total branch equivalent income or loss is the total branch equivalent income or loss from the FIF for the accounting period.

Accounting profits (AP)

This method is not available for income years beginning 1 July 2011.

(Accounting profits/losses minus foreign tax) multiplied by income interest

Accounting profits or losses are the net after-tax accounting profits or losses of the FIF for the accounting period.

Deemed rate of return (DRR)

Opening book value multiplied by the deemed rate

Opening book value is the book value of the attributing interest at the end of the previous income year.

Deemed rate is the rate set by the Governor General by Order in Council for the relevant income year.
There is another formula that applies in the event that your interest in the investment changed during the income year.

Attributed income

For non-portfolio interests only and for income years starting on or after 1 July 2011.

Where less than 5% of FIFs income is passive no income is taxable 

Where more than 5% of FIFs income is passive only passive income is taxable.

This attributed income method applies for income years starting on or after 1 July 2011 and is only available for non portfolio (greater than 10%) interests in an FIF.

Find out more about the attributed income method

Which calculation method should you use if you have FIF income?

Individuals and family trusts that hold shares which can use the FDR method may choose to use either the FDR or CV method. For other methods see the table below.

If ... then you ... Note

there is a choice

should consult your agent or financial advisor.

If you can choose a particular calculation method and fail to do so, then generally the FDR method applies.

your shareholding is less than 10% in an offshore company and you don't have its market value

may use the cost method (CM) to calculate your FIF income if you are unable to use any of the other methods.

This covers situations like a family business or one that does not have an independent market value.

your shareholding in an offshore company is 10% or greater and you come within the CFC rules

may continue to use last year's calculation method.

The new FIF rules will not apply.

The CFC rules apply.