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The formula method is complex. We recommend getting advice from a tax agent to use it.

With the formula method you are taxed on the actual gains of your foreign superannuation interest. This tax is between when your 4 year exemption (if any) expires and the date you receive the lump sum.

The formula method cannot be used for:

  • transfers from defined benefit schemes
  • schemes where the total interests are below $50,000.

The formula

The equation for working out your assessable income under this method is:

gain x (grow rate - 1) x tax rate x (assessable years - 1) + gain

The variables

Variable Defintion


(Super withdrawal x calculated gains fraction) - other gains

Grow rate 

(Accrued total ÷ value) to the power of (1 ÷ assessable years)

Assessable years

The number of income years from the beginning of the assessable period until the withdrawal takes place. If the number of income years is less than 1 then the number of assessable years to use is 1.

Tax rate

The highest prescribed investor rate

Accrued total

The value of the scheme immediately before the withdrawal, plus any previous withdrawals during the assessable period, less any recognised contributions during the assessable period

Super withdrawal

The amount of the foreign superannuation withdrawal

Other gains

The total amount of gains (as defined above) for previous withdrawals in the assessable period

Calculated gains fraction

(Predistribution + withdrawals - value - contributions) ÷ predistribution
If the formula gives a result that is less than zero then the calculated gains fraction is zero.


The value of the person's scheme immediately before they made their foreign superannuation withdrawal


The total amount of previous foreign superannuation withdrawals made in the assessable period


The opening value of the person's scheme at the beginning of their assessable period


The total amount of recognised contributions before the foreign superannuation withdrawal 

Last updated: 05 Oct 2020
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