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  • 20. Foreign income tax offset

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    Warning:

    This information may not apply to the current year. Check the content carefully to ensure it is applicable to your circumstances.

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    Write at J the allowable foreign income tax offset referable to the current year of income. Do not include any allowable pre-commencement excess foreign income tax.

    Include the amount at J in C Non-refundable non-carry forward tax offsets in the Calculation statement. Include at D Non-refundable carry forward tax offsets in the Calculation statement any allowable pre-commencement excess foreign income tax that has not already been utilised, provided it has not already expired.

    The company may be able to claim a foreign income tax offset where it has paid foreign income tax on an amount included in its assessable income.

    The company’s foreign income tax offset cannot exceed the lesser of:

    • the foreign income tax paid, or
    • its foreign income tax offset limit (the greater of $1,000 and the amount calculated under paragraph 770-75(2)(b) of the ITAA 1997).

    The company is taken to have paid foreign income tax on an amount included in its assessable income where the foreign income tax has effectively been paid by someone else on its behalf under an arrangement with it or under the law relating to that tax, for example, foreign income tax paid by deduction or withholding, or by a trust (or partnership) in which the company is a beneficiary (or partner).

    When determining whether a foreign income tax offset is allowable, the company must refer to and adhere to the provisions of Division 770 of the ITAA 1997.

    The following are key points:

    • You cannot claim a foreign income tax offset for amounts of attributed income included under section 459A of the ITAA 1936.
    • You cannot claim a foreign income tax offset in certain circumstances where there has been a refund of foreign income tax or a receipt of any other benefit as a direct result of the payment of the foreign income tax.
    • You cannot carry-forward an amount of excess foreign income tax for use in a later income year.
    • Foreign income tax includes foreign tax forgone on income by foreign countries under tax sparing arrangements where the tax sparing amounts are subject to Australia’s tax treaty with the relevant country.
    • The foreign income tax paid on the offshore banking income of an OBU is taken to be one-third (the current offshore banking eligible fraction) of the amount of foreign income tax actually paid (see subsection 121EG(3A) of the ITAA 1936). This rule does not apply where the OBU has had excessive use of non-OB money (see section 121EH of the ITAA 1936).
    • The foreign income tax offset rules described above also apply to the head company of a consolidated or MEC group. Where a subsidiary member paid foreign income tax on an amount included in the head company’s assessable income, the head company is treated as having paid the foreign income tax and is eligible to claim a foreign income tax offset. See the Consolidation reference manual for more information.

    For more information on how to calculate the company’s allowable foreign income tax offset, see the Guide to foreign income tax offset rules.

    Last modified: 02 Oct 2019QC 48080