Income tax: what is the benchmark interest rate applicable for the year of income that commenced on 1 July 2008 for the purposes of Division 7A of Part III of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 and how is it used?
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This publication (excluding appendixes) is a public ruling for the purposes of the Taxation Administration Act 1953. A public ruling is an expression of the Commissioner's opinion about the way in which a relevant provision applies, or would apply, to entities generally or to a class of entities in relation to a particular scheme or a class of schemes. If you rely on this ruling, we must apply the law to you in the way set out in the ruling (unless we are satisfied that the ruling is incorrect and disadvantages you, in which case we may apply the law in a way that is more favourable for you - provided we are not prevented from doing so by a time limit imposed by the law). You will be protected from having to pay any underpaid tax, penalty or interest in respect of the matters covered by this ruling if it turns out that it does not correctly state how the relevant provision applies to you.
1. For the income year that commenced on 1 July 2008, the benchmark interest rate for the purposes of sections 109N and 109E of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 is 9.45 % per annum.
2. This benchmark interest rate is relevant to private company loans made or deemed to have been made after 3 December 1997 and before 1 July 2008; and to trustee loans made after 11 December 2002 and before 1 July 2008. It is used to:
- determine if a loan made in the 2007-08 income year is taken to be a dividend (paragraph 109N(1)(b) and as applicable, subsection 109D(1) or section 109XB); and
- calculate the amount of the minimum yearly repayment for the 2008-09 income year on an amalgamated loan taken to have been made prior to 1 July 2008 (subsection 109E(5)).
3. This Determination only applies where a private company or trustee, which either made the loan or is taken to have made the amalgamated loan, has an income year that commenced on 1 July 2008. (Taxation Determination TD 2001/18 explains how to find the benchmark interest rate for private companies with substituted accounting periods.)
4. A private company makes an unsecured loan of $100,000 to a shareholder on 1 July 2007. The loan is made under a written agreement which specifies that the rate of interest payable for all future years must equal or exceed that required by paragraph 109N(1)(b). The term of the loan is 5 years. For the year ended 30 June 2008, as all the requirements of section 109N are met, the loan is not treated as a dividend under Division 7A of Part III. No repayments were made before the private company's 'lodgment day' for the 2007-08 income year. Therefore, the minimum yearly repayment required for the 2008-09 year of income is calculated as follows:
6. The 'lodgment day' is the earlier of the due date for lodgment and date of lodgment of the lender's income tax return for the income year in which the loan is made. The 'lender' is the private company or trustee which made the loan that is subject to Division 7A of Part III.
Date of effect
Commissioner of Taxation
2 July 2008
All subsequent legislative references are to the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 unless otherwise indicated.
Not previously issued as a draft
benchmark interest rate
private company distributions