20 April 2020
[FYI request #12500 email]
Dear J B
Thank you for your request made under the Official Information Act 1982 (the OIA),
received on 21 March 2020. You requested the following:
Data covering the period since the introduction of the current Foreign Investment
Fund (FIF) in (I believe) 2008, up until the current day.
A. A table broken down by tax year and by marginal income tax bracket, of:
1. the number of taxpayers who reported FIF income.
2. the number of taxpayers who were assessed by the IRD as having FIF income.
3. the self-assessed value of such income.
4. the value assessed by the IRD of such income.
5. Losses made on the FIF investments (this may have to be figured by comparing
the balance on 1 April of one year to the balance on 1 April of the next year).
6. Losses made on the FIF investments allowed by the IRD to be deducted for
7. Losses made on the FIF investments allowed by the IRD to be carried forward
to subsequent tax years.
B. A table giving the above information, but also broken down by the method of
calculating FIF income (FDR, CV, etc). (As well as by by tax year and by
marginal income tax bracket.)
Information to be withheld: Questions A1, A3 to A7 and B
Details of FIF calculations are provided on a form that is not held in a database format by
Inland Revenue. Your request for information relating to questions A1, A3 to A7 (inclusive)
and B is refused under section 18 (f) of the OIA, as the information requested cannot be
made available without substantial manual searching through each individual return.
Information being released: Question A2
There are yes/no questions on the parent Individual tax return
(IR3) and Income tax
(IR4) which indicate whether or not the more detailed disclosures are
required from the taxpayer. These yes/no questions are accessible in database form, and
are provided in the following tables for the tax years ending 31 March 2008 to 31 March
2018 (inclusive). No data is provided for the tax year ending 31 March 2019 as this is not
The relevant yes/no questions on the IR3 and IR4 tax returns are:
IR3, question 36: Did you at any time during the income year hold rights in a foreign
company, unit trust, superannuation scheme or life insurance policy for which
disclosure is required?
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IR4, question 34: Has the company calculated CFC or FIF income under Question
IR4, question 18: Did the company receive any income from overseas?
I note that both returns are asking for broader information than just FIF income to be
disclosed. The IR3 question is also asking about unit trusts, superannuation schemes and
life insurance policies. The IR4 question includes investments in controlled foreign
companies (CFCs), which in terms of value is arguably a much larger investment category.
In both cases FIF data cannot be separately isolated, and hence the figures in the following
tables form upper bounds on the volumes.
Table 1 below shows the number of individuals who have made a foreign investment
disclosure, by year ending 31 March. This information is based on those taxpayers who
answered ‘Yes’ to question 36 on the IR3 return. The data in Table 1 is based on a sample
of individual taxpayers, and is weighted to provide population estimates.
Table 1: Individuals making a Foreign Investment Disclosure* on IR3 Returns
Year ending 31 March
*Disclosure includes foreign companies, unit trusts, superannuation schemes, and life
Table 2 below shows the counts from Table 1 by personal income tax bracket based on the
person’s total taxable income in that year, but using the 2019/20 tax scale to define the
thresholds for the table. Table 2: Number of Individuals with Foreign Investment Disclosure, by year and
marginal tax bracket
Personal Marginal Income Tax Bracket ($)
40 230 90 480
30 120 50 230
30 260 60 410
70 230 170 350
20 250 140 350
10 300 110 520
10 330 80 540
40 270 120 560
10 220 100 440
40 230 130 460
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Table 3 below shows the number of companies who have made a CFC or FIF foreign
investment disclosure. This information is based on those taxpayers who answered ‘Yes’ to
question 34 on the IR4 return.
Table 3: Number of Companies Making a CFC or FIF Foreign Investment
Disclosure on IR4 Returns
Year ending 31 March
Right of Review
If you disagree with my decision on your OIA request, you can ask an Inland Revenue
review officer to review my decision. To ask for an internal review, please email the
Commissioner of Inland Revenue at: [email address].
Alternatively, under section 28(3) of the OIA, you have the right to ask the Ombudsman
to investigate and review my decision. You can contact the office of the Ombudsman by
email at: [email address].
Thank you for again your request. I trust that the information provided is of assistance to
Sandra Watson Manager, Forecasting and Analysis
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