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Imputation and Base Rate Entities

How many franking credits can I attach to this dividend, 30% or 27.5%?

I have been asked this question countless times since we introduced Base Rate Entities and the lower company tax rate of 27.5%. It is not a hard question to answer, but the Commissioner has made the answers easier by finalising Law Companion Ruling LCR 2019/5 Base rate entities and base rate entity passive income.

Have a look at these examples (all starting from para 53):

59. Kookaburra Co was founded on 1 July 2017.

60. As Kookaburra Co did not exist in the prior income year (the 2016-17 income year), its 2017-18 corporate tax rate for imputation purposes is 27.5%.

If the company did not exist in the prior year, you can frank at 27.5%.

But if the company did exist in the prior year then it works out its corporate tax rate for imputation purposes by assuming that its aggregated turnover, BREPI and assessable income are the same as in the previous income year.

61. Swan Co has been carrying on a business since 1 July 2014.

62. In the 2016-17 income year, Swan Co was dormant and had no aggregated turnover. Swan Co’s 2016-17 assessable income was nil, and so its BREPI was nil.

63. As Swan Co existed in the 2016-17 income year, the corporate tax rate for imputation purposes of Swan Co for the 2017-18 income year is determined as the corporate tax rate for the 2017-18 income year based on the assumption that its aggregated turnover, BREPI and assessable income are the same as the 2016-17 income year.

64. As Swan Co’s assessable income and BREPI for the 2016-17 income year are nil, it has no more than 80% of its assessable income as BREPI. As Swan Co has no connected entities or affiliated entities in the 2016-17 income year, Swan Co’s aggregated turnover for the 2016-17 income year is nil, its aggregated turnover is less than the relevant threshold for the 2017-18 income year. Therefore, its corporate tax rate for imputation purposes for the 2017-18 income year is 27.5%.

And yes, it is possible that the company tax rate for a year is different to the imputation or franking rate for the year.

68. In the 2017-18 income year, Cockatoo Co had an aggregated turnover of $48 million. Cockatoo Co’s 2017-18 assessable income was 82% BREPI.

69. In the 2018-19 income year, Cockatoo Co had aggregated turnover of $46 million. Cockatoo Co’s 2018-19 assessable income was 75% BREPI. Cockatoo Co’s 2018-19 aggregated turnover was below the aggregated turnover threshold of $50 million, and its BREPI was below the 80% threshold. Therefore, it was a base rate entity, with a 2018-19 corporate tax rate of 27.5%.

70. Cockatoo Co has a 2018-19 corporate tax rate for imputation purposes of 30%. This is because it is assumed its aggregated turnover, BREPI and assessable income are the same as the previous income year. As such it is assumed that, for the purposes of determining the corporate tax rate for imputation for the 2018-19 income year, Cockatoo Co’s aggregated turnover is the same as the 2017-18 income year, being $48 million, of which 82% is BREPI. Although the aggregated turnover is below the threshold of $50 million, its BREPI is above the 80% threshold. Accordingly, its corporate tax rate for imputation purposes is 30%.

Simple!

 

 

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