Foreign Investments

Foreign investments include shares in foreign companies, units in foreign unit trusts, life insurance policies not offered or entered into in New Zealand and foreign superannuation schemes.

If you hold offshore investments it is very important that you provide us with the investment details when completing your annual tax returns as you may be taxed differently depending on the type, amount and location of your foreign investment, as determined by the Foreign Investment Fund (FIF) rules.

For example:

  • If the cost of your total offshore investments exceed NZ $50,000 at any time during the income year all your offshore interests fall within the FIF rules and income calculated accordingly. If the total cost of all offshore investments is below NZ $50,000 you will continue to pay tax only on dividends received and will not be required to calculate income under the FIF rules.
  • There are some exemptions from FIF rules for certain Australian interests, for example shares in Australian-resident companies listed on an approved ASX index. Generally you would only be taxed on dividends received from such investments. These rules are highly complex and we need all investment details to ensure your foreign investment income is calculated and taxed correctly.