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Thursday, 20 March 1980
Page: 869

Senator HAMER (VICTORIA) -Has the attention of the Minister representing the Treasurer been directed to an article in the National Times in which the International Tax Planning Association invites the public to a weekend conference in Cannes to discuss tax avoidance topics such as practical considerations in establishing and conducting tax haven operations? Is the claim correct that Australian professional and businessmen, and their wives of course, will be entitled to claim a first class return air fare to Cannes, the registration fee of $600, and expenses as legitimate tax deductions, in order to glean further avenues of tax avoidance?

Senator Dame Margaret Guilfoyle (VICTORIA) - It is an interesting question and I am able to assure the Senate that the article came to the notice of the Treasurer. I am advised that income tax deductions for expenses incurred in attending conventions are allowable only when it is established that they were incurred in gaining or producing assessable income, or in carrying on a business for the purpose of gaining such income and are not of a capital, private, or domesticnature. In the present case, deductions would be allowable only to taxpayers who derive assessable income from giving advice to others in tax planning matters. No deduction would be allowable for fares or other expenses attributable to a wife, or for any other private expenses such as sightseeing or a taxpayer's own personal tax planning. Perhaps Senator Georges, who is seeking to interject, can glean from that answer that unless he were in the business of advising others in tax planning he could not claim his own expenses for attendance at that conference.

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