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Tax Umpire Sets Rules For Sportspersons

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Australian Taxation Office


Nat 98/22


The Tax Office today issued a draft taxation ruling (TR 98/D4), that will assist individuals who receive income from sport to determine whether various benefits or receipts arc assessable income.

“The draft ruling recognises the more commercial nature of the sporting industry and will help those in the industry determine whether their income is assessable," Tax Commissioner Michael Carmody announced.

"It recognises that payments to sportspeoplc often do more than just assist sportspeople meet their expenses in pursuing their chosen sport."

The ruling applies to both athletes and officials, such as referees and coaches.

The draft ruling was prepared following feedback that indicated there was uncertainty as to whether particular benefits were assessable income. In developing the draft ruling, the Tax Office met with various representatives in the sporting community, including the Australian Sports Commission (ASC) and the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC).

“The draft ruling will not affect people who participate in sport as a pastime or hobby. Individuals who receive payments from the pursuit of a pastime or hobby will not be affected as these payments are generally not income. Examples in the draft ruling will clarify this," Mr Carmody added.

There are also a number of examples in the draft ruling that are designed to assist sportspeople and their advisers understand how the law applies to their particular situation.

Copies of the draft ruling TR98/D4 Sportspersons; receipts and other benefits obtained from involvement in sport, which is open to public comment, are available from the Tax Office or on the ATO’s Internet site at

CANBERRA 13 May 1998

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