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ATO Interpretative Decision

ATO ID 2002/959 (Withdrawn)

Income Tax
Special Professional Above Average Income - Animatronics engineer

Attention This ATO ID is withdrawn as it is no longer necessary. The view contained in this ATO ID is expressed in Income Averaging for Special professionals (QC 51241).
Attention This document has changed over time. View its history.
FOI status: may be released
Status of this decision: Decision withdrawn 21 July 2017.

CautionCAUTION: This is an edited and summarised record of a Tax Office decision. This record is not published as a form of advice. It is being made available for your inspection to meet FOI requirements, because it may be used by an officer in making another decision.

This ATOID provides you with the following level of protection:

If you reasonably apply this decision in good faith to your own circumstances (which are not materially different from those described in the decision), and the decision is later found to be incorrect you will not be liable to pay any penalty or interest. However, you will be required to pay any underpaid tax (or repay any over-claimed credit, grant or benefit), provided the time limits under the law allow it. If you do intend to apply this decision to your own circumstances, you will need to ensure that the relevant provisions referred to in the decision have not been amended or repealed. You may wish to obtain further advice from the Tax Office or from a professional adviser.


Does the taxpayer, an animatronics engineer qualify as a 'special professional' under subsection 405-25(1) of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 ('ITAA 1997')?


Yes. The taxpayer, an animatronics engineer qualifies as a 'special professional' under subsection 405-25(1) of the ITAA 1997.


The taxpayer works as an animatronic engineer in the film and television industry.

The taxpayer's occupation involves creating, designing, and building animatronic and special effects rigs and related gadgetry used in the making of films and advertisements.

Reasons for Decision

Section 405-5 of the ITAA 1997 provides for a special rate of income tax on above average 'special professional' income.

Paragraph 405-25(1)(d) of the ITAA 1997 includes a 'production associate' as a special professional.

A taxpayer is a production associate if they provide 'artistic support' for the activity of making a film, tape, disc or television or radio broadcast (paragraph 405-25(4)(b) of the ITAA 1997).

A taxpayer is taken to provide artistic support if they provide services in any of the roles listed in paragraph 405-25(5)(a) of the ITAA 1997 or if they provide similar services (paragraph 405-25(5)(b) of the ITAA 1997).

The taxpayer does not provide services as a person in any of the listed roles but they may provide similar services.

The taxpayer's occupation as an animatronic engineer, requires them to start with a clean canvas and to work with basic conceptual ideas to produce animatronic gadgets, mechanical devices and rigs for major production films and advertisements. The taxpayer relies on their design ability, inventiveness and artistic feel when creating these devices and mechanisms. Their services are similar to a costume, lighting or set designer, which are roles listed in paragraph 405-25(5)(a) of the ITAA 1997. In each of these roles they have overall artistic control within their area of expertise.

It is accepted that the taxpayer, as an animatronics engineer, provides artistic support and therefore qualifies as a production associate. Accordingly, the taxpayer qualifies as a special professional under subsection 405-25(1) of the ITAA 1997.

Date of decision: 26 September 2002

Year of income:Year ended 30 June 1998
 Year ended 30 June 1999
 Year ended 30 June 2000

Legislative References:
Income Tax Assessment Act 1997
   section 405-5
   section 405-15
   section 405-25
   subsection 405-25(1)
   paragraph 405-25(1)(d)
   subsection 405-25(4)(b)
   paragraph 405-25(5)(a)
   paragraph 405-25(5)(b)

Artists & craftspersons
Income averaging
Production associates

Siebel/TDMS Reference Number: DW440022; 1-BILG9W4

Business Line: Small Business/Individual Taxpayers

Date of publication: 2 October 2002

ISSN: 1445-2782

ATO ID 2002/959 (Withdrawn) history   Top  
   Date   Version 
   26 September 2002   Original statement   
 You are here ®  21 July 2017   Withdrawn   


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