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ATO Interpretative Decision

ATO ID 2010/159 (Withdrawn)

Income Tax
Deductibility of card payment fee incurred in paying income tax liability under section 8-1 of the ITAA 1997

Attention This ATO ID is withdrawn. The view in this ATO ID is now contained in ATO ID 2010/160 Income Tax Deductibility of card payment fee incurred in paying income tax liability under section 25-5, section 25-25 or section 8-1 of the ITAA 1997.
Attention This document has changed over time. View its history.
FOI status: may be released
Status of this decision: Decision withdrawn 29 September 2017.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you will need to ensure that the relevant provisions referred to in the decision have not been amended or repealed.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.


Issue

Can a salary or wage earner claim a deduction under section 8-1 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (ITAA 1997) for a card payment fee they are charged by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) for using a credit card to pay their personal income tax debt?

Decision

No. A salary or wage earner cannot claim a deduction under section 8-1 of the ITAA 1997 for a card payment fee they are charged by the ATO for using a credit card to pay their personal income tax debt.

Facts

The taxpayer is a salary or wage earner and uses a credit card to pay their personal income tax debt.

The taxpayer agrees to pay the card payment fee charged by the ATO in order to pay their income tax debt by using their credit card.

On accepting the charge, a contract is formed between the ATO and the taxpayer for the payment of the card payment fee.

The payment is then processed and the taxpayer's card is charged separately for the amount of the card payment fee and the amount of the liability they are paying.

Reasons for Decision

Broadly, section 8-1 of the ITAA 1997 allows a deduction for all losses and outgoings to the extent to which they are incurred in gaining or producing assessable income except to the extent they are of a capital, private or domestic nature, or relate to the earning of exempt income.

The application of section 8-1 of the ITAA 1997 in the context of a card payment fee does not raise any novel or difficult issues. It is essentially a question of applying the well known judicial 'tests' or 'interpretive approaches' to the particular facts. See for example the High Court's decisions in Federal Commissioner of Taxation v. Payne (2001) 202 CLR 93; 2001 ATC 4027; (2001) 46 ATR 228 per Gleeson CJ, Kirby and Hayne JJ; Federal Commissioner of Taxation v. Day (2008) 236 CLR 163; 2008 ATC 20-064; (2008) 70 ATR 14 per Gummow, Hayne, Heydon and Kiefel JJ; Spriggs v. Federal Commissioner of Taxation ; Riddell v. Federal Commissioner of Taxation (2009) 239 CLR 1; 2009 ATC 20-109; (2009) 72 ATR 148.

It is necessary to determine if there is a sufficient connection between the card payment fee and the process by which the taxpayer gains or produces their assessable income. Given the nature of the fee, this question will generally be answered by a careful analysis of the objective circumstances that gave rise to the liability being discharged by the use of the card.

In the present case, the taxpayer incurs the card payment fee by using their credit card to pay their personal income tax debt arising from the taxpayer's salary or wage earning activities.

A careful analysis of the character of the fee indicates that it is not an expense incurred in earning the taxpayer's assessable income - salary or wages. It is a payment out of income after it has been earned. It is clear from the authorities that this type of outgoing does not satisfy the tests for deductibility of a salary or wage earner under section 8-1 of the ITAA 1997 ( Ure v. FC of T 81 ATC 4100; (1981) 11 ATR 484; Cliffs International Inc. v. FC of T 85 ATC 4374; (1985) 16 ATR 601; Case V48 88 ATC 380; AAT Case 4 , 178 (1988)19 ATR 3334; Case 14 / 98 98 ATC 201; AAT Case 13 , 135 (1998) 39 ATR 1105).

Therefore, the card payment fee is not deductible under section 8-1 of the ITAA 1997.

Date of decision: 2 September 2010

Year of income:Year ended 30 June 2009

Legislative References:
Income Tax Assessment Act 1997
   section 8-1

Case References:
Federal Commissioner of Taxation v. Payne
   (2001) 202 CLR 93
   2001 ATC 4027
   (2001) 46 ATR 228

Federal Commissioner of Taxation v. Day
   (2008) 236 CLR 163
   2008 ATC 20-064
   (2008) 70 ATR 14

Spriggs v. Federal Commissioner of Taxation Riddell v Federal Commissioner of Taxation
   (2009) 239 CLR 1
   2009 ATC 20-109
   (2009) 72 ATR 148

Ure v. FC of T
   81 ATC 4100
   (1981) 11 ATR 484

Case V48
   88 ATC 380

AAT Case 4,178
   (1988) 19 ATR 3334

Case 14/98
   98 ATC 201

AAT Case 13,135
   (1998) 39 ATR 1105

Cliffs International Inc v. FC of T
   85 ATC 4374
   (1985) 16 ATR 601

Related ATO Interpretative Decisions
ATO ID 2010/160
ATO ID 2010/161

Keywords
Deductions & expenses
Tax related expenses

Siebel/TDMS Reference Number: 1-2AATY1X; 1-AXHH145

Business Line: Small Business/Individual Taxpayers

Date of publication: 10 September 2010

ISSN: 1445-2782

ATO ID 2010/159 (Withdrawn) history   Top  
   Date   Version 
    2 September 2010   Original statement   
 You are here ®  29 September 2017   Withdrawn   


 


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