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ATO Interpretative Decision

ATO ID 2010/164 (Withdrawn)

Income Tax
Deductions: swimming instructor (swimwear)

Attention This ATO ID is withdrawn. Guidance on the issue contained in this ATO ID can be found at Clothing, laundry and dry-cleaning expenses (QC 31907).
Attention This document has changed over time. View its history.
FOI status: may be released
Status of this decision: Decision withdrawn 6 October 2017.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you will need to ensure that the relevant provisions referred to in the decision have not been amended or repealed.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.


Is expenditure incurred by a swimming instructor in purchasing swimwear deductible under section 8-1 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (ITAA 1997)?


No. Expenditure incurred by the taxpayer in purchasing swimwear is not deductible under section 8-1 of the ITAA 1997.


The taxpayer works as a part-time swimming instructor. The taxpayer purchases swimsuits every six to eight weeks as a result of the damaging effect of the chlorinated swimming pool water on the swimsuits.

Reasons for Decision

Generally, expenditure on conventional clothing is treated as private expenditure and therefore not deductible under section 8-1 of the ITAA 1997 ( Mansfield v. FC of T 96 ATC 4001; (1996) 31 ATR 367 (Mansfield); Federal Commissioner of Taxation v. Edwards (1994) 49 FCR 318; 94 ATC 4255; (1994) 28 ATR 87 (Edwards)).

To be deductible under section 8-1 of the ITAA 1997, the expenditure must have the essential character of an outgoing incurred in gaining assessable income or, in other words, of an income-producing expense ( Lunney v. Federal Commissioner of Taxation (1958) 100 CLR 478). It is not sufficient that the expenditure is a prerequisite to the derivation of assessable income ( Lodge v. Federal Commissioner of Taxation (1972) 128 CLR 171; 72 ATC 4174; (1972) 3 ATR 254; Federal Commissioner of Taxation v. Cooper (1991) 29 FCR 177; 91 ATC 4396; (1991) 21 ATR 1616)

In Edwards , the taxpayer was required to wear multiple outfits in one day due to the nature of her work as an attendant to the governor's wife. The Court held that the first outfit for the day satisfied the taxpayer's requirements of modesty, decency and warmth and was private in nature, and that additional clothing worn during the day solely served work-related purposes to allow the taxpayer to carry out her duties. Expenditure on the additional clothing therefore had the necessary nexus to the activities by which the taxpayer produced her assessable income and was deductible.

In Mansfield , Hill J found that expenditure by a flight attendant on cabin shoes and hosiery which were items of conventional clothing was deductible. Hill J took a number of matters into account, but important to his decision was that the taxpayer had purchased the cabin shoes for use solely in flight and the shoes were unsuitable for ordinary use as they were a half-size too large to allow for the swelling of the taxpayer's feet in flight. The hosiery was found to be deductible on the basis that it formed part of the taxpayer's uniform and was thus differentiated from ordinary clothing.

In the present case, the taxpayer wears a single swimsuit at work which meets the requirements of modesty and decency. Although specialised, the clothing is conventional clothing. There is nothing to distinguish the swimsuit from that used for private purposes such as training or recreation.

There is no principle that expenditure incurred in replacing clothing worn out during the course of income-earning activities is deductible where the clothing serves a private purpose.

Date of decision: 14 September 2010

Year of income:Year ending 30 June 2011

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

Case references:
Federal Commissioner of Taxation v. Edwards
   (1994) 49 FCR 318
   94 ATC 4255
   (1994) 28 ATR 87

Lunney v. Federal Commissioner of Taxation
   (1958) 100 CLR 478

Mansfield v. FC of T
   96 ATC 4001
   (1996) 31 ATR 367

Lodge v. Federal Commissioner of Taxation
   (1972) 128 CLR 171
   72 ATC 4174
   (1972) 3 ATR 254

Federal Commissioner of Taxation v. Cooper
   (1991) 29 FCR 177
   91 ATC 4396
   (1991) 21 ATR 1616

ATO Interpretative Decisions overturned by this decision
ATO ID 2001/53

Clothing expenses
Deductions & expenses
Private or domestic expenses
Work related expenses

Siebel/TDMS reference number: 1-25I6I2N

Business line: Small Business/Individual Taxpayers

Date of publication: 17 September 2010

ISSN: 1445-2782

ATOID 2010 history   Top  
   Date   Version 
   14 September 2010   Original statement   
 You are here ®   6 October 2017   Withdrawn   


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