18 Other deductions



This information may not apply to the current year. Check the content carefully to ensure it is applicable to your circumstances.

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Show at Q any deductible losses and outgoings not already claimed by the trust at any other items.

If the trust is registered for GST, exclude any input tax credit entitlements for expenses incurred by the trust from the amount shown at Q.

Former STS taxpayers still using the STS accounting method

If the trust is eligible and has chosen to continue using the STS accounting method, it can claim deductions for the following expenses only when they are paid:

  • general deductions, for example, interest expense
  • tax-related expenses
  • expenses for repairs.

For more information on the STS accounting method, see appendix 14.

Losses and outgoings

You can claim a deduction for losses and outgoings if they are incurred in gaining or producing assessable income, or necessarily incurred in carrying on a business for the purpose of gaining or producing such income.

However, under section 25-90 of the ITAA 1997 a trust may be able to claim a deduction for costs incurred in obtaining or servicing debt interests (as defined in ITAA 1997) if the costs are incurred in earning foreign source income which is non-assessable non-exempt income under section 23AI or 23AK of the ITAA 1936. The amount of the deduction is subject to any reduction required by the thin capitalisation rules. Similar rules apply under subsection 230-15(3) of the ITAA 1997 in relation to your debt interest that is a financial arrangement covered by the TOFA rules.

Debt deductions (such as interest and borrowing costs) for assessable foreign source income that are not attributable to an overseas permanent establishment of the taxpayer are not quarantined to assessable foreign source income. Therefore, you can deduct these expenses against assessable income of the trust, subject to any reduction required under the thin capitalisation rules. Include the deduction for these expenses at Q. Do not include them at item 23 Other assessable foreign source income or any other item.

You cannot claim a deduction for the following:

  • losses or outgoings of capital or of a capital, private or domestic nature, except where special provision is made in the income tax law
  • expenses incurred in gaining or producing exempt or non-assessable non-exempt income (except certain debt deductions under section 25-90 or subsection 230-15(3) of the ITAA 1997)
  • penalties or fines
  • income tax liabilities
  • entertainment, except in very limited circumstances
  • costs associated with borrowing and servicing debt to the extent that a deduction is denied under the thin capitalisation rules.

For more information, see appendix 3. The disallowed amount reduces the amount that would otherwise be shown in Q.

Interest expenses

If a trustee borrows money to pay distributions to a beneficiary, the trustee will only be able to take into account the interest expenses incurred on those borrowed funds when calculating the net income of a trust estate in certain circumstances. See Taxation Ruling TR 2005/12 - Income tax: deductibility of interest expenses incurred by trustees on funds borrowed in connection with the payment of distributions to beneficiaries for more information.

In order to be deductible, the interest expense must be sufficiently connected with the assessable income earning activity of the trust. There will be sufficient connection if the purpose of the trustee borrowing funds is to refinance a returnable amount. Trustees who have incurred interest expenses on monies borrowed to pay distributions to beneficiaries should seek advice either from their professional advisers or the Tax Office.

Tax-related expenses

Show at Q any expenses incurred by the trust in the management of its tax affairs. These expenses include:

  • the cost of attending a Tax Office audit
  • tax planning
  • expenditure on your income tax affairs, that is, a fee or commission for professional advice where the advice is provided by a registered tax agent, or a barrister or solicitor
  • an interest charge imposed by the Tax Office on taxes and penalties not paid on time, and
  • a penalty for underestimating a varied GST instalment or PAYG instalment.

Show a deduction for the decline in value of a depreciating asset used in managing the tax affairs of the trust at Q. For more information about working out decline in value, see appendix 6.

You cannot claim a deduction for costs for any offence-related matter, for example, the cost of defending a tax prosecution.

If expenditure allowed or allowable as a deduction is recouped, include the amount recouped in assessable income in the year of recoupment.

Losses on the disposal of traditional securities

Show at Q any non-capital losses incurred upon the disposal or redemption of a traditional security which are deductible under section 70B of the ITAA 1936. For more information about gains and losses on traditional securities, including traditional securities that are convertible notes or exchangeable notes, see You and your shares 2010.

TOFA losses from financial arrangements

If the TOFA rules apply to calculate a gain or loss on the trust's financial arrangements include at this item those deductible losses and any deductible TOFA transitional balancing adjustment relating to existing financial arrangements.

Include here any TOFA losses (or part thereof) that you have not already included at:

  • SNet income or loss from business item 5
  • GInterest deductions item 9
  • VNet other assessable foreign source income item 23.

If what you show at Q includes an amount which is brought to account under the TOFA rules, also complete item 31Taxation of financial arrangements (TOFA).

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Further Information

For more information, see Guide to the taxation of financial arrangements (TOFA) rules.

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Payment of premiums to a non-resident insurer

You cannot claim a deduction for insurance premiums paid to a non-resident insurer for the insurance of property situated in Australia or of an event which can happen only in Australia, unless arrangements have been made to the satisfaction of the Tax Office for the payment of any tax payable or may become payable in relation to the premium. Keep a record of the details supporting any claim for a deduction.

Further Information

For more information about the tax obligations of non-resident insurers and their agents in Australia, see Income of non-resident insurer.

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The trust can only claim a deduction for gifts (including cash) made to an organisation which is a deductible gift recipient (DGR). DGRs are endorsed by the Tax Office or specifically named in income tax law (including private funds). Some of the types of bodies can be endorsed as DGRs are public benevolent institutions, school building funds and approved overseas aid funds.

Further Information

To check whether the organisation is a DGR, visit www.abn.business.gov.au or phone 1300 130 248.

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Gifts of shares valued at $5,000 or more

Gifts of property as well as money may be deductible. This applies to gifts of property valued by the Australian Valuation Office (AVO) at more than $5,000, and to property purchased by the donor during the 12 months before the gift was made.

If claiming a donation for property valued at more than $5,000, or under the Cultural Gifts Program, or to National Trust bodies, keep the required valuation certificates.

A trust may elect to spread deductions over five income years or less where the gift is money, or property valued by the AVO at more than $5,000.

Further Information

For more information about these elections, see Gifts of property valued by the ATO at more than $5000 and Making tax deductible donations.

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Deductions for political contributions and gifts

From 1 July 2008, only individuals can deduct contributions and gifts to political parties and independent members and candidates and the individual claiming the deduction must not have made the gift or contribution in the course of carrying on a business.

Gifts of shares valued at $5,000 or less

From 1 July 2007 you can claim a deduction for a gift of shares to a deductible gift recipient (DGR) if your gift meets the following conditions:

  • The shares must be in a company that is listed on an approved Australian stock exchange on the day the gift is made.
  • You must have acquired the shares at least 12 months before making the donation. Acquired includes purchased, inherited, won or received as a gift or a bonus.
  • The shares must have a market valuation of $5,000 or less on the day of the donation.

The market valuation of the shares is the value of the shares on the day the donor makes the gift. The parcel of shares must be valued at more than $2.


Show at Q the deduction for gifts to DGRs. The deduction cannot add to or create a tax loss. You may need to reduce the claim where the amount at item 20 Net Australian income or loss is a loss.

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Show at Q expenses incurred for subscriptions paid to:

  • trade, business or professional associations
  • other organisations where the subscription expense is incurred in producing assessable income
  • journals or magazines where these relate to producing assessable income.

Do not claim for fees paid for membership of a sporting or social club or a political party.

Deductions for depreciating assets in a low-value pool

If the trust has allocated depreciating assets used for different income-producing purposes to its low-value pool (for example, some assets are used for producing rental income and others are used in carrying on a business) show the low-value pool deduction at Q. For more information, see appendix 6.

Film industry incentives

The conditions under which concessions are available for the Australian film industry are explained in Australian film industry incentives 2010.

The law about claiming deductions for investments in Australian films has changed for 2009-10 and later income years. As a consequence of the introduction of the Australian screen production incentive, Division 10B and Division 10BA of Part III of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 (ITAA 1936) will be repealed with effect from 1 July 2010. The trust cannot claim a deduction under Division 10BA for the 2009-10 or later income years. The trust cannot claim a deduction under Division 10B for the 2010-11 or later income years. For the 2009-10 income year, the trust can claim a deduction for an Australian film under Division 10B only if the trust first claimed such a deduction for that film for the 2008-09 income year.

If you wish to claim deductions for income years prior to 2009-10, or a Division 10B deduction for the 2009-10 income year, see the publication Australian film industry incentives 2009.

Last modified: 13 Aug 2014QC 22968