Exemption as a sporting club has been reviewed on several occasions in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal and in the Federal Court.
Detailed summaries of six case judgments are provided to help you work out your club's main purpose. The full text of each case judgment is available on the ATO's Legal Database.
Three of the summaries describe clubs that were not exempt from income tax and three clubs that were exempt.
The case judgments describing clubs that were not exempt are:
- Cronulla Sutherland Leagues Club Limited v. FC of T 90 ATC 4215; (1990) 21 ATR 300 (Cronulla)
- South Sydney Junior Rugby League Club Limited v. FC of T  AATA 265; (2006) 62 ATR 1123; 2006 ATC 2150 (21 March 2006) (South Sydney Juniors)
- North Suburban Club Inc v. FC of T  AATA 463; (1999) 42 ATR 1111; 99 ATC 2254 (28 June 1999) (North Suburban).
The case judgments describing clubs that were exempt are:
- St Marys Rugby League Club Limited v. FC of T 97 ATC 4528; (1997) 36 ATR 281 (St Marys)
- Terranora Lakes Country Club Limited v. FC of T 93 ATC 4078; (1993) 25 ATR 294 (Terranora)
- Tweed Heads Bowls Club v. FC of T 92 ATC 2087; AAT Case 8267 (1992) 24 ATR 1068 (Tweed Heads).
Other examples include:
The summaries describe the clubs in the year of review and may not reflect their current operations or tax exempt status.
A discussion on the following judgment of the High Court on the income tax exemption of a charity is also provided in Commissioner of Taxation v Word Investments Ltd  HCA 55; 2008 ATC 20-072; 70 ATR 225 (Word).
If, after reading this section, you consider that your club is exempt, it is still recommended that you use the worksheets in Self-assessing your club's tax status to document your assessment of your club's entitlement to income tax exemption.