ATO Interpretative Decision

ATO ID 2002/948

Income Tax

Travel Expenses - to attend company AGM
FOI status: may be released
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Status of this decision: Decision Current
CAUTION: 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you will need to ensure that the relevant provisions referred to in the decision have not been amended or repealed.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

Is the taxpayer entitled to a deduction under section 8-1 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (ITAA 1997) for travel expenses incurred to attend a company Annual General Meeting (AGM)?

Decision

Yes. The taxpayer is entitled to a deduction under section 8-1 of the ITAA 1997 for travel expenses incurred to attend a company AGM.

Facts

The taxpayer has an investment portfolio that includes a shareholding in a company.

The taxpayer earns dividend income from their shareholding in the company.

The taxpayer intends to incur travel expenses to attend the AGM for the company.

Reasons for Decision

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 where the outgoings are of a capital, private or domestic nature.

Taxation Ruling IT 39 considers the deductibility of expenditure incurred in servicing or managing income producing investments. IT 39 states that where expenditure is incurred in 'servicing' an investment portfolio (such as consulting with inter-state stock brokers and attending inter-state stock exchanges), the expenditure should properly be regarded as incurred in relation to the management of income producing investments and thus as having an intrinsically revenue character.

However, Taxation Ruling TR 95/33 provides that where it is concluded that the disproportion between the outgoing and the relevant assessable income is essentially explained by reference to the independent pursuit of some other objective (eg for private purposes), then the outgoing must be apportioned between the pursuit of assessable income and the other objective (Fletcher v. Federal Commissioner of Taxation (1991) 173 CLR 1; 91 ATC 4950; (1991) 22 ATR 613).

The travel expenses incurred by the taxpayer in attending the company AGM are costs incurred in servicing their investment portfolio. If the travel relates solely for the purpose of attending the AGM, the taxpayer will be entitled to a deduction under section 8-1 of the ITAA 1997 for the cost of that travel.

However, if the purpose of the travel is predominantly of a private nature (attendance at the AGM being incidental), only the expenses that relate directly to the income producing purpose will be an allowable deduction.

Date of decision:  6 September 2002

Year of income:  Year ended 30 June 2002 Year ending 30 June 2003 Year ending 30 June 2004

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

Case References:
Fletcher v. Federal Commissioner of Taxation
   (1991) 173 CLR 1
   91 ATC 4950
   (1991) 22 ATR 613

Related Public Rulings (including Determinations)
Taxation Ruling IT 39
Taxation Ruling TR 95/33

Keywords
Dividend income
Deductions & expenses
Travel expenses

Business Line:  Small Business/Individual Taxpayers

Date of publication:  1 October 2002

ISSN: 1445-2782

history
  Date: Version:
You are here 6 September 2002 Original statement
  11 December 2015 Updated statement
  13 May 2016 Withdrawn