ATO Interpretative Decision

ATO ID 2004/285 (Withdrawn)

Income Tax

Assessability of professional income received by an Australian resident working in Australia as an official of international organisation
FOI status: may be released
  • This ATO ID is withdrawn as it is no longer required following the publication of Draft Taxation Ruling TR 2019/D1 Income Tax: income of international organisations and persons connected with them that is exempt from income tax on 27 March 2019.
    This document has changed over time. View its history.

Status of this decision: Decision withdrawn 27 March 2019.
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you will need to ensure that the relevant provisions referred to in the decision have not been amended or repealed.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 income received by an Australian resident taxpayer as an official of a body established by an international organisation for the provision of independent professional services carried out in Australia assessable under subsection 6-5(2) of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (ITAA 1997)?

Decision

No. The income received by the Australian resident taxpayer as an official of a body established by the international organisation for the provision of independent professional services carried out in Australia is not assessable under subsection 6-5(2) of the ITAA 1997. The income is exempt from tax under the International Organisations (Privileges & Immunities) Act 1963 (IO(P&I)A) and the regulations made under that Act that relate to the international organisation.

Facts

The taxpayer is a citizen of and a resident of Australia for tax purposes.

The taxpayer has been appointed to an office of a body established by an international organisation. That office is not a high office.

The international organisation is listed in the regulations of the IO(P&I)A.

The taxpayer provides professional services to the body in return for remuneration.

The taxpayer is not an employee.

The taxpayer carries out their activities in Australia.

Reasons for Decision

Subsection 6-5(2) of the ITAA 1997 provides that the assessable income of an Australian resident will include ordinary income derived from all sources, whether in or out of Australia, during the income year.

Income from professional services is ordinary income for the purposes of subsection 6-5(2) of the ITAA 1997.

However, subsection 6-15(2) of the ITAA 1997 provides that if an amount is exempt income then it is not assessable income.

Section 6-20 of the ITAA 1997 provides that an amount of ordinary income is exempt income if it is made exempt from income tax by a provision of the ITAA 1997 or another Commonwealth law.

The IO(P&I)A is a Commonwealth law under which an international organisation, and persons engaged by it, may be accorded certain privileges and immunities including an exemption from tax.

Subsection 5(1) of the IO(P&I)A provides that the regulations may declare an organisation to be an organisation to which this Act applies.

Paragraph 3(1)(b) of the IO(P&I)A defines the term an 'international organisation to which this Act applies' to mean an organisation that is declared by the regulations to be an international organisation to which this Act applies, and includes a body established by such an organisation.

Subparagraph 6(1)(d)(i) of the IO(P&I)A provides that the regulations may confer all or any of the privileges and immunities set out in Part I of the Fourth Schedule upon a person who holds an office in an international organisation to which this Act applies, not being an office prescribed by the relevant regulations as a high office.

The taxpayer is an official of a body established by an international organisation. Regulations relating to the international organisation have been made under the IO(P&I)A. Therefore, the body established by the international organisation is an international organisation to which the IO(P&I)A applies.

The regulations provide that a person who holds an office in the international organisation, other than a high office, has the privileges and immunities specified in Part I of the Fourth Schedule to the IO(P&I)A.

The taxpayer holds an office in the international organisation. That office is not a high office.

Paragraph 2 of Part I of the Fourth Schedule to the IO(P&I) Act provides an exemption from taxation on salary and emoluments received from the international organisation.

There is nothing in the IO(P&I)A or the regulations which restricts the privileges and immunities afforded to the taxpayer to those circumstances when the taxpayer is performing their duties outside Australia.

Accordingly, as the income is exempt income under section 6-20 of the ITAA 1997, it is not assessable under subsection 6-5(2) of the ITAA 1997.

Date of decision:  25 February 2004

Year of income:  Year ended 30 June 2004

Legislative References:
Income Tax Assessment Act 1997
   subsection 6-5(2)
   subsection 6-15(2)
   section 6-20

International Organisations (Privileges and Immunities) Act 1963
   paragraph 3(1)(b)
   subsection 5(1)
   subparagraph 6(1)(d)(i)
   Fourth Schedule, paragraph 2 of Part I

Related Public Rulings (including Determinations)
Taxation Ruling TR 92/14
Taxation Ruling TR 92/14A - Addendum

Related ATO Interpretative Decisions
ATO ID 2004/286
ATO ID 2004/287

Keywords
Exempt income
International law
International tax
Remuneration to officials of various international organisations

Siebel/TDMS Reference Number:  3916838

Business Line:  Public Groups and International

Date of publication:  26 March 2004

ISSN: 1445-2782

history
  Date: Version:
  25 February 2004 Original statement
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