Case K68

HP Stevens Ch

CF Fairleigh QC
JR Harrowell M

No. 1 Board of Review

Judgment date: 23 November 1978.

H.P. Stevens (Chairman); C.F. Fairleigh Q.C. and J.R. Harrowell (Members): The question at issue in this reference is whether or not the taxpayer, an employee, is entitled to a deduction in respect of the cost of a certain daily paper and another weekly paper in terms of sec. 51(1).

2. During the year of income concerned the taxpayer changed his employment but the claim applies equally in relation to both periods of employment. In essence his claim was that, because it was necessary to keep up to date with developments in the fields of company and securities law and taxation law and it was more convenient for him to acquire his own papers in lieu of having recourse to copies available in his employers' libraries, the cost thereof could properly be regarded as being incurred in gaining or producing his assessable income and as not being of a private nature. There was no requirement by his employers that he should personally purchase his own copies of the respective papers but the taxpayer considered

ATC 668

that by so doing his performance of his duties was assisted whilst the fact they also contained general interest topics was not regarded by him as being relevant.

3. For the Commissioner it was argued that it had not been shown that the expenditure was within the positive limbs of sec. 51(1) and also that the expenditure was of a private nature.

4. In Case K28,
78 ATC 276 the principles relating to claims by employees are set out and, applying these to the present case, the result is that it has not been shown the taxpayer was required (in the appropriate sense) to incur the expenditure at issue.

5. It follows that the Commissioner's decision on the objection is upheld and the assessment for the year ended 30 June 1977 confirmed.

Claim disallowed

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