Taxation Determination

TD 1999/35

Income tax: are joining fees or annual fees paid for a 'consumer loyalty program' an allowable deduction?

  • Please note that the PDF version is the authorised version of this ruling.

FOI status:

may be releasedFOI number: I 1020102

This Taxation Determination is a 'public ruling' for the purposes of Part IVAAA of the Taxation Administration Act 1953 and is legally binding on the Commissioner. Taxation Rulings TR 92/1 and TR 97/16 together explain when a Determination is a public ruling and how it is legally binding.
Date of Effect
This Determination applies to years commencing both before and after its date of issue. However, this Determination does not apply to taxpayers to the extent that it conflicts with the terms of settlement of a dispute agreed to before the date of the Determination (see paragraphs 21 and 22 of Taxation Ruling TR 92/20).

1. No, except when paid by an employer as a cost of employing a person or where they form part of a business activity, as there would otherwise be no nexus between the expenditure and the derivation of assessable income.

2. A 'consumer loyalty program' is defined in Taxation Ruling TR 1999/6 'Income tax and fringe benefits tax: flight rewards received under frequent flyer and other similar consumer loyalty programs'.

Commissioner of Taxation
16 June 1999

TD 98/D11


ATO references:
NO NAT 98/6907-7
BO 97/5833-0

ISSN 1038 - 8982

Related Rulings/Determinations:

TR 1999/6
TD 1999/34
TD 1999/D28

Subject References:
deductions and expenses
frequent flyer benefits
non-cash benefits

Legislative References:
ITAA97 8-1