ATO Interpretative Decision

ATO ID 2001/699 (Withdrawn)

Income Tax

Income: Employee share scheme (assessability of options received prior to redundancy)
FOI status: may be released
  • This ATO ID is withdrawn because it contains a view in respect of a provision of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 that does not apply after the 2008-09 income year. Despite its withdrawal, this ATO ID continues to be a precedential ATO view in respect of decisions for income years up to, and including, the 2008-09 income year.
    This document has changed over time. View its history.

Status of this decision: Decision withdrawn 18 July 2014
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you will need to ensure that the relevant provisions referred to in the decision have not been amended or repealed.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 a discount given, in relation to options acquired under an employee share scheme, excluded from assessable income under section 139DD of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 (ITAA 1936) where the taxpayer, upon redundancy, loses the right to exercise those options?

Decision

Yes. The discount is excluded from assessable income as the requirements of section 139DD of the ITAA 1936 have been satisfied.

Facts

The taxpayer acquired options under an employee share scheme within the meaning of section 139C of the ITAA 1936.

The taxpayer elected under section 139E of the ITAA 1936 to include the discount given in relation to the options, in his assessable income in the year the options were acquired.

The taxpayer was made redundant by his employer, being the company which issued the options. As a result, the taxpayer lost the right to exercise the options.

The options were acquired before 1 July 2009.

Reasons for Decision

Section 139E of the ITAA 1936 allows a taxpayer to elect to include the discount given, in relation to a share or right acquired under an employee share scheme, in the taxpayer's assessable income in the year the share or right was acquired.

Section 139DD of the ITAA 1936 provides that a right to acquire a share in a company is never acquired by a taxpayer if both of the following two requirements are satisfied:

(1)
The taxpayer loses the right without having exercised it.
(2)
The company is the employer of the taxpayer or a holding company of the employer of the taxpayer at the time the right is acquired.

In this case, as the taxpayer has lost the right to exercise the options, and the company which issued the options was the employer of the taxpayer at the time the options were acquired, the conditions in section 139DD of the ITAA 1936 are satisfied.

Therefore, the discount is excluded from assessable income. The taxpayer's assessment is amended under section 170 of the ITAA 1936 to exclude the discount from assessable income. Subsection 139DD(4) of the ITAA 1936 allows an assessment to be amended at any time for the purpose of giving effect to section 139DD of the ITAA 1936.

Note: Division 13A of the ITAA 1936 (about employee share schemes) was repealed by Act No. 133 of 2009 and replaced by Division 83A of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 which applies in full to 'ESS interests' acquired on or after 1 July 2009. The Income Tax (Transitional Provisions) Act 1997 extends the application of Division 83A to ESS interests acquired before 1 July 2009 in certain cases on which tax was deferred beyond that date under the former Division 13A regime.

Amendment History

Date of amendment Part Comment
17 July 2014 Facts Updated to improve clarity.
Reasons for Decision Updated to improve clarity and to insert note about the transitional application of the new rules in Division 83A of the ITAA 1997.
Legislative references and Related ATO Interpretative Decisions Updated references to improve clarity and completeness and to include a related ATO Interpretative Decision.

Date of decision:  11 October 2001

Legislative References:
Income Tax Assessment Act 1997
   Division 83A

Income Tax Assessment Act 1936
   Division 13A
   section 139C
   section 139DD
   subsection 139DD(4)
   section 139E
   section 170

Income Tax (Transitional Provisions) Act 1997
   The Act

Related ATO Interpretative Decisions
ATO ID 2003/189

Keywords
Income
Forfeiture of rights & entitlements
Employee share schemes & options

Business Line:  Small Business/Individual Taxpayers

Date of publication:  30 November 2001

ISSN: 1445-2782

history
  Date: Version:
  11 October 2001 Original statement
  17 July 2014 Updated statement
You are here 18 July 2014 Withdrawn