Taxation Ruling

TR 93/37

Income tax: Medicare levy - Defence Force personnel on overseas postings

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FOI status:

may be releasedFOI number: I 1013997

contents para
What this Ruling is about
1
Ruling
3
Date of effect
10
Definitions
11
Explanations
12
Previous Rulings
14

Preamble

This Ruling, to the extent that it is capable of being a 'public ruling' in terms of Part IVAAA of the Taxation Administration Act 1953, is a public ruling for the purposes of that Part. Taxation Ruling TR 92/1 explains when a Ruling is a public ruling and how it is binding on the Commissioner.

What this Ruling is about

1. This Ruling deals with the liability to Medicare levy of Defence Force personnel on overseas postings.

2. This Ruling should be read in conjunction with Taxation Ruling TR 93/35.

Ruling

Exemption from Levy

3. In accordance with paragraph 251T(a) and paragraph 251U(1)(a) of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936, a Defence Force member on an overseas posting is fully exempt from the Medicare levy where:

*
the member is entitled to receive free medical treatment; and
*
the member's dependants are entitled to receive free medical treatment.

Dependants not Entitled to Free Medical Treatment

4. Where a Defence Force member on an overseas posting is entitled to free medical treatment but the member's dependants are not entitled to receive free medical treatment, the member is generally liable to half the Medicare levy.

Relief from Partial Levy from 1 July 1989

5. From the year of income commencing 1 July 1989, relief from liability to half the Medicare levy is available to a Defence Force member where:

*
the dependant is required to pay the levy or;
*
the spouse is liable to pay the levy and contributes to the maintenance of a dependant.

Taxpayer and Spouse both Defence Force Members

6. Where both the taxpayer and his/her spouse are Defence Force members, a child of theirs may be treated as a dependant of only one spouse. Only that spouse will be liable to pay one half of the levy and the other spouse will be exempt. In these cases a 'family agreement' must be entered into as explained in Taxation Ruling TR 93/35.

Part Reimbursement of Medical Costs

7. A Defence Force member on an overseas posting, other than to Butterworth Airbase in Malaysia (where special arrangements apply), is entitled to a part reimbursement of any medical costs on 'prescribed services' in respect of an 'eligible person'. It is considered that these reimbursement arrangements do not constitute free medical treatment and in these circumstances the member is generally liable to half the Medicare levy.

Butterworth Airbase in Malaysia

8. Because of special arrangements that apply, dependants of a Defence Force member who accompany that member to Butterworth Airbase in Malaysia, are entitled to free medical treatment. The member is therefore exempt from the levy in respect of these dependants.

9. However, if, for example, a dependant of a Defence Force member does not accompany the family to Butterworth Airbase but remains at school in Australia and is not otherwise entitled to free medical treatment, then not all dependants of the member are entitled to free medical treatment and in these circumstances the member would generally be liable to half the levy.

Date of effect

10. This Ruling applies to years commencing both before and after its date of issue. However, the Ruling does not apply to taxpayers to the extent that it conflicts with the terms of a settlement of a dispute agreed to before the date of issue of the Ruling (see paragraphs 21 and 22 of Taxation Ruling TR 92/20).

Definitions

11. The following definitions of key terms apply for this Ruling:

dependants
-
has the same meaning as appears in subsection 251R(3) ie. a spouse, a child less than 16 years of age or a child between 16 and 25 years of age attending full time education and the Defence Force member contributes to their maintenance.
prescribed service
-
is defined by the Department of Defence to mean a health service rendered outside Australia for which, if rendered in Australia by a duly qualified practitioner, a person would be entitled to be paid a Medicare benefit.
eligible person
-
is defined by the Department of Defence in relation to a member to mean:

*
a spouse of the member; and
*
a dependant child less than 21 years of age.

Explanations

Reimbursement Arrangements for Prescribed Services

12. Where a Defence force member on an overseas posting necessarily incurs medical costs for a 'prescribed service' for an 'eligible person', the member is entitled to part reimbursement of these costs. It is considered that these reimbursement arrangements do not constitute free medical treatment in terms of paragraph 251U(1)(a).

Arrangements for Postings to Butterworth Airbase in Malaysia

13. Special conditions of service exist for Defence Force members posted to the Butterworth Airbase in Malaysia. Under long-standing arrangements the families of members accompanying them to Malaysia are entitled to free medical, dental, hospitalisation and optometry treatment from the RAAF medical organisation at Butterworth. Provided all dependants of a member are entitled to free medical treatment, the member is exempt from the Medicare levy. Otherwise the member is generally liable to half the levy.

Previous Rulings

14. The relevant principles from Taxation Ruling IT 2342 have been incorporated into this Ruling. Accordingly, Taxation Ruling IT 2342 is now withdrawn.

Commissioner of Taxation
4 November 1993

Previously released in draft form as TR 93/D34

References

ATO references:
NO 85/6477-9
BO NEWTR1

ISSN 1039 - 0731

Related Rulings/Determinations:

TD 93/103
TR 93/35

Subject References:
- Defence Forces
- Medicare levy
- overseas postings

Legislative References:
- ITAA 251R
- ITAA 251T
- ITAA 251U

TR 93/37 history
  Date: Version: Change:
You are here 4 November 1993 Original ruling  
  30 January 2013 Consolidated ruling Addendum