Case P114

HP Stevens Ch

JR Harrowell M
BR Pape M

No. 1 Board of Review

Judgment date: 9 December 1982.

H.P. Stevens (Chairman)

The question at issue in this reference is whether the taxpayer, an employee, is entitled to a deduction in respect of the cost of the publications Financial Review and National Times.

2. In 1968 the taxpayer joined the Australian Taxation Office as a clerk in another State and following the completion of a university degree course became an assessor in that State. In 1974 he transferred to the A.C.T. Office and later to the Head Office in the A.C.T. Subsequently he failed to gain a promotion - it being suggested his technical experience needed broadening - and he took a sideways transfer to another division of Head Office. Later he was promoted back to his original division and he said he then perceived a plan to consolidate the knowledge he had gained in the division from which he was promoted. This involved, inter alia, the purchase of the Financial Review and National Times as an adjunct to the process of keeping up to date with the frequent amendments to the Act.

3. During the 1978 year he was promoted to another division and in 1979 transferred sideways to a further division. It was in this division that he worked during the year in question. Broadly speaking he had a role in relation to training for the technical areas of the Taxation Office and it helped him to have the publications as an adjunct to the official sources available to him. He called as a witness the officer who was in that period his officer in charge. That person deposed that he allowed the taxpayer to read those publications in office hours. However he had not seen fit to have the officer either placed on the circulation list for the ``office copy''

ATC 587

or to apply to have a special copy purchased for use in the section concerned. He also deposed that it was not a condition of the taxpayer's employment that he purchase the publications nor did he require the taxpayer to do so.

4. I accept that the taxpayer (although interested in politics and economics) found the publications (at times) of assistance to him in the carrying out of his duties. However I am not persuaded that the taxpayer's position is anything different to the valuers employed by the Taxation Office whose claims were rejected by Board of Review No. 2 in Case N67,
81 ATC 349 or the air traffic controller whose claims were rejected by this Board in Case P32,
82 ATC 146. In my view the principles followed in those two cases are the correct ones to follow and, applying the facts of the present case thereto, a negative result follows.

5. For the above reasons I would uphold the Commissioner's decision on the objection and confirm the taxpayer's assessment for the year ended 30 June 1981.

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