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Taxation Institute welcomes frequent flyer Ruling

Publication date: 29 Aug 97 | Source: THE TAX INSTITUTE

The Taxation Institute of Australia today welcomed the Tax Office's draft Ruling accepting that frequent flyer benefits are not taxable income.

Taxation Institute President, Mr Richard Gelski said that the Institute had made a comprehensive submission to the Tax Office on this issue and it was pleasing to see that all of its recommendations had been accepted in the draft Ruling.

"The fact that the Tax Office had acted upon the Tax Institute's recommendations in this case demonstrates that the Tax Office can sometimes be responsive to genuine taxpayer concerns and is not merely blinded to protecting the revenue as so often it is argued," Mr Gelski said.

"The role of the Tax Office is to ensure that taxpayers pay the correct amount of tax and that means that the Tax Office ought not cling to interpretations of the law where it has been demonstrated that its initial views are not correct," he said.

Mr Gelski said that the draft Ruling applied to tax collected prior to the issue of the Ruling and this meant that taxpayers who have paid income tax on benefits are entitled to a refund. Taxpayers generally have 4 years within which to seek an amendment of their assessments. Taxpayers who have paid income tax on benefits should ensure that they request amendments promptly to ensure that they may obtain the full benefit of the Ruling.

The draft Ruling also covers employers who may have paid FBT on benefits.

"This tax would also be refundable where an amendment is made within 4 years", Mr Gelski said.