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On 3 May 2011, the ATO issued Taxpayer Alert TA 2011/3 entitled "Arrangements involving holiday travel claimed as a work related, investment or self-education expense".

The Taxpayer Alert describes arrangements where a taxpayer claims a deduction for expenses incurred in relation to various educational courses and seminars ("educational activities") where the expenses have insufficient connection with the taxpayer's current income-earning activities and are private or domestic in nature. These expenses include the costs for domestic or overseas travel on a holiday activity or to a holiday destination.

The educational activities may include, but are not limited to, the taxpayer:

  • Purchasing a self-study training program (for example CD, DVD and/or written publications) which may be undertaken at a holiday destination of the taxpayer's choice;
  • Undertaking a self-study training program and/or attending a seminar on board a cruise ship; or
  • Undertaking an educational activity such as a wealth creation seminar whilst travelling.

The ATO is currently reviewing these arrangements.

The Taxpayer Alert notes that where an activity is undertaken both for income-earning purposes and for private purposes, it is necessary to apportion the expenses between the purposes.


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