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The AAT has held that a lawyer specialising in rapid adjudications in building and construction disputes, but who hoped to take on aviation matters for clients, was not entitled to a deduction for the cost of converting his New Zealand private pilot’s licence (first obtained in 1982) to an Australian one.

In rejecting the taxpayer's claim, the AAT said, at paras 16-17:

"The skill that the taxpayer has is the skill-set of a lawyer. I do not accept that a practicing [sic] lawyer seeking to expand into aviation law needs to update an existing pilot’s licence in order to do so. Those are practical, task oriented skills, not related to practice of law with its body of professional knowledge...In other words, I am not satisfied that the nexus between the outgoings and gaining or producing assessable income is made out here."

The Taxpayer and FCT [2011] AATA 318 (AAT, Carstairs SM, 13 May 2011).


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