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Australia: Grants and price money of professional athlete not subject to income tax

An Australian former Olympic athlete (a javelin thrower) combined a full time employment in the Queensland Police Force with sports activities. For the latter activities she received prize money, sponsorship payment, government grants and appearance fees (of over 120,000 AUD). The Judge at first instance held that she conducted her sporting activities as a business and held that the entire income from the sports activities was taxable. However, the Full Federal Court held that the athlete was not carrying on a business and therefore the prize money and grants were held not to be subject to income tax. Appearance fees and sponsorship payments were considered by the Full Federal Court to be payments for services and therefore subject to income tax. The Australian tax authorities have appealed the decision.

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