Financial planners, retirement planners advice wanted

This is on behalf of cricket umpires…or any sort of umpires…acting as a hobby.

We’re finding it hard to get new umpires because the old codgers are worried that the pay for umpires is going to cause them to lose pension entitlements.

We’ve always heard that umpires’ fees are not counted as assessable income for tax purposes, because it’s considered a hobby and your expenses in getting to the ground, equipment etc pretty much balance against the pay. That’s whether you’re on the pension or not.

However, is it counted as income when reducing pension amounts? We’d need chapter and verse quotes from official rulings.

We know there’s a limit, but that’s said to really only apply to umpires with professional contracts. The pay is paid in fortnightly via bank accounts, so impossible to hide. The comp we absorbed a couple of years ago paid cash on the day, and a lot of their umpires prefer to keep that going and umpire in the lower divisions for their old clubs. An added benefit is that their wives don’t see it and it’s pocket money for a beer or ten.

That’s the best I can find.

I would suggest no, but I’m not 100% certain.

It shouldn’t matter as it’s a hobby rather than a job

However if it’s deemed a job these are the thresholds. I don’t think you’re getting more than $204/fortnight are you?

Mrs Soulnet said that would be one they would call centrelink for an answer.

Services Australia website has lots of info. I think the fact the ATO states it’s a hobby rather than work means you’re in the clear as you only need to report “income” to Services Australia.

Sadly yes it is

Unless of course it is (or could be seen to be) reimbursement for expenses.

You’re correct re ATO definitions though and could ask them for a private ruling which may help some but not those reliant on pensions.

If you umpire every week, it’s $260-$400 per fortnight depending on grade of cricket.

We’ve been told repeatedly that it’s considered a hobby and not assessable on either level.

I have another contact who handles this for two competitions and I’m told that he has the details.

if you do a Google search for ATO CR2003/102, there’s some info from a while back. Hopefully still relevant

I can’t find anything remotely relevant there, but there’s a Work Bonus of $300 per fortnight which isn’t assessable against the pension. Division 2 umpires could get $330 for 2 days, Division 1 $400.

Still waiting for calls back.