Are you receiving Personal Services Income?

Do you earn personal services income (PSI)?


While most people may think that it only applies to builders or tradies, it may also apply to any instance where individuals work and earn income using their personal effort or skills.

PSI generally only applies to individuals who receive more than 50% of their ordinary or statutory income from a contract as a reward for their personal effort or skills. An example that most people would be familiar with is a sole trader tradesperson using their skills to earn income, either directly or through an interposed entity (a PSE). However, PSI can apply to any industry, trade or profession where individuals use their personal effort or skills. This includes so-called “white collar” professionals in IT, finance and medicine, in addition to the construction industry and related trades.

If you earn PSI during the income year, the deductions that can be claimed will be limited to the deductions that you could have claimed if you were an employee (rather than someone earning PSI) and the income earned was salary and wages. This means that, for example, you would be unable to deduct rent, mortgage, interest, rates or land tax in relation to a residence or part of a residence that you use to gain or produce your PSI. This rule applies to all PSI, regardless of whether it is earned as a sole trader or through a company, partnership or trust. To avoid that outcome, individuals/personal services entities (PSEs) can generally self-assess whether they conduct a personal services business (PSB) against four tests. If any one of the four tests is met during an income year, the PSI rules will not apply to limit the deductions available to the individual or PSE.

Your tax professional can guide you through the maze.