Home' Army News : September 17th 2009 Contents THE level of work-related deductions made
by some ADF members in their income tax
returns has been noted by the Tax Office as
Even if you use a tax agent to lodge your tax return,
you are responsible for the deductions you claim. It's
important to seek a reputable and registered tax practi-
tioner. To check if a tax agent is registered, visit www.
Transporting bulky equipment
The cost of travel to and from work is usually not an
allowable deduction. However, you can claim a deduc-
tion for the cost of transporting bulky tools and equip-
ment between home and work if the following apply:
you are required to use them at work, and
there is no secure area for storing them at your
The Australian Tax Office explains some common
work-related deductions for soldiers.
Guide to tax deductions
18 SPECIAL REPORT
Army September 17, 2009
actual costs and your work-related use of that area of
the house, or use a fixed rate of 26 cents an hour for use
of the facilities in that area of the house.
Example 1: David keeps his kitbag at home because
there is no secure place to keep it at work. David's unit
was placed on a 24-hour high-readiness notice which
required him to bring his kitbag to work. The cost of
transporting the kitbag is an allowable deduction.
Example 2: David had a field activity that required the
use of his kitbag. He can claim the cost of transporting
his kitbag between home and work for the activity.
Home office expenses
If you work at home you may incur running expens-
es for services such as lighting, heating and cooling,
cleaning costs and the cost of repairs to furniture in the
home office. You can also claim the work-related part
of the decline in value of office furniture and fittings.
You can claim a deduction for all the running costs
for the home office if that area is used exclusively (100
per cent) for work-related activities.
If you work in an area of the home not used 100 per
cent for work-related activities, you can claim a deduc-
tion for part of the total running costs if you work there
when others aren't present or you use a separate room.
You can either keep a diary of the details of your
Work-related self-education expenses
If you are doing an educational course that results
in a formal qualification, you can claim a deduction for
self-education expenses at item D4 on your tax return
the course maintains or improves the specific skills
or knowledge you need in your current role, or
the course results in, or is likely to result in, an
increase in your income from your current role.
Self-education expenses can include textbooks, sta-
tionery, student union fees, course fees, certain travel
expenses and the decline in value of equipment to the
extent it is used for self-education purposes.
Costs for attending seminars, conferences, work-
shops or training courses connected to your work
should be claim as other work-related expenses (item
D5 on your tax return). You cannot claim any costs paid
or reimbursed by your employer.
Example: Jim is an officer who works in his lounge
room where the rest of the family can watch television,
so the costs of lighting and heating/cooling are private
and not deductible. If Jim uses the room when others
aren't present, or goes into a separate room, he can
claim a deduction for additional running costs associ-
ated with the work activities. This applies even though
the room is not solely a home office.
Soldiers must maintain a high level of physical fit-
ness, but some in special units must maintain fitness
levels well above the general Army standard. Examples
of these include physical training instructors and those
in special combat squads.
You can only claim a deduction for costs for attend-
ing a fitness course or gym membership fees if you can
you're required to maintain a level of fitness well
above the general Army standard, and
physical activity is an essential and regular element
of your job.
As part of your physical training you are required
to wear suitable sports attire. Whether you can claim a
deduction for the cost of this attire depends on the type
of clothing worn.
Example: Joan is a technician and is studying for an
advanced system technician diploma. Because the
course relates to her current job and will improve her
chance of promotion, Joan can claim a deduction for its
cost. If Joan was studying to become a medical officer,
she could not claim a deduction because it would be
unrelated to her current role.
Example: Doug is a corporal and he's required to play
rugby union on his weekly sports afternoon, when he
is considered to be on duty. He also plays with the
same Army team in the local civilian competition on
weekends. Doug can claim a deduction for expenses
incurred for his sports afternoon, but not for his week-
Example 1: John is paid extra remuneration to main-
tain the very highest level of fitness. To maintain this
level, he does extra training three times a week at a
city gym. His gym fees are an allowable deduction.
Example 2: Jennifer undertakes fitness training three
times a week while on duty. She also attends her local
gym in her own time. Because Jennifer is not required
to maintain an above standard level of fitness, she can-
not claim a deduction for her gym fees.
Conventional clothing: Conventional clothing such
as tracksuits, shorts, T-shirts, socks and sports shoes are
not allowable deductions.
Non-compulsory physical training clothing:
Although certain units have designed their own physi-
cal training clothing with the logo or emblem of their
particular unit, this clothing is non-compulsory and is
not part of the traditional Army uniform, and cannot be
claimed as a deduction.
Compulsory physical training clothing: Where
physical training clothing forms part of a compulsory
uniform, you may claim a deduction for costs incurred.
Examples of compulsory physical training clothing
include official monogrammed shirts, shorts and track-
suits that clearly identify to the public that you are a
member of the ADF.
A deduction is allowable for costs of taking part in
a sporting activity if you are considered to be on duty
while participating in the activity as an official Army
representative at interservice or combined service com-
petitions, or you are required to be involved in the activ-
ity as part of your normal income-earning activities.
Further information is available on www.ato.gov.au/individuals
and select: Your situation -- Employment -- Work-related expenses
-- Deductions for specific occupations.
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