Home' Army News : September 16th 2010 Contents Merici College ....
is a quality, affordable non-government secondary school,
educating girls in a Catholic environment
for its strong focus on pastoral care
ADF mentor on site
technology rich environment
and neighbouring NSW centres
To find out more about Merici College
see our bsite at www.merici.act.edu.au
or contact the Enrolment Officer Ms Trish Ryan on (02) 6243 4102
or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Caters for ADF families in the ACT
REMEMBER that even if you use
a tax agent to lodge your tax return,
you are responsible for the deduc-
tions you claim.
Some Army members have used
unregistered tax agents in the past, so
it's important you seek a reputable and
registered tax practitioner. To check if
your tax agent is registered, visit www.
The cost of travel to and from work
is usually not an allowable deduction.
However, you can claim a deduction
for the cost of transporting bulky tools
and equipment between home and
work only if the following apply:
you are required to use them at
there is no secure area for storing
them at your workplace.
Example: 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 into work. The cost of
transporting the kitbag into work is an
David had a field activity that
required the use of his kitbag. David
can claim the cost of transporting his
kitbag between home and work for the
Home office expenses
If you work at home you may incur
running expenses for services such as
lighting, heating and cooling, clean-
ing 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 (depreciation) of your
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 exclusively (100 per cent) for
work-related activities, you can claim
a deduction for part of the total run-
ning costs if you work there when oth-
ers aren't present or you use a separate
You can either keep a diary of the
details of your actual costs and your
work-related use of that area of the
house, or use a fixed rate of 26c per
hour for use of the facilities in that
area of the house.
Example: Jim is an officer. He
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 associated
with the work activities. This applies
even though the room is not set aside
solely as a home office.
If you are doing an educational
course that results in a formal qualifi-
cation, you can claim a deduction for
self-education expenses at item D4 on
your tax return if:
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, stationery, student union
fees, course fees, certain travel expens-
es and the decline in value (deprecia-
tion) of equipment to the extent it is
used for self-education purposes.
If you incur costs for attending
seminars, conferences, workshops or
training courses connected to your
work activities, you should claim them
as other work-related expenses (item
D5 on your tax return).
You cannot claim any costs paid or
reimbursed by your employer.
Example: Joan is a technician
and is studying for an advanced sys-
tem technician diploma. Because
the course relates to her 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 unre-
lated to her current role.
Most Army members must main-
tain a high level of physical fitness, 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 attending a fitness course or
gym membership fees if you can dem-
you're required to maintain a level
of fitness well above the general Army
physical activity is an essential and
regular element of your job.
Example: John is paid extra remu-
neration to maintain the very highest
level of fitness. To maintain this level,
John does extra training three times a
week at a city gym. His gym fees are
an allowable deduction.
Jennifer undertakes fitness training
three times per 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 cannot claim a
deduction for her gym fees.
As part of your PT, 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. The types are:
conventional PT clothing;
non-compulsory PT clothing; and
compulsory PT clothing.
Conventional clothing such as track-
suits, shorts, T-shirts, socks and sports
shoes are not allowable deductions.
Although certain units have
designed their own physical training
clothing with their logo or emblem,
this clothing is non-compulsory and
is not part of the traditional Army
The level of work-related deductions made by some Army members
in their income tax returns has been noted by the Australian Taxation
Office as unusually high. This article may help you correctly claim work-
Is your tax fit
uniform, and cannot be claimed as a
Where PT clothing forms part of a
compulsory uniform, you may claim a
deduction for costs incurred.
Examples of compulsory PT cloth-
ing include official monogrammed
shirts, shorts and tracksuits that clearly
identify to the public you are a mem-
ber of the ADF, such as a shirt with
an official monogram of a regimental
To maintain fitness, many members
choose to participate in a sporting
activity. A deduction is allowable for
expenses incurred when taking part in
a sporting activity if:
you are considered to be on duty
while participating in the activity:
you're participating as an official
Army representative at interservice
or combined service competitions; or
you're required to take part in the
activity as part of your normal
income earning activities.
Example: Doug is a corporal and
is 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
Doug can claim a deduction for
expenses incurred for his sports after-
noon, but not for his weekend sport.
Further information regarding common deduc-
tions specific to ADF members is available
at www.ato.gov.au/individuals and select:
your situation -- employment -- work-related
expenses -- occupational guides to help you
complete your tax return.
28 PERSONNEL -- TAX FEATURE
Army September 16, 2010
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