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Defence Force Personal Tax Returns

As Canberra based accounting specialists, DFK Everalls understand the unique needs of Australian Defence Force Personnel in relation to taxation.

We have been working with Australian Defence Force personnel for over 30 years as well as clients all over Australia, so even if you relocate we can continue to look after your interests.

There a number of defence force personnel tax deductions that you can take advantage of, including

  • Car Expenses
  • Clothing & Related Expenses
  • Home Office Expenses
  • Self Education Expenses
  • Fitness Expenses
  • Other work-related expenses
  • ERD – Extra Regimental Duties

Understanding what you can and cannot claim

Car Expenses

You can claim a deduction when you

  • drive between separate jobs on the same day
    Drive to and from an alternate workplace on the same day – ie  if you are required to travel from your normal Army base to another military base to attend a fitness assessment.

You generally can’t claim

  • the cost of trips between home and work, even if you are travelling a long distance or have to work outside normal hours.

You need to make sure you keep a log book to determine work related expenses

 

Clothing and Related Expenses

Military service uniforms are compulsory uniforms and as such you can claim a deduction for items such as:

  • military white, blue or khaki shirts with rank or other embellishments
  • standard matching trousers
  • regulation jumpers and jackets
  • official mess uniform
  • hats or caps with rank or other embellishments
  • service dress shoes
  • service handbags and clutch bags
  • socks and stockings
  • camouflage shirts and trousers.

You can also claim a deduction for

  • Laundry or dry cleaning of your uniforms
  • Protective clothing (such as wet weather gear, hi-vis clothing safety gloves & goggles, steel capped boots, gum boots or sun protection clothing

To claim a deduction you may need to have written evidence that you purchased the clothing and diary records or written evidence of your cleaning costs. Written evidence must be kept for a representative period of at least one month if both of the following apply:

  • the amount you claim is greater than $150
  • your total claim for work-related expenses exceeds $300.

If you received an allowance from your employer for clothing, uniforms, laundry or dry-cleaning, make sure you show the amount of the allowance on your tax return as it is assessable income. You can only claim a deduction for the amount you actually spent.

You cannot claim runners or gym equipment as a deduction as they are not uniform expenses, the exception being special forces training.

 

Home Office Expenses

You can claim a percentage of the running costs of your home office if you have to work from home

You generally can’t claim the costs of rates, mortgage interest, rent and insurance

 

Self Education Expenses

You can claim a deduction for self-education expenses if your course relates directly to your job, or you next likely promotion as planned by the ADF.

You can’t claim a deduction if you study or seminar is only related in a general way or is designed to help you get a new job – ie outside the ADF

 

Fitness Expenses

You can only claim the cost of fitness expenses if your job requires you to maintain a fitness well above the ADF general standard.

You can’t claim a deduction for the cost of gym fees to maintain your personal fitness

 

Other Work Related Expenses

As long as the expense relates to your employment, you can claim a deduction for the work-related portion of the cost of

  • Technical or professional publications
  • Compulsory mess subscriptions
  • Union and professional association fees.

You can can’t claim a deduction for the cost of

  • Attending social functions
  • Haircuts, grooming, weight loss programs or supplies, even though the ADF has specific regulations.

Extra regimental duties (ERD)

You can claim a deduction for costs incurred in performing ERDs as long as the ERD activity forms part of your income-earning activities and it isn’t a private or domestic expense.

Don’t leave your deductions to chance.

Talk to a member of our team today about helping you with all your defence force personal taxation requirements.

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