To prepare for tax time 2021, we have created a list of deductions you are able to claim if you work for the Australian Defence Force or if you are a Public servant.
You can claim a deduction when you drive between separate jobs on the same day, or when you drive to and from an alternate workplace for the same employer on the same day (e.g. if you are required to travel from your normal Army base to another military base to attend a fitness assessment). You are unable to claim the cost of trips between home and work, even if you live a long way from your usual workplace or have to work outside normal business hours. In some circumstances you can claim the cost of trips between home and work where you are required to carry bulky tools or equipment for work.
As a public servant, you can also claim a deduction when you drive between separate jobs on the same day (e.g. from your public service job to a second job as a musician).
You can claim the cost of fitness expenses if your job requires you to maintain fitness well above the ADF general standard (e.g. if you are a physical training instructor with the Australian Special Forces). You cannot claim a deduction for the cost of gym fees to maintain your personal fitness.
Home Office Expenses
You can claim a percentage of the running costs of your home office if you have to work from home, including depreciation of office equipment, work-related phone calls and internet access charges, and electricity for heating, cooling, and lighting costs. If you are required to purchase equipment for your work and it costs more than $300, you can claim a deduction for this cost spread over a number of years (depreciation). You generally cannot claim the cost of rates, mortgage interest, rent, and insurance.
You can claim a deduction for self-education expenses if your course relates directly to your current job or to the next likely promotion as planned by the ADF. You cannot claim a deduction if your study or seminary is only related in a general way or is designed to help you get a new job (e.g. to enable you to move to a job outside of the ADF).
You can claim a deduction for the cost of buying, hiring, mending, or cleaning certain uniforms that are unique and distinctive to your job (e.g. clothing items you’re required to wear which have a logo that is unique and distinctive to your employer or protective clothing that your employer requires you to wear.
As long as the expense relates to your employment, you can claim a deduction for the work-related portion of the cost of seminars and conferences, technical or professional publications, compulsory mess subscriptions, union and professional association fees. You cannot claim a deduction of the cost of attending social functions, even though these may be compulsory, haircuts, grooming, weight loss programs or supplies, even though the ADF has specific regulations.
Gifts and Donations
You can claim a deduction for a donation you make to an organisation if the donation meets four conditions:
- You make it to a deductive gift recipient
- It must truly be a donation. A donation is a voluntary transfer of money or property where you receive no material benefit or advantage
- It must be money or property, which includes financial assets such as shares
- You have a record of the donation, such as a receipt
To claim a deduction for work-related expenses you must have spent the money yourself and weren’t reimbursed, it must be directly related to earning your income, and you must have a record to prove it. You can only claim the work-related portion of expenses, not the personal use portion.
This information has been sourced from the ATO website.
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