• Guards and security employees – deductions you may be able to claim

    As a security guard or an employee in the security industry, here are some of the deductions you can and cannot claim..

    Car expenses

    You cannot claim deductions for your car expenses from home to work even if:

    • you work outside normal business hours, for example, shift work or overtime
    • you are on call
    • you did minor work-related tasks on the way to work or home
    • you travel between home and work more than once a day, or
    • there is no public transport available.

    You can claim deductions for your car expenses for travel directly from one work site to the next.

    You can claim deductions for your car expenses from home to work if you carry bulky tools and equipment you are required to use at work, as long as there is no secure area provided to leave them on site.

    There are some changes to work-related car expense deductions from 1 July 2015. Below is a breakdown of the methods which applied from and before 1 July 2015.

    From 1 July 2015 – two methods

    The government has simplified car expense deductions for 2015–16 and future income years. From 1 July 2015, the one-third of actual expenses method and 12% of the original value method have been abolished.

    The two methods available from 1 July 2015 are:

    1. cents per kilometre method
    2. logbook method.

    See also:

    Before 1 July 2015 – four methods

    There are four methods of for claiming work-related car expenses. The four methods are:

    1. cents per kilometre
    2. 12% of original value
    3. one-third of actual expenses
    4. logbook.

    You can use the method that gives you the greatest deduction.

    See also:

    If you use the cents per kilometre method, you do not need to hold receipts for all your expenses, but you do need to establish ownership of a car and that you were required to use your personal vehicle in the course of earning your assessable income.

    You must also establish that the number of kilometres you have travelled have been reasonably estimated.

    Security agencies across Australia routinely provide badged and unbadged fleet vehicles for officers to use while on duty. It is your responsibility to establish that you are required to use your own vehicle while performing your duties and to hold sufficient documents to support your claim.

    Clothing

    You cannot claim a deduction for the cost of conventional clothing such as suits and work shirts.

    You can claim deductions for the cost of purchasing compulsory uniforms and protective clothing. However, you cannot claim a deduction if these items have been provided free of charge by your employer.

    You cannot claim expenses for ‘oversized’ conventional clothing worn to conceal a protective vest or weapon while on plain-clothes duty.

    You can claim expenses for the laundering of compulsory uniforms and protective clothing.

    Self-education expenses

    You can claim your education expenses at university or TAFE if they relate to your current work and are not reimbursed.

    Example

    Denise is studying Certificate I in Security Operations while working as a bank teller. She is offered the position of security advisor in the bank’s security division on an understanding that she will continue her studies. Denise cannot claim her study expenses while employed as a bank teller. She can claim her study expenses while employed as a security advisor.

    End of example

    You cannot claim a deduction for a pre-vocational course such as training to become a licensed security officer.

    Other work-related expenses

    You cannot claim a deduction for obtaining a drivers licence or an initial security licence.

    You can claim home office expenses using actual costs or the Commissioner’s reasonable rate of 45 cents an hour if you can establish that you perform some of your duties or paperwork from home. You will need to show the average time spent weekly performing work-related duties in your home office to justify your claim.

    See also:

    If you are uncertain about how this information applies to your personal situation, phone us on 13 28 61.

      Last modified: 05 Oct 2016QC 19679