Police – claiming work-related expenses

As a police officer, you may be entitled to claim a tax deduction for certain work-related expenses, including:

  • car
  • travel
  • uniform, occupation specific or protective clothing, laundry and dry-cleaning
  • self-education
  • other – such as phone, tools and equipment.

There may be other deductions you can claim that are not included here.

When you sign your tax return, you are declaring that everything you have told us is true and that you have or you can get the written evidence you need to prove your claims.

You are responsible for this proof even if you use a registered tax agent.

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Individual tax return instructions questions 112 and Individual tax return instructions supplement questions 1324 deal with income. This section of the guide tells you how to include allowances, reimbursements, reportable fringe benefits and reportable employer superannuation contributions on your tax return.


Police officers commonly get the following allowances:

  • at-sea
  • bandsmen
  • boot; uniform and boot; or uniform, footwear and maintenance
  • bush patrol
  • camp
  • detective
  • excess fares and travelling
  • incidental expenses
  • motor vehicle (based on a cents-per-kilometre basis)
  • meal
  • travel expense.

If any allowance is shown as a separate amount on your payment summary, include it as income at item 2 on your tax return.

You cannot automatically claim a deduction just because you received an allowance.


If your employer or any other person reimburses you for expenses you have actually incurred, the payment is called a reimbursement. Generally, you do not include a reimbursement as part of your income, so you cannot claim the expense as a deduction.

However, if you receive a reimbursement for car expenses (worked out by reference to the distance travelled by the car) or an allowance for car expenses, you must show the amount of the reimbursement or allowance as income at item 2 on your tax return.

You may be able to claim car expenses in these circumstances. For guidance on the rules relating to deductions for car expenses, see Car expenses.

Reportable fringe benefits

Your employer is required to report the total grossed-up amount of certain fringe benefits exceeding $2,000 (a grossed-up taxable value of $3,921) provided to you or your relatives on your payment summary.

You do not include this amount in your total income or loss amount and you do not pay income tax or Medicare levy on it. However, the total will be used in determining whether certain surcharges apply to you, whether you can claim certain deductions, and whether you are eligible for certain tax offsets and other government benefits.

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Reportable employer superannuation contributions

Your employer is required to report the amount of reportable employer superannuation contributions on your payment summary.

If your payment summary shows an amount at ‘reportable employer superannuation contributions’ and you do not salary sacrifice amounts to superannuation, then you should ask your employer to confirm that the amount of reportable employer superannuation contribution on your payment summary does not include compulsory contributions such as super guarantee or award contributions.

We will not include reportable employer superannuation contributions in your income and you will not pay income tax or Medicare levy on it. However, we use reportable employer superannuation contributions to determine your eligibility for some tax offsets, the government super co-contribution and other government benefits and to establish whether the Medicare levy surcharge applies to you.

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    Last modified: 05 Oct 2016QC 20810