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  • Australian Defence Force members – income and work-related deductions

    If you earn your income as an Australian Defence Force (ADF) member, this information will help you to work out what:

    • income and allowances to report
    • you can and can't claim as a work-related deduction
    • records you need to keep.

    Find out about ADF members':

    Income – salary and allowances

    Your employer will provide either an income statement or a payment summary that shows all your salary, wages and allowances for the financial year.

    Include all of the income you received during the financial year in your tax return, regardless of when you earned it, including:

    Don't include reimbursements.

    Salary and wages

    You must include your salary and wages as income in your tax return. Include any bonuses.

    See also:

    Allowances

    Include all allowances shown on your payment summary or income statement as income in your tax return.

    The following allowances are received by ADF members to recognise expenses incurred while doing your job. Income tax applies to these allowances. Depending on your individual circumstances, you may be able to claim a deduction for:

    • flying allowance
    • language proficiency allowance
    • special action forces allowance
    • uniform maintenance allowance
    • vehicle allowance.

    The following allowances are commonly received by ADF members for work considered special or dangerous, in recognition of holding special skills, or to compensate for working conditions. Income tax applies to these allowances, however you can't claim a deduction for:

    • arduous conditions allowance
    • clearance diving allowance
    • common duties allowance
    • district allowance
    • diving allowance
    • field allowance
    • flight duties allowance
    • hard-lying allowance
    • isolated establishment allowance
    • parachutist allowance
    • post allowance
    • seagoing allowance
    • service allowance
    • special Royal Navy allowance
    • submarine escape training facility allowance
    • submarine service allowance
    • trainee's dependant allowance
    • trainee leaders allowance
    • unpredictable explosives allowance.

    If an allowance is included as a separate amount on your payment summary or income statement, include it as income on your tax return.

    Allowances on your payment summary or income statement

    You may receive allowances:

    • for work that may be unpleasant, special or dangerous
    • in recognition of holding special skills, such as first-aid certification
    • to compensate for industry peculiarities, such as for weekend or holiday expenses.

    These payments do not cover you for expenses you might incur. Include these allowances as income.

    If you receive an allowance from your employer, you aren't always entitled to a deduction – it depends on the situation. See Deductions.

    Allowances not shown on your payment summary or income statement

    Your employer may not include some allowances on your payment summary or income statement. This can apply to travel allowances and overtime meal allowances paid under an industrial law, award or agreement. You can see these allowances on your pay slips.

    If the allowance is not on your payment summary or income statement, and you:

    • spent the whole amount on deductible expenses
      • don't include it as income in your tax return
      • you can't claim any deductions for these expenses
    • spent more than your allowance
      • include the allowance as income in your tax return
      • claim a deduction for your expense, if you are eligible. See Deductions.

    See also:

    Reimbursements

    If your employer pays you the exact amount for expenses you incur (either before or after you have incurred them), the payment is a reimbursement. We don't consider a reimbursement to be an allowance.

    If you're reimbursed for expenses you incur:

    • don't include the reimbursement as income in your tax return
    • you can't claim a deduction for them.

    Find out about ADF members':

      Last modified: 08 Apr 2019QC 26110