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Deductions for work expenses

Last updated 25 April 2022

Deductions you can and can't claim for expenses you incur to earn your income or performing your work.

For a summary of common expenses, see This link will download a fileAustralian Defence Force member deductions (PDF, 569KB)This link will download a file.

To claim a deduction for a work-related expense you must meet the 3 golden rules:

  1. You must have spent the money and you weren't reimbursed
  2. The expense must directly relate to earning your income
  3. You must have a record to prove it (usually a receipt).

If the expense was incurred for both work and private purposes, you can only claim a deduction for the work-related portion of the expense.

We consider you to be an ADF member if you are a member of the:

  • Australian Army (Army)
  • Royal Australian Navy (Navy) and
  • Royal Australian Air Force (Air Force).

This guide may also apply to you as:

  • an ADF reserves member (where you pay tax on your salary and allowances as a reserves member), or as
  • a civilian working for the ADF performing ADF-related work.

Find out which expenses you can and can't claim as an ADF member:

You can’t claim a deduction if:

  • you don't keep records of your work-related expenses
  • someone else (such as an employer) pays for the expense or reimburses you for it.

You can use the myDeductions tool in the ATO app to store records and help keep track of your:

  • work-related expenses (such as vehicle trips)
  • general expenses (such as gifts and donations).

You can upload these records or share them with a tax agent at tax time to make lodging your tax return easier.

A summary of common work-related expenses may be available in your language:

  1. Select your language from the other languages' homepage.
  2. Select the heading Individuals.
  3. Check the list to see if a summary is available.