As a police officer in Australia, you are entitled to certain tax deductions and allowances specific to your occupation. Here are some key tax deductions and allowances available to police officers in Australia.
AT A GLANCE
- Overtime meal expenses
- Travel expenses
- Car expenses
- Uniforms and protective clothing
- Equipment and tools
- Other work-related expenses
- General Expenses
OVERTIME MEAL EXPENSES
You can claim the cost of meals when working overtime provided you have received a meal allowance from your employer which is based on an industrial law, award or agreement and that allowance is shown separately on your PAYG certificate. You can claim the actual cost of the meal or up to the Australian Taxation Office allowable limit without retaining receipts. Amounts claimed over that amount will need to be supported with receipts.
You may claim the cost of travel (including any parking, tolls, taxis and public transport), if you are travelling to or from meetings, seminars, conferences, or training that is not being held at your normal station.
If you are required to stay away from home overnight for the purposes listed above, you may be eligible for a tax claim for the cost of accommodation and any meals consumed.
You may claim the cost of your personal car if it is used for work purposes, including travel to meetings, conferences or training that is not held at your normal station. If you do plan on claiming the cost of using your personal vehicle, you will need to keep a diary of the number of kilometres travelled.
UNIFORMS AND PROTECTIVE CLOTHING
You may claim the cost of your police uniform (including physical training clothing that is unique and distinctive to the Police Department).
There are a few protective clothing items that you may claim as a tax deduction e.g., gloves, goggles, safety glasses, sun protection items such as sunscreen, hats and sunglasses.
You can claim the cost of renting, repairing and cleaning any of the eligible work-related or protective clothing mentioned above.
EQUIPMENT AND TOOLS
Typical equipment and tools eligible for a tax deduction include:
- Equipment such as electronic organisers, laptop computers and mobile phones.
- Stopwatch or other watch with special characteristics (for example, specialty watches that are required for diving)
- Equipment and supplies, including ammunition, bullet proof jackets and vests, or body armour, gauntlets, holsters, hand grips, handcuffs, holders, pouches, utility belts, and gun cleaning and maintenance materials.
- The cost of insuring your tools and equipment can also be claimed as police tax deductions.
OTHER WORK-RELATED EXPENSES
There are a few other work-related expenses that may be claimed as tax deductions including:
- Annual Police Association membership fees
- Magazines or professional publications
- Telephone and internet fees (for the work-related portion only)
- Home office expenses
- The cost of payments made to informants (provided that the payments are authorised under the policies of your employing police service, you can prove you paid the expense, and you weren’t reimbursed for the cost. Payments can include cash or goods, such as cigarettes, food, or a cup of coffee)
- The cost of maintaining and training police dogs, if you are at all liable to contribute to such costs.
- The cost of renewing any work-related licences, but not including your normal driver’s licence.
There is also a range of general tax deductions, available to all regardless of profession or occupation, including:
- Conference and seminar fees
- Tax agent fees
- Donations to registered charities
- Income Protection Insurance
This article is for general information only. It does not make recommendations nor does it provide advice to address your personal circumstances. To make an informed decision, always contact a registered tax professional.