Defence Force Members

Best Tax Deductions to Claim for Defence Force Members

Defence Force Members are employed by the Federal Government to protect and defend the citizens of Australia.

Employment Profile

  • Average weekly pay: $1,651.40
  • Employment size: 83,395
  • Future growth: Moderate
  • Skill level: Certificate II or III

Typical tax deductions include:

  • Motor vehicle travel to and from work if having either shifting workplaces (working at more than one site each day before returning home), or transporting bulky equipment – e.g. field equipment packs.
  • Motor vehicle travel between different work sites (barracks) and training related travel.
  • Fitness expenses if the job requires a fitness level well above the ADF general standard – e.g. for a physical training instructor with the Australian Special Forces.
  • Telephone and internet – work %.
  • Compulsory mess subscriptions.
  • Military service uniforms including military white, blue or khaki shirts with rank or other embellishments, standard matching trousers, regulation jumpers and jackets, official mess uniform, hats or caps with rank or other embellishments, service dress shoes, service handbags and clutch bags, socks and stockings, and camouflage shirts and trousers.
  • Costs incurred in performing extra regimental duties (ERD) – as long as the ERD activity forms part of the income-earning activities and it is not a private or domestic expense.
  • Computers tools, and equipment – includes rifles, ammunition, cleaning equipment, pack, swag, sleeping bag, webbing, pouches, bivvy bag, dive bag, multi-tool, compass, headlamp, torch, medkit, knife, GPS, hydration pack, and camping equipment.
  • Union fees, licences, registrations and subscriptions.
  • Self-education expenses – if the course relates directly to the current or next planned ADF promotion.
  • Home office running expenses.
  • Sunglasses, sunscreens and cosmetics.
  • Overnight travel expenses attending different workplaces and for training.

Professional memberships.

Non-deductible expenses:

  • Private travel including to and from work, to the canteen, and to the gym.
  • Gym fees to maintain personal fitness.
  • Haircuts, grooming, weight loss programs or supplies – even though the ADF has specific regulations.
  • Attending social functions – even if compulsory.
  • Sports attire – includes tracksuits, shorts, and sports shoes.
  • Costs of food, drink and entertainment at the mess.

Tax Strategies we can assist you with.

  • Self-education expenses
  • Sunglasses, sunscreens and cosmetics
  • Computers, tools, equipment and other assets
  • Compulsory work uniform
  • Union fees, licences, registrations and subscriptions
  • Phone and internet
  • Motor vehicle expenses: cents per km method
  • Home office running expenses
  • Fitness expenses
  • Overnight travel expenses


Click here to see Tax Calculator for Defence Force Members.


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