tax deductions for firefighters

If you work as a firefighter, some of the tax deductions you may be able to claim on your personal tax return are:

Meals and Travel

  • The cost of buying meals when you work overtime, provided you have been paid an allowance by your employer (you can claim for your meals without having to keep any receipts, provided you can show how you have calculated the amount you spent)
  • The cost of parking, tolls, taxis and public transport if you are required to travel to attend seminars, conferences, meetings and training courses not held at your usual place of work, or to travel between 2 or more stations (if you need to stay away overnight you can also claim for the cost of all meals and your accommodation)
  • The cost of using your own car for work, including travel to attend meetings, conferences or training courses that are not held at your workplace, to pick up supplies, or to travel between 2 different stations for shifts or for call-outs (to claim for car costs it is usually best to keep a diary record of the number of kilometres you travel during the year for work purposes and then we can calculate the amount of your tax deduction at the end of the year)
  • You can claim the cost of using your own car to travel to and from work, BUT only if you are required to carry bulky tools and equipment for your work AND there is no secure area to leave these items at your station overnight

Work Clothing

  • The cost of buying uniforms (including shirts, pants, skirts, jackets, jumpers)
  • The cost of buying protective equipment that is not supplied by your employer (including overalls, gloves, goggles, masks, harnesses, helmets, steel-capped boots, gum boots, high visibility vests and winter outdoor jackets)
  • The cost of buying sun protection items that are are not supplied by your employer (including sunscreen, hats, sunglasses and sun-protection shirts or jackets)
  • The cost of laundry, dry cleaning, repairs or alteration of your uniforms

Training

  • The cost of work-related training courses, (for example first aid, OH&S, first aid updates, truck and heavy equipment driving, management and staff supervision courses) and conferences, provided they relate to your CURRENT work. You can claim for the cost of any course fees, books, stationery, internet connection, telephone calls, tools or equipment and travelling to and from the course.
  • You can also claim any accommodation and meal expenses you have to pay if you are required to stay away overnight for your course)
  • The cost of self-education courses run by a University (not including HECS/HELP) or TAFE, provided they relate to your CURRENT work. If you are studying, you can also claim for the cost of books, stationery, equipment and travel required for your course

Work Equipment

  • The cost of buying and repairing equipment you use at work, including rescue equipment, safety equipment and tools, electronic organisers, computers and mobile phones
  • The cost of any materials or supplies that you buy for use at work (for example safety gear, whistles, torch, batteries, binoculars, beeper, pager, first aid equipment, key strap and ID case, work backpack or belt bag)
  • The cost of stationery, diary, log book or briefcase

Other Work Expenses

  • The cost of union fees
  • The cost of renewing licenses and tickets (e.g. heavy vehicle drivers license) that are required for your work, but not including your normal drivers license
  • The cost of professional memberships and subscriptions
  • The cost of work-related books, magazines and journals
  • The cost of work-related mobile or home telephone calls and rental (you should keep a diary record of the number of phone calls you make for work for one month and then we can use that to estimate your usage for the whole year)
  • The cost of work-related internet connection fees (you can only claim the proportion of your monthly fees that relate to work use, which could include emailing, research relating to your job or training)

General Expenses

There are some tax deductions that all employees can claim on their personal tax returns:

  • The amount of any donations to registered charities (as long as you haven’t received anything in return for your donation, such as raffle tickets or novelty items)
  • The cost of bank fees charged on any investment accounts
  • The cost of income protection or sickness and accident insurance premiums (this type of insurance covers you if you hurt yourself (including when you are not at work) or become sick and you are unable to work. It will pay you your normal wage until you are fit to return to work – if you don’t have this insurance you should see a financial adviser or ask us and we will refer you to someone who can organise it for you. It is definitely worthwhile)
  • Your tax agent fees (the amount you pay to your accountant to prepare your tax return each year)
  • The cost of travelling to see your tax agent (you can claim the cost of travelling to see your accountant to have your tax return prepared. You should keep a record of the number of kilometres you travel if you use your own car and any other incidental costs such as parking, meals, accommodation etc)

We suggest that you keep receipts for all purchases that are work related, even if they are not listed above. That way, when we prepare your tax return, we can decide whether you are allowed to claim a tax deduction for them or not.

If you would like any more information about the deductions listed or if you would like the Personal Tax Specialists team to prepare your tax return for you to ensure you maximise your claims this year, contact us at info@personaltaxspecialists.com.au