If you’re a member of the Australian Defence Force who served (or will serve) in Afghanistan as part of Operation Slipper, you might not have to pay tax on the salary or allowances you earn during that deployment.
The following table from the ATO shows which ADF deployments in Afghanistan are eligible to receive salary and allowances tax free.
|Dates of Duty||Geographical Coordinates|
|Starting on 31 July 2009 and ending at the end of 19 February 2012||39° 00′ N 78° 00′ E|
|39° 00′ N 32° 00′ E|
|05° 00′ S 32° 00′ E|
|05° 00′ S 78° 00′ E|
|Starting on 20 February 2012 and ending at the end of 30 June 2013||39° 00′ N 32° 00′ E|
If you’ve served in the above deployments and you are entitled to tax exemptions, the Chief of the Defence Force will usually issue you with a certificate to verify you were on eligible duty.
Important: You still have to pay tax on non-salary income…
Keep in mind that while the salary you earn on eligible duty may be tax free, you must still pay income tax on other types of income (even during periods when you are on the above deployments). Taxable income types include:
- Rental property income
- Interest Income (includes savings and other types of bank accounts)
- Dividends from shares and other investments
- Capital Gains
Zone or Overseas forces tax offsets
If you are eligible for the above income tax exemptions, then you cannot claim a zone or overseas forces tax offset for that income earned. However, if your deployment does not meet the above criteria and you do pay tax on your income, then you can claim the zone or overseas forces tax offset.
If you are unsure what you are entitled to as a serving member of the Australian Defence Force, please contact us on [email protected]. Our qualified Etax Accountants will offer you tailored advice based on your individual circumstances to ensure your tax return is correct and that you get the best possible refund.