Making the most of your membership fees
Union fees are 100% tax deductible, which means you can reduce how much you pay in tax if you're a union member. The deductible portion will depend upon your individual taxable income and assets, but you can claim the entire amount as a work-related expense.
The FAQs below will help you claim your union membership fees on your tax return.
Please note, the CPSU/CSA does not provide tax advice. The information on this page relating to how you can claim your union deduction and what evidence you need to prove your claim is information available from the Australian Tax office website. The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is the principal revenue collection agency of the Australian Government. If you have any questions about how to claim your union dues as a deduction, please contact the ATO via www.ato.gov.au.
Tax Statement FAQs
When will I get my tax statement?
For current members, tax statements will be sent to your preferred email address on 14 July, 2021. You can print out this statement for tax purposes. Individual tax statements cannot be generated until after this date.
If you pay your union membership via payroll deduction, your claimable amount will be shown on the Group Certificate produced by your employer. You will not receive a tax statement from the union.
I retired/resigned months ago, why can’t I have my tax statement now?
As the various banking, financial and accounting processes required to calculate the end of year figures do not occur until the last payment period of the financial year, it is not possible to provide an official tax statement before the end of the financial year.
Your tax statement will be posted to you on 12th July 2021 (please allow up to 14 days for delivery).
How do I claim my union fees on my tax statement?
Union fees are claimed under the ‘Other work-related expenses’ section of your tax return. You can also keep a regular record of your dues paid throughout the year using the myDeductions section of the ATO app (Download for Apple | Download for Android). In the app, these are recorded as Professional fees/subscriptions.
How much can I claim?
You may claim the total of any amounts paid to the union for the previous financial year from 1 July - 30 June. For example, in this year's tax return, you will claim all amounts paid to the union between 1 July 2020 and 30 June 2021.
As the CPSU/CSA does not accept donations or levies to a strike fund, all amounts paid to the union are covered under ‘union fees’, so the total of any amounts paid may be claimed without exception. If you are a member of another union you should check with that union as to their fee structure before making your claim, or see the ATO guidance on claiming union fees.
What evidence do I need?
The ATO website states that if you claim a deduction, you must have records to show how you calculated your claims. Records are usually a receipt from the supplier of the goods or services. A receipt must show the:
- name of the supplier
- amount of the expense
- nature of the goods or services
- date the expense was paid
- date of the document.
You need to keep these for five years from when you lodge your tax return in case we ask you to substantiate your claims. Records you keep don't have to be in paper form. Records made and stored electronically are recognised as documents, this includes photos of your receipts.
Whilst many unions, including the CPSU/CSA, send out tax statements at the end of the financial year, there are several other forms of evidence you may use to validate your claim.
These may include:
- Bank or credit card statements showing payments or deductions (Your CPSU/CSA deductions will appear on your bank statement as Direct Debit 427982 CIVIL SERVICE AS Cust: *Your Member ID*
- Bank receipts (send/shown after an EFT is processed)
- Payslips and payment summaries from your employer if you are paying by Payroll Deduction*
*We are unable to send tax statements to members who have opted to pay via Payroll Deduction, please see ‘I pay by Payroll Deduction, where is my tax statement?’
For more information see ato.gov.au
I still haven’t received my tax statement.
If it is after the 14th July (in any given year) and you have not received your tax statement for the previous financial year the following may have occurred:
- We do not have a valid email on our system for your membership account
- You have previous unsubscribed from email notifications from us
- If you receive union emails to your work email address, your department or agency may have blocked the CPSU/CSA as a sender
- The email sent was captured by a junk or spam folder
Please check your Junk and Spam folder for a tax statement from the union, if you cannot find one please use the Quick Qs to lodge a Tax Statement Request ticket (ticketing system only available after 14 July 2021).
If you believe your employer may have blocked emails from the union, please Contact Us as soon as possible.
We are unable to process requests for tax statements before the 14th July.
If you are enquiring about a tax statement for a previous financial year, please email us with the relevant details.