Deductibility of a working with children check

Posted on June 19, 2015 by ATB Chartered Accountants

A working with children check is a prerequisite for any individual working in child-related work. If the cost of this check application is carried by an employee, the expense may be deductable in the following situations:

• If the employee has pre-existing employment and required to obtain a ‘suitability notice’ in order to continue deriving assessable income in that position; or
• If the individual is a new employee, however they have recently derived assessable income from employment within the field of child-related employment.
The costs associated with obtaining the initial suitability notice for a new employee who has not recently been in child-related employment is not deductible. As at 3 June 2015, this fee equates to $80 for a 5 year suitability clearance.

EXAMPLE 1: RENEWAL OF NOTICE

Laura is working as a coordinator for a primary school when her suitability notice expires. The principal of the school applies for a renewal of the notice, and Laura pays the application fee. Laura is entitled to a deduction on this fee, as it is an expense necessary for the continuation of her employment and income.

If Laura had been working at this school but then took up a contract working at a new school, still requiring the notice of suitability to be renewed, this cost would still be deductible as she has recently been employed in child-related employment, and the expense is still necessary for her to ensure the continuing of her employment in the industry, and hence her income.

EXAMPLE 2: NEW POSITION FOR PERSON NOT RECENTLY EMPLOYED IN CHILD-RELATED EMPLOYMENT

In the past, Isaac had been employed as a cleaner in a school, but since then, he has not worked in child-related employment for an extended time period. He has recently been offered a new position as the cleaner at a different school than the one in which he previously worked, and the principal of this school applies for a suitability notice. Isaac pays the application fee, however, since he has not been recently employed in child-related employment, he is not entitled to a deduction of the costs incurred.

The logic behind this is that Isaac has not been employed in child-related services for an extended amount of time, and so, the expenses associated with attaining a new suitability notice will not attribute to the continuity of an existing income stream as he is essentially a new employee.

This article is provided as general information only and does not consider your specific situation, objectives or needs. It does not represent accounting advice upon which any person may act. Implementation and suitability requires a detailed analysis of your specific circumstances.