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Disclaimer

This is not advice. Items herein are general comments only and do not constitute or convey advice per se. The information contained in these articles is for guidance only and should not be relied upon without obtaining professional advice having regard to your direct circumstances.

 

Claiming Travel Expenses

If you are an individual who incurs travel expenses in the course of your employment then you may be able to claim a tax deduction for any travel directly related to your work.  However it can be difficult discerning exactly what is and what isn’t claimable. 

What you can claim

Travel expenses directly connected to your work that you may be able to claim include:
• Air, bus, train, tram and taxi fares,
• Road and bridge tolls,
• Parking,
• Car hire fees,
• Accommodation,
• Meals – generally only claimable if your travel involves an overnight stay even if you received a travel allowance, and
• Incidental expenses.

In order to claim your travel expenses you should keep records and receipts of any expenditure.

You can claim travel expenses for trips between your home and your workplace only in certain circumstances:
• If you used your vehicle or had other travel expenses because you had to carry bulky tools or equipment that you used for your work and could not leave at your workplace – for example, an extension ladder or cello,
• If your home was a base of employment – you started your work at home and travelled to a workplace to continue the work, or
• If you had shifting places of employment – you regularly worked at more than one site each day before returning home.

If you are travelling from your normal workplace to an alternative workplace, for example, a client’s premises, while still on duty and then back to your normal workplace or directly home you are able to claim the travelling costs involved. This also applies in instances when you travel from your home to an alternative workplace for work purposes and then to your normal workplace or directly home. 

You can also claim a tax deduction for the cost of travelling directly between two separate places of employment, for example, when you have a second job. You must earn an assessable income at both workplaces and cannot reside at either place of employment to be eligible for a tax deduction. However, you cannot claim the cost of travelling to or from home to either place of employment.

If you owned, leased or hired (under a hire purchase agreement), one or more of the following vehicles and used them for work purposes, you can claim the costs you incurred relating to this work use (for example, the cost of petrol and oil).
• A utility truck or panel van with a carrying capacity of one tonne or more.
• A vehicle with a carrying capacity of nine or more passengers.
• A motorcycle.

As these types of vehicles are not considered to be cars you cannot use the ‘cents per kilometre’ method to calculate your claim.

What you cannot claim

A deduction for travel between workplaces will not be allowed where you:
• do not travel directly from the first workplace to the second workplace
• engage in a private or domestic activity after leaving the first workplace and prior to commencing work at the second workplace
• permanently cease your income earning activities at the first workplace prior to travelling to a second workplace, or
• reside at one of the workplaces.

You cannot clam the cost of normal trips between your home and your workplace as this is considered private use.

You cannot claim it even if:
• You did minor tasks – for example, picking up the mail on the way to work or home
• You had to travel between your home and your workplace more than once a day
• You were on call and your employer contacted you to come into work
• There was no public transport near where you work
• You worked outside normal business hours – for example, shift work or overtime
• Your home is a place of business and you travelled directly to a place of employment

 


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