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Tuesday 1 October 2013

Tax Office: Guide to Work-related travel expenses

The Tax Office guide 'Work-related daily travel expenses you can claim' assists individual taxpayers in differentiating the types of travel expenses that can be claimed as a deduction.
The Tax Office highlights that you can only claim travel expenses if they are directly connected to your work as an employee. These expenses may include:
  • Work-related car expenses;
  • Expenses for motorcycles and vehicles with a carrying capacity of one tonne or more, or nine or more passengers;
  • Actual expenses such as petrol costs;
  • Public transport and taxi fares;
  • Parking fees; and
  • Short-term car hire.
Generally, the cost of ordinary trips between home and work is deemed to be a private expense and thus an income tax deduction cannot be claimed. However the guide notes a particular exception for employees in the real estate industry, where certain situations may warrant these expenses to be deductible.

The guide explains that work related car and travel expenses are deductible when travel is:
  • Directly between two separate workplaces;
  • From your normal workplace to an alternative workplace whilst still on duty, and back to your normal workplace or directly home; and
  • From your home to an alternative workplace and then to your normal workplace or directly home.

Lastly, taxpayers may be able to claim the cost of using their car or vehicle between home and work if they are carrying bulky tools and equipment required for work. This is conditional upon transport to and from work being imperative rather than mere expedience and no secure area for storage exists at the employee’s workplace.

Click here to access the Tax Office's guide to work-related travel expenses.

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