When using the operating cost method and classifying a journey between home and work as either private or business, the fact that an employee may travel to and from their regular place of work while on call would not ordinarily alter the character of that travel. That is, generally it remains private travel. For example, if an information technology officer is called out to their regular workplace to fix a computer network, the employee does not commence employment duties until arriving at the place of work and so the travel from home to work is treated as private travel.
This may differ if the employee starts employment duties immediately after being called out. For example, if there is a disaster and an emergency services officer uses a hands-free mobile phone to issue directions to other staff while driving to the place of work, the travel from home to work may be classified as work-related travel.
The treatment may also differ if the employee is required to travel to a work site that is not a regular workplace in response to a call out. For example, if the emergency services officer in responding to a disaster was required to travel to the residence of a member of the public.
For more on the FBT treatment of cars used by employees while they are on call, refer to Car fringe benefits.
For more on the classification of home-to-work travel, refer to Miscellaneous Taxation Ruling MT 2027.
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