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  • Keeping travel expense records

    The travel expense records you keep depend on how your employer reports your allowance, your travel destination, the length of your travel and your occupation.

    The specific record-keeping requirements for travel expenses depend on:

    • whether your travel allowance is shown on your income statement or payment summary
    • whether your travel was domestic or overseas
    • the length of your travel
    • your occupation.

    There are some exceptions for keeping travel expense records, if you meet the eligibility criteria.

    On this page:

    Vehicle expenses – other than a car

    If you're eligible to claim expenses for using a car you borrow or a vehicle other than a car, you need to keep receipts for:

    • fuel and oil
    • repairs and servicing
    • interest on a car loan
    • lease payments
    • insurance
    • registration.

    Other vehicles include:

    • motorcycles
    • vehicles with a carrying capacity of  
      • one tonne or more, such as a ute, truck or panel van
      • nine passengers or more, such as a minivan or people mover.

    Travel expenses

    You must have written evidence for whole of your claim, not just the excess over the reasonable allowance amount if you satisfy both of the following:

    • your travel allowance is on your income statement or payment summary
    • you want to claim a deduction against it.

    The records you need to keep for travel expenses for accommodation, food, drink and incidentals depend on the length of your trip and if it is domestic or international.

    If you travel for six or more nights in a row, you may need to keep a travel diary. In the travel diary you record the dates, places, times and duration of your activities and travel. The purpose of a travel diary is to allow accurate calculation of employment-related and private elements of your trip.

    The records you need to keep depend on whether your travel was:

    Domestic travel and you didn't receive a travel allowance

    Length of travel

    Written evidence

    Travel diary

    Less than 6 nights in a row

    Yes

    No

    6 or more nights in a row

    Yes

    Yes

    Overseas travel and you didn't receive a travel allowance

    Length of travel

    Written evidence

    Travel diary

    Less than 6 nights in a row

    Yes

    No

    6 or more nights in a row

    Yes

    Yes

    Domestic travel and you received a travel allowance and your claim doesn't exceed the reasonable allowance amount

    Length of travel

    Written evidence

    Travel diary

    Less than 6 nights in a row

    No

    No

    6 or more nights in a row

    No

    No

    Overseas travel and you received a travel allowance and your claim doesn't exceed the reasonable allowance amount

    Length of travel

    Written evidence

    Travel diary

    Less than 6 nights in a row

    Required for overseas accommodation expenses – but not for food, drink and incidentals

    No

    6 or more nights in a row

    Required for overseas accommodation expenses – but not for food, drink and incidentals

    Members of an international air crew – no if you limit your claim to the amount of allowance you received

    Other people – yes

    Domestic travel and you received a travel allowance and your claim exceeds the reasonable allowance amount

    Length of travel

    Written evidence

    Travel diary

    Less than 6 nights in a row

    Yes

    No

    6 or more nights in a row

    Yes

    Yes

    Overseas travel and you received a travel allowance and your claim exceeds the reasonable allowance amount

    Length of travel

    Written evidence

    Travel diary

    Less than 6 nights in a row

    Yes

    No

    6 or more nights in a row

    Yes

    Members of an international air crew – no if you limit your claim to the amount of allowance you received

    Other people – yes

    See also:

    Last modified: 07 Jun 2021QC 31952