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Income and deductions
If you are claiming a deduction for using your own car (including a car you lease or hire), it is treated as a car expense.
If you use someone else's car for work purposes, you may be able to claim the direct costs (such as fuel) as a travel expense.
If the travel was partly private, you can claim only the work-related part.
In this section:
You can claim a deduction for work-related car expenses if you use your own car in the course of performing your job as an employee, for example, to:
If you receive an allowance from your employer for car expenses, it is assessable income and the allowance must be included on your tax return.
Most people can't claim the cost of travel between home and work because this travel is private.
There are four different methods for claiming work-related car expenses when using your own car, or one you leased or hired under a hire-purchase agreement.
The four methods are:
If you use a borrowed car or a vehicle other than a car for work purposes, you can claim the costs you incur (such as fuel costs) as a travel expense. You can't use any of the methods described here to calculate your claim.
Where you and another joint owner use the car for separate income-producing purposes, you can both claim up to a maximum of 5,000 kilometres.
As a joint owner, you can deduct your share of 12% of the cost of the car. For example, where there are two joint owners, you can each claim a deduction of 6% of the cost of the car.
As a joint owner, you can deduct one-third of your share of jointly incurred expenses and depreciation, and one-third of expenses wholly incurred by you.
You can claim a deduction for using a car that you owned, leased or hired under a hire-purchase agreement using one of the four deduction methods.
You may not be considered to own or lease the car if your do not make financial contributions such as the initial purchase, lease, hire-purchase agreements, and loan or lease payments – even though you pay for expenses such as registration, insurance, maintenance or other running costs.
This does not stop you from claiming a deduction for the expenses you pay, but you cannot use any of the four deduction methods.
If you have a family or private arrangement where you are effectively the owner of the car, even if you are not the registered owner, we will treat the car as if you owned it and you can claim expenses. For example, we would allow you to claim for a family car that was given to you as a birthday present, even if it was not registered in your name, if you used it as your own and you paid all the expenses.
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