Work-related daily travel expenses

Travel expenses that you claim must directly relate 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 any petrol, oil and repair costs if you travel in a car that is owned or leased by someone else
  • public transport, including taxi fares
  • bridge and road tolls
  • parking fees
  • short-term car hire.

Generally, the cost of normal trips between home and work is a private expense for which you cannot claim an income tax deduction. However, as an employee, there are certain situations where you may be able to claim deductions for travel between your home and workplace.

Transporting bulky tools and equipment

You can claim the cost of using your car or vehicle to travel between your home and work if:

  • you have to carry bulky tools and equipment you need to use at work
  • it is essential to transport the equipment to and from work, and it is not done as a matter of convenience or personal choice
  • there is no secure storage area at your workplace.

Example 1

Clive, an excavation operator, usually leaves his bulky tools and equipment in a secure area at the work site. His employer requires him to go to a different site the next day, so he takes the tools and equipment home.

The cost of Clive's travel home and to the work site the next day is an allowable deduction because it can be attributed to the transport of bulky equipment.

End of example


Example 2

Paul is an earthmover. His employer provides a secure tools storage area at his workplace. However, Paul chooses to transport his tools to and from work every day.

Because Paul chooses not to use the secure tools storage area at his work, he cannot claim a deduction for the expenses he incurs to transport his tools between his home and work.

End of example

Shifting workplaces

You can claim the cost of travelling between your home and work if you have shifting workplaces – that is, you regularly work at more than one site each day before returning home.

Example 3

Frank operates heavy equipment for site establishment works, including the clearing and removal of demolition spoil on construction sites. Frank is regularly sent by his employer to a different site each day. When he finishes work each day, his employer tells him where he will be required to work the next day. He regularly has to travel to more than one site each day, although on occasions he may stay at a site for a few days. He does not receive any allowances from his employer.

Frank can claim a deduction for transport costs because he has shifting places of work. It is not considered that his home is a base of operations.

End of example

Travelling between workplaces

Work-related daily travel expenses also include the cost of travel:

  • directly between two separate workplaces – for example, when you have a second job
  • from your normal workplace to an alternative workplace, while you are still on duty, and back to your normal workplace or directly home (see Example 5 below)
  • from your home to an alternative workplace, and then to your normal workplace or directly home – for example, if you travel to a client's premises to work there for the day.

Example 4

Greg travels from his normal work site to his employer's head office to attend a meeting. After the meeting, he travels directly home. The cost of each journey is an allowable deduction to Greg.

End of example


Example 5

Ben, a bobcat operator, arrives at the work site and is directed by his employer to go to a work site in another suburb for the day to cover for another operator who is sick. The cost of Ben's travel between his normal work site and the alternate site, and then home, is an allowable deduction.

End of example
    Last modified: 05 Oct 2016QC 24380