How to claim your work-related daily travel expenses
How you work out your claims and what records you need to keep will depend on whether the motor vehicle you use is considered to be a car and whether you own or lease it.
Claiming car expenses
If the motor vehicle you drive is a car, and you are entitled to claim a deduction for your work-related car expenses, there are two methods you can choose from to work out the amount you can claim.
The two methods are:
- cents per kilometre
You can claim a deduction for the decline in value (depreciation) of your car up to the value of the car limit if you use the logbook method.
Cents per kilometre method
You can use this method to claim up to a maximum of 5,000 work kilometres, even if you have travelled more than 5,000 work kilometres. For example, if you have travelled 5,085 work kilometres, you cannot claim for the extra 85 kilometres.
When working out your deduction using the cents per kilometre method, you do not need receipts or other written evidence, but we may ask you how you worked out your estimate of work kilometres. For example, by:
- using a diary of work-related travel
- basing your costs on a regular pattern of travel.
Rachel travels five kilometres each day while carrying out work-related activities. She worked Monday to Friday for 48 weeks during the income year. It would be reasonable for Rachel to calculate her work kilometres in the following way:
5 km x 5 days x 48 weeks
= 1,200 work kilometres for the income year.
Henry works as a substitute teacher. From his diary notes of appointments during the income year, he calculates that he has travelled 4,825 kilometres for work-related activities. Although he does not have an established pattern of travel, his diary notes form a reasonable basis for his calculation.
End of example
You claim your car expenses at D1 - Work-related car expenses on your income tax return.