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  • myTax 2019 Work-related travel expenses

    This section is about travel expenses you incur in performing your work as an employee. They include:

    • public transport, air travel and taxi fares
    • short-term car hire
    • meal, accommodation and incidental expenses you incur while away overnight for work
    • actual expenses such as petrol, repair and maintenance costs, that you incur to travel in a car that is owned or leased by someone else
    • bridge and road tolls, and parking fees for
      • cars (do not claim these at 'Work-related car expenses')
      • motorcycles and vehicles with a carrying capacity of one tonne or more, or nine or more passengers
       
    • expenses for motorcycles and vehicles with a carrying capacity of one tonne or more, or nine or more passengers, such as utility trucks and panel vans.

    On this page:

    Essentials

    Attention

    Warning:

    This information may not apply to the current year. Check the content carefully to ensure it is applicable to your circumstances.

    End of attention

    Remember, to claim a work-related deduction:

    • you must have spent the money yourself and weren't reimbursed
    • it must be directly related to earning your income
    • you must have a record to prove it.

    If your total claim for work-related expenses is more than $300, you must have written evidence to prove your claims.

    You can claim

    You can claim the cost of trips you undertake in the course of performing your work duties, which may also include trips between your home and your workplace if:

    • you used the vehicle because you had to carry bulky tools or equipment that you used for work and could not leave at your workplace (for example, an extension ladder or cello)
    • your home was a base of employment (that is, you were required to start your work at home and travel to a workplace to continue your work for the same employer)
    • you had shifting places of employment (that is, you regularly worked at more than one site each day before returning home).

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

    • between two separate places of employment when you have a second job, providing one of those places is not your home
    • from your normal workplace or your home to an alternative workplace that is not a regular workplace (for example, a client’s premises) while you are on duty
    • from an alternative workplace that is not a regular workplace back to your normal workplace or directly home.

    If the travel was partly private, you can claim only the work-related part.

    If you received an award transport payment, see Claiming a deduction for car expenses - award transport payments

    To claim meal, accommodation and incidental expenses incurred when you travelled away overnight for work you must:

    • have been required to travel as part of performing your work duties
    • only be working away from home for a relatively short period or periods of time (not living away from home)
    • not have incurred the expenses because of a choice you made about where to live
    • have a permanent home at a location away from the work location to which you are travelling
    • have paid the expenses yourself and not been reimbursed for them.

    If you wish to claim meal, accommodation and incidental expenses you incurred when you travelled away overnight for work, then use the following tables to determine what evidence you need.

    Note: A travel diary is a document in which you record the nature, dates, places, times and duration of your activities and travel

    Table 1: Travel expense records (domestic and overseas)

    Condition

    Written evidence

    Travel diary required

    You did not receive a travel allowance and the travel was less than 6 nights in a row.

    Yes

    No

    You did not receive a travel allowance and the travel was 6 or more nights in a row.

    Yes

    Yes

    You received a travel allowance, your claim does not exceed the reasonable allowance amount and the travel was less than 6 nights in a row.

    For domestic travel – No

    For overseas travel – required for accommodation expenses but not for food, drink and incidentals

    No

    You received a travel allowance, your claim does not exceed the reasonable allowance amount and the travel was 6 or more nights in a row.

    For domestic travel – No

    For overseas travel – required for accommodation expenses but not for food, drink and incidentals

    For domestic travel – No

    For overseas travel – Yes

    You received a travel allowance, your claim exceeds the reasonable allowance amount and the travel was less than 6 nights in a row.

    Yes

    No

    You received a travel allowance, your claim exceeds the reasonable allowance amount and the travel was 6 or more nights in a row.

    Yes

    Yes

    Members of international air crews do not have to keep a travel diary if they limit their claim to the amount of the allowance received.

    If your employer provided a car for you or your relatives’ exclusive use (including under a salary sacrifice arrangement) and you or your relatives were entitled to use it for non-work purposes, you cannot claim a deduction for work-related expenses for operating the car, such as petrol, repairs and other maintenance. This is the case even if the expenses relate directly to your work. However, you can claim expenses such as parking, bridge and road tolls for a work-related use of the car. Parking at or travelling to a regular workplace is not ordinarily considered to be a work-related use of the car.

    See also:

    Reasonable allowance amounts

    If your travel allowance was not shown on your income statement/payment summary and was equal to or less than the reasonable allowance amount for your circumstances, you do not have to include the allowance as income if:

    • you have fully spent the allowance on deductible work-related travel expenses and
    • you are not claiming a deduction for these expenses.

    For information on the reasonable allowance amounts, see Taxation Determination TD 2018/11 together with Taxation Ruling TR 2004/6.

    You cannot claim

    You cannot claim normal trips between your home and your workplace, even if:

    • you did minor work-related tasks at home or between home and your workplace
    • you travelled between your home and workplace more than once a day
    • you were on call
    • there was no public transport near work
    • you worked outside normal business hours
    • your home was a place where you ran your own business and you travelled directly to a place of employment where you worked for somebody else.

    Depreciation and capital expenses

    A deduction may be available for depreciation (or decline in value) of motorcycles and vehicles with a carrying capacity of one tonne or more, or nine or more passengers, at 'Work-related travel expenses'. If there is no connection between the motorcycle, or vehicle expenses, and the earning of assessable income, no deduction will be allowed.

    Depreciation deductions need to meet the following conditions:

    • you must apportion your deduction to reflect the percentage that the asset was used for work purposes
    • you must have directly incurred the cost of the asset and it was not reimbursed.

    You can use the Depreciation and capital allowances tool to work out any decline in value deduction as well as any deductible balancing adjustment when you stop holding a depreciating asset.

    The tool can be accessed in the Deductions section on the Prepare return screen.

    Expenses relating to foreign employment income

    If you received assessable income from your work as an employee outside of Australia that is shown on a PAYG payment summary - foreign employment, you must claim any work-related travel expenses you incurred in earning that income at this section.

    Do not show at this section

    • Expenses (apart from bridge and road tolls, and parking fees) relating to a car you owned, leased or hired under a hire purchase agreement where the expense is not related to motorcycles and vehicles with a carrying capacity of one tonne or more, or nine or more passengers, such as a utility truck and panel van. Show these at Car expenses in the Deductions section. Visit Work-related car expenses to learn more.
    • Deductions against any assessable foreign employment income that is not shown on a PAYG payment summary - foreign employment. Show these at Foreign employment in the Foreign income, assets and entities section.
    • For any balancing adjustment, show:
      • losses at Other work-related expenses in the Deductions section
      • profits at the Other income section.
       

    If you used the Depreciation and capital allowance tool, any balancing adjustment amount will be automatically shown.

    Completing this section

    You must have written evidence for the whole of your claim.

    We pre-fill your tax return with work-related travel expense information you uploaded from myDeductions. Check for work-related travel expenses not pre-filled and ensure you add them.

    1. For each work-related travel expense not pre-filled in your tax return, select Add and:
      • enter Your description. To assist in record keeping, add a short description of your expense
      • enter the Amount.
       
    2. Select Save.
    3. Select Save and continue when you have completed the Deductions section.

    Note: If you used the Depreciation and capital allowances tool, fields containing information from the tool cannot be directly adjusted in myTax. To make any adjustments to this information, or to add new assets to the tool, select the 'Use the depreciation and capital allowances tool' link.

    Record keeping

    Make sure you keep accurate records of work-related travel to make future claims.

    There is more information on record keeping and written evidence in Keeping your tax records.

    Managing your deductions

    Are you always on the go? Save time and keep your tax organised with the ATO app's myDeductions tool.

      Last modified: 26 Jun 2019QC 59105