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  • Truck driver

    If you’re a truck driver it pays to learn what you can claim.

    To claim a deduction for work-related expenses:

    • you must have spent the money yourself and weren’t reimbursed
    • it must directly relate to earning your income
    • you must have a record to prove it. (See Note)

    You can only claim the work-related part of expenses. You can't claim a deduction for any part of the expense that relates to personal use.

    Note: You can use the ATO app myDeductions tool to keep track of your expenses and receipts throughout the year.

    Car expenses

    You can claim a deduction when you:

    • drive between separate jobs on the same day – for example, you drive for two separate employers
    • drive to and from an alternate workplace for the same employer on the same day – for example, travelling between depots.

    You generally can’t claim the cost of trips between home and work, even if you live a long way from your usual workplace or have to work outside normal business hours.

    In limited circumstances you can claim the cost of trips between home and work, where you were required to carry bulky tools or equipment for work and all of the following conditions were met:

    • the tools or equipment were essential for you to perform your employment duties and you didn’t carry them merely as a matter of choice
    • the tools or equipment were bulky – meaning that because of their size and weight they were awkward to transport and could only be transported conveniently by the use of a motor vehicle
    • there was no secure storage for the items at the workplace.

    If you claim car expenses, you need to keep a logbook to determine the work-related percentage, or be able to demonstrate to the ATO a reasonable calculation if you use the cents per kilometre method to claim.

    Phone and internet expenses

    You can claim phone and internet usage if your employer needs you to use your personal devices for work. You can only claim the work-related portion of the use of your personal device.

    Travel expenses

    You can claim a deduction for travel expenses if you are required to travel overnight – for example, travelling to a remote area, provided the cost was incurred while carrying out your work duties. This could include meals, accommodation, fares and incidental expenses that you incurred and your employer has not provided or reimbursed you. (See Note)

    Receiving a travel allowance from your employer does not automatically entitle you to a deduction. You still need to show that you were away overnight, you spent the money yourself, and the travel was directly related to earning your income.

    You can’t claim accommodation expenses if you sleep in your truck or your employer provides you with accommodation.

    Note: Circumstances may be different for FIFO workers.

    Clothing expenses

    You can claim a deduction for the cost of buying, hiring, mending or cleaning certain uniforms that are unique and distinctive to your job – or the environment you work in – or protective clothing that your employer requires you to wear – for example, steel-capped boots.

    You can’t claim a deduction for the cost of buying or cleaning plain clothing worn at work, even if you only wear it to work and even if your employer tells you to wear it – for example, standard jeans, drill shirts and trousers.

    Other common deductible work-related expenses

    As long as the expense relates to your employment, you can claim a deduction for the work-related portion of the cost of:

    • protective equipment such as sunglasses, sunhats and sunscreens
    • restraining ropes
    • union fees.

    See also

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      Last modified: 15 Oct 2021QC 59240