If you travel to inspect or maintain your property or collect the rent, you may be able to claim the costs of travelling as a deduction. You are allowed a full deduction where the sole purpose of the trip relates to the rental property. However, in other circumstances you may not be able to claim a deduction or you may be entitled to only a partial deduction.
If you fly to inspect your rental property, stay overnight, and return home on the following day, all of the airfare and accommodation expenses would generally be allowed as a deduction.
Example: Travel and vehicle expenses
Although their local rental property was managed by a property agent, Mr Hitchman decided to inspect the property three months after the tenants moved in. During the income year Mr Hitchman also made a number of visits to the property in order to carry out minor repairs. Mr Hitchman travelled 162 kilometres during the course of these visits. On the basis of a cents per kilometre rate of 60 cents for his 2.6 litre car – see TaxPack 2003 for the appropriate rates – Mr Hitchman can claim the following deduction:
Distance travelled × rate per km = deductible amount
162km × 60 cents per km = $97
On his way to golf each Saturday, Mr Hitchman drove past the property to 'keep an eye on things'. These motor vehicle expenses are not deductible as they are incidental to the private purpose of the journey.End of example