Details on claiming common truck driver expenses for:
- Removal and relocation expenses
- Repairs to tools and equipment
- Seat covers
- Self-education and study expenses
- Sleeping bags and pillows
- Sunglasses, sunhats and sunscreen
You can’t claim a deduction for the cost to transfer or relocate to a new work location. This is the case whether the move is a condition of your existing job or you are taking up a new job.
You can claim a deduction for repairs to tools and equipment you use for work. If you also use them for private purposes, you can only claim an amount for your work-related use.
You can't claim a deduction for the cost of seat covers you use in your truck for work. This is a private expense.
You can claim a deduction for self-education expenses if it directly relates to your employment as a truck driver and it:
- maintains or improves the skills and knowledge you need for your current duties
- results in or is likely to result in an increase in your income from your current employment.
You can't claim a deduction for a self-education expense if at the time you incur the expense, it:
- doesn't have a connection with your current employment
- only relates in a general way to your current employment
- enables you to get employment or change employment.
If your self-education expenses are deductible, you can claim expenses such as course fees, student and amenities fees, textbooks, academic journals and stationery expenses. You will also be able to claim a deduction for the decline in value of any depreciating assets which cost more than $300 that you use for your work-related study.
If you study at home, you may also be able to claim work from home running expenses, but not occupancy expenses.
You can't claim a deduction for the repayments you make on your study or training support loan. Study and training support loans include:
- Higher Education Loan Program (HELP)
- VET Student Loans (VETSL)
- Trade Support Loan Program (TSL)
- Student Financial Supplement Scheme (SFSS)
- Student Start-up Loan (SSL)
While course fees may be deductible, fees you incur under the Higher Education Contribution Scheme Higher Education Loan Program (HECS-HELP) scheme are not deductible.
Example: education not related to current employment
John is a truck driver who would like to go into business for himself. He is doing a part-time course in Business Administration.
As the course doesn't relate to his current employment, he can't claim a deduction.End of example
Example: education related to current employment
Frances is a truck driver who is lives in Lismore, NSW. She travels to Sydney to attend a 3 day heavy vehicle defensive driving course.
Because the course will improve her skills for current employment, she can claim a deduction. Frances can claim the cost of travel to and from the course venue, meals, incidentals and overnight accommodation in Sydney.End of example
You can claim a deduction for the cost of showers when you take a mandatory rest break and sleep away from home for work. For example, while taking a mandatory rest as a long-haul driver.
You can claim a deduction for the cost of your sleeping bag and pillows when you use these when you both:
- take a mandatory long rest break
- sleep away from home for work.,
If you don't use the sleeping bag and pillows 100% for work, you can only claim a deduction for the work-related use.
You can claim a deduction for the cost of logbooks, diaries and pens that you use for work.
You can't claim a deduction if your employer reimburses you for these expenses.
Example: deductible diary expense
Phillip is a delivery truck driver. His duties require him to deliver packages to several business clients every day.
Phillip prefers to keep a paper diary to record his route and record of parcel receipt, so he buys a diary at the start of each year.
Phillip can claim a deduction for the cost of the diary.End of example
You can claim a deduction for the work-related use of sunglasses, sunhats and sunscreen lotions if you:
- must work in the sun for extended periods
- use these items to protect yourself from the real and likely risk of illness or injury while at work.
This includes prescription sunglasses and anti-glare glasses.
You can only claim a deduction for the work-related use of the products if you also wear them for private purposes.
Example: deduction for prescription sunglasses
Jacinta is a short haul driver. She spends most of her day driving the truck. Jacinta is short-sighted so she buys some prescription sunglasses to wear while she is driving the truck.
Jacinta also wears the sunglasses on her days off. The sunglasses cost Jacinta $249.
Jacinta can claim a deduction for cost of the prescription sunglasses. The sunglasses protect Jacinta's eyes from glare and sun damage while she is driving the truck. However, as Jacinta also wears the sunglasses on her days off, she can't claim a deduction for the cost related to her private use of them.End of example
For more truck driver expenses, see: