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Car and travel expenses 2021

You may be able to claim deductions for work-related car expenses and work-related travel expenses.

Last updated 26 May 2021

'Work-related car expenses' and 'work-related travel expenses' are expenses you incur in the course of performing your job as an employee. You claim deductions for them at items D1 and D2.

Complete item D1 Work-related car expenses 2021 for work-related expenses for a car you owned, leased or hired under a hire purchase agreement (and the expense is not a travel expense which you show at item D2 Work-related travel expenses 2021).

Complete item D2 for the following work-related car and travel expenses:

  • expenses for vehicles with a carrying capacity of one tonne or more, or nine or more passengers (for example, utility trucks and panel vans)
  • expenses for motorcycles
  • short-term car hire
  • public transport fares
  • bridge and road tolls
  • parking fees
  • taxi fares
  • petrol, oil and repair costs relating to work-related travel you did in a car owned or leased by someone else
  • meal, accommodation and incidental expenses you incurred while away overnight for work.

The deductions include 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 your car 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 car and 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.

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.

Award transport payments

If you received an award transport payment that was paid under an industrial law or award in force on 29 October 1986, see Claiming a deduction for car expenses – award transport payments.

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