Taxation Determination

TD 94/17

Income tax: where a taxi driver travels between his/her principal place of residence and the collection point of a taxi, are the costs of travel deductible under subsection 51(1) of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 ?

  • Please note that the PDF version is the authorised version of this ruling.

FOI status:

may be releasedFOI number: I 1217053

This Determination, to the extent that it is capable of being a 'public ruling' in terms of Part IVAAA of the Taxation Administration Act 1953 , is a public ruling for the purposes of that Part. Taxation Ruling TR 92/1 explains when a Determination is a public ruling and how it is binding on the Commissioner. Unless otherwise stated, this Determination applies to years commencing both before and after its date of issue. However, this Determination does not apply to taxpayers to the extent that it conflicts with the terms of a settlement of a dispute agreed to before the date of issue of the Determination (see paragraphs 21 and 22 of Taxation Ruling TR 92/20).

1. No. The private nature of travel to and from a place of employment is generally well established at law, except in specific circumstances. [See Lunney v. FC of T; Hayley v. FC of T 100 C.L.R. 478]

2. In this instance, the underlying purpose of the travel is to transport the taxi driver to the point where income derivation may occur. As such, the expense is incurred preparatory to, and in anticipation of, the earning of assessable income rather than having been incurred in deriving that income. Accordingly it is not an allowable deduction under subsection 51(1). [See FC of T v Genys 87 ATC 4875; (1987) 19 ATR 356]

Example: Bill Jones travels from his home to a place where he collects a taxi cab and commences driving a taxi shift. The meeting takes place at 4 o'clock in the morning and no public transport is available.Notwithstanding the lack of transport and erratic hours of employment [Case U156, 87 ATC 908], the travel retains its private character and arises as a consequence of Bill living in one place and commencing work in another, hence any expense incurred in that travel is not deductible.

Commissioner of Taxation

Previously issued as Draft TD 94/D1


ATO references:
NO UMG 0091

ISSN 1038 - 8982

Subject References:
travel between home and work

Legislative References:
ITAA 51(1)

Case References:
Lunney v FC of T & Hayley v FC of T
100 CLR 478

FC of T v Genys
87 ATC 4875
(1987) 19 ATR 356

Case U156
87 ATC 908