Untangling Travel Expenses at Tax Time

Accommodation Expenses


If you get a work travel allowance, you have to declare this income. You can claim accommodation expenses if you are required to travel for your job, you are working from home for a short period, you have a permanent home away from your work, or you pay the accommodation expenses yourself and you don't get reimbursed. Also, if you stay in a motel for work, you can claim this as accommodation expenses on your taxes.


Award Transport


Your employer may pay you for car and transport expenses, and if they do, you'll have to declare this. The car expense award system means your employer will set a cap on a certain number of kilometres that they'll reimburse you for. Once you pass this cap, you can claim the expenses. You'll need to keep a logbook because the ATO will ask for written evidence of these expenses.



Car Expenses


If you plan to claim a deduction for using your own car, you will have to use this car for your employment duties throughout the year. You can claim this deduction if you carry bulky equipment and tools for work, deliver items, have to drive for conferences or meetings, go between two employment places, travel from your home to a client's home for work purposes and you do itinerant work. You can claim these deductions through cents per kilometre, at 66 cents per kilometre, which caps at 5,000 kilometres. Or, keep a log book for a minimum of 12 weeks.


Other Travel Expenses


There are several travel expenses you can claim that don't fall into any one particular category. If you go to any overnight conferences and you eat while you're there, you can claim that meal expense. You can also claim any hotel accommodations you incur as long as you're travelling for an overnight work conference. You can also deduct any expenses that come with borrowing a car and fuel costs. Finally, you can deduct any air, bus, train, tram, taxi, or car hiring costs as long as you don't get reimbursed and you can prove you had these expenses.


Removal and Relocation Expenses


Unfortunately, you won't be able to claim any deductions for accepting a transfer with your existing employer or taking new employment with a different company.


Travel Between Home and Work and Travel Between Workplace Expenses


The time you spend travelling between home and work is typically considered to be private expenses. You can claim deductions if you travel between two workplaces, like your first and second jobs. If you work from home and an office, you can also claim travel deductions. Also, if your employer has you regularly carry bulky tools in your car, you can claim these kilometres you travel for a deduction as well. If you log a lot of travel time for your job, this can add a whole other complicated layer to your taxes. To make sure you lodge your taxes correctly, it is a good idea to make an appointment with a licensed tax professional like EtaxPlus. Our staff is ready and willing to assist you. Contact us to make an appointment, and we'll go over all of your expenses and make sure that everything is correct.