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Employee travel expense deductions

05th Sep, 2017

The ATO has also released new guidance on work-related travel deductions. To claim for transport or other employee travel expenses (like accommodation and meals) in your tax return, you must have incurred the expenses as part of gaining or producing your taxable income. Private and domestic travel expenses, including the costs of your ordinary home-to-work travel, aren’t claimable.

Transport costs for work-related travel may be deductible, but the ATO will consider factors such as:

  • whether the travel is a necessary part of performing your work (you can’t pretend your family holiday’s a work trip);
  • whether your employer pays you to undertake the travel; and
  • whether you have to follow your employer’s instructions during the travel period.

Accommodation, meal and other incidental expenses are deductible as work-related only if your work has “special demands” or “co-existing work locations” that mean you have to sleep away from home.

TIP: We’re here to help – contact us to find out more about getting your work-related tax deductions right.

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Itinerant Worker Claim Denied, So Travel Deductions Refused

29th Sep, 2016

An individual has been unsuccessful before the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT), where he argued that he was an itinerant worker and was therefore entitled to claim tax deductions for travel expenses of some $38,000 for the 2011–2012 income year.

The taxpayer worked a number of short-term jobs in various country towns across New South Wales. He and his wife had a house, but they would travel to the work locations, taking their car and a motorhome to live in. The individual argued he was entitled to claim deductions for car expenses and travel expenses such as meals and accommodation.

The AAT found that he was not an itinerant worker and that the expenses were private in nature and therefore not tax deductible. Among other things, the AAT noted that his duties did not in fact require him to travel between and stay near the different workplace locations in the course of his employment.

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