Work-related travel expenses
If you incur travel expenses related to performing your job, you might be able to claim a tax deduction from the ATO. To be eligible for claiming work-related travel expenses on your tax return, you must fulfil the following criteria:
- The travel expenses are directly related to performing your job duties and earning your income
- You have paid the travel expenses from your own pocket
- Your employer didn’t reimburse you for the travel expenses
- You have receipts to prove your travel expenses
Work-related travel expenses you can claim
If you travel for work you can claim expenses for flying, getting a bus, taxi or a train, or the expenses for driving your personal car for work-related travel. Read more about claiming car expenses from the ATO. If you are staying overnight away from your home for work, you can also claim the expenses for accommodation and meals. Note that if you are on a work trip for more than 6 nights, you will need to keep a travel diary in addition to the expense receipts.
How to keep a travel diary
If your work-related trip lasts 6 or more nights in a row, you must keep travel records, such as a travel diary. Your travel diary can be on paper or electronic and must contain the following information:
- Where you were
- What you were doing
- The start and end times of the activities
There are some exceptions to keeping a travel diary. You don’t need to keep a diary even if your work trip is for more than 6 nights in the following situations:
- You travel within Australia and are exempt from keeping records, due to claiming less than the Commissioner’s reasonable amount for the year or you received an allowance from your employer for the expenses.
- You are a crew member on an international flight and you claim a travel expenses deduction for less than the allowance you received from your employer.
How to claim work-related travel expenses
You can only claim work-related travel expenses on your tax return if you were not reimbursed by your employer for them and can provide receipts of your work-related expenses.
There are some exceptions to keeping receipts for your expenses, for instance, when claiming a deduction that is below that year’s Commissioner's reasonable amount, or you receive an allowance from your employer for work-related travel expenses. However, if you are claiming travel expenses for more than the Commissioner's reasonable amount, you must keep receipts for all travel expenses, not just for expenses that exceed the reasonable amount.
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