10 November, 2021

ATO compliant log book template 2021 

Free ATO compliant log book template in Excel, PDF or Google Spreadsheet.

If you are claiming vehicle expenses for business purposes, you must keep proper records in order for the ATO not to deny your claim. We will walk you through some frequently asked questions about keeping a vehicle log for the logbook method and provide you with a free template to use in this guide. The template contains the formula required to calculate your deductions based on the ATO mileage rate for 2021.

Download the Free Log Book Template Here as a PDF or Excel

You can download the free Driversnote template as an Excel, Sheet, or printable PDF. 

The Excel and Sheets versions include a vehicle log example so you can see how to fill out a logbook. Check out the tab below for a blank version that you can use to log your own trips.

If you use the free Excel or Sheets mileage form, a formula is already pre-programmed to calculate your reimbursement based on the ATO mileage rate for 2021. All calculations must be done manually if you use the printable PDF log book version.

Alternatively, you can try the Driversnote app for logging your trips even quicker. Recommended by accountants in Australia.

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Do you need a vehicle log book template for your team? 

If you are a manager or an employer in need of a solution for your entire team, you can try Driversnote for business. While using the Sheet or Excel log book above may suffice for your team to report their mileage, an app may save you and your employees a large amount of time since the process becomes significantly more automated. Some of the benefits of using a mileage tracking app as an employer are: 

  • Your team will provide you with accurate and consistent mileage reports.
  • You can get a quick overview of your team's status.
  • In seconds, you can approve or reject mileage reports.
  • Invite and remove users, as well as assign roles quickly.

What is a log book template? 

A logbook, also known as a mileage log, is a year-long record of your business travel required by the ATO or your employer for tax deduction or reimbursement. The vehicle log book template is prepared to collect all the information needed for you to receive reimbursement. 

If you are self-employed and want to claim costs for an automobile used for business purposes, you must keep a complete logbook record. You'll need to keep track of each business trip, the destination, the reason for the trip, and the vehicle's distance travelled for both business and personal purposes throughout the year. Keeping a vehicle logbook is the most convenient way to ensure that your mileage deductions are guaranteed. If you use the cents per km method, there is a limit to how much you can deduct.

What should my log book include?

According to the logbook method, there are a couple of things that you must always remember to include in your log book. The ATO outlines clear rules on what information you need to fill out in your log book template.

Unlike the cents per km method, the logbook method has no limit on how much you can get as reimbursement. When using the logbook method, the following information is required:

General:

  • The time span being tracked
  • The odometer readings at the start and end of the period
  • The total number of kilometres driven
  • The percentage of business-related kilometres travelled.

For each trip recorded, the following information is required:

  • Start and end times
  • Distance travelled in total
  • The reason for the trip

Expenses such as fuel, servicing, and other operating costs can be claimed using the same percentage as above - for example, if your business use percentage is 50%, your operating costs can be deducted at the same 50% rate. Keep all receipts related to those expenses, as these will be used to support your claims to the ATO or your employer!

Important! Remember that if you're claiming car expenses as a tax deduction, you can only use the logbook method if you own the car. To approve any car expense deductions, the ATO will require proof that you own the car.

How do I use the free log book template to calculate my reimbursement?

After you have logged everything in, you can use the data to calculate your reimbursement. Because the formula is already present in the template, it is set to automatically calculate your reimbursement (note: this sheet uses the ATO standard automobile rate). For 2021, the mileage rate is $0.72. 

If you're curious about how it works, here's a quick rundown of how to calculate mileage reimbursement after you've entered all of your trips.

Assume you drive your own vehicle for business and use the ATO standard rate.

For example, you've been keeping track of your mileage for the past twelve weeks and have driven 1300 kilometres for work. You can receive reimbursement for $0.72 per km (the ATO standard rate). To determine how much you will be reimbursed, multiply the number of kilometres by the rate:

1300 (km) x 0.72 $ (rate) = 936 $ (your reimbursement) 

Alternatively you can also use our mileage calculator

If you use a mileage tracking app that can generate reports, this calculation will likely be automatic for you and you will not have to worry about calculating your reimbursement. 

Let us know if you have any questions about using the free log book template.