If you spent time travelling for work-related purposes, you may be allowed to claim deductions to help cover some work-related travel expenses but it’s important to remember to keep the correct records if you are considering making any claims.
The Australian Taxation Office offers detailed advice and information for you to consider before making any claims. If you plan on claiming a deduction for work-related expenses there are a few things to consider.
- You must have spent the money yourself and weren’t reimbursed
- It must directly relate to earning your income
- You must have a record to prove it*
You can only claim the work-related part of expenses. If an expense relates to both work and private purposes, you must apportion the expense on a reasonable basis and only claim the work-related portion.
Work-Related Travel Record-Keeping
There are specific record-keeping requirements for travel expenses, depending on:
- whether your travel allowance is shown on your income statement or payment summary
- whether your travel was domestic or overseas
- the length of your travel and your occupation.
We recommend keeping a record using one or more of the following methods:
- a travel diary or itinerary, if your travel was for six nights or more
- receipts for all meals, airfares, accommodation, car parking and tolls
- an explanation of how the travel was work-related, the number of nights you slept away from home and the location.
If your travel allowance is shown on your income statement or payment summary and you want to make a claim against it, you can claim a deduction for the amount you spent on accommodation, meals and incidentals for travel within Australia without keeping receipts if that amount does not exceed the reasonable amounts.
For travel outside Australia, you must always provide receipts for accommodation, but you can claim the amount spent on meals and incidentals without receipts if that amount does not exceed the reasonable amounts. If you claim more than the reasonable amounts, you must have written evidence for the whole amount, not just the excess over the reasonable amount.
Reasonable amounts for accommodation, meals and incidentals are provided to make record-keeping simpler, not to provide an automatic deduction – you can only claim the amount you spent. Although you may not need records, you will still need to show how you calculated your claim.
For information and direct advice on deductions and claims visit the Australian Taxation Office.