Employees can claim a deduction for travel expenditure if they incur the expense in gaining and producing their assessable income and if the expense is not of a capital, private or domestic nature.
To work out if you might be eligible to claim a tax deduction for your employee travel expenses answer the below questions:
a) Do your work activities require you to undertake the travel?
b) Are you paid directly or indirectly to take the travel?
c) Are you subject to the direction and control of your employer whilst you are travelling?
If you answered yes to all of the above questions, then you are considered to be undertaking work related travel from a tax perspective.
The types of expenses you can claim for work related travel include meals, accommodation expenses and the cost of transport whilst undertaking the travel such as taxis, ubers and parking expenses. It is essential to keep your receipts of all such expenses in order to claim these in your tax return.
PRO TIP: Travel taken to commence work is considered to be preliminary to the work and therefore not deductible. This is one of the common misconceptions when it comes to travel deductibility. Travel taken by FIFO workers usually falls into this category.
Paid a travel allowance while away?
If you are paid a travel allowance that is expected to cover your expenses while travelling you may be able to rely on the tax offices daily rates for food, accommodation and incidentals without needing to maintain original receipts however only under the circumstance that you are legitimately incurring those expenses.
PRO TIP: Keep a record of the days spent away and the locations you traveled to if you were paid a travel allowance and even if you have kept all your receipts we can determine which method will net you the highest claim.
Author: Allan Edmunds