Generally the Australian Taxation Office considers home to work travel to be private and therefore non deductible.

However, there are a few exceptions:
1.    From your normal workplace to an alternative workplace while still on duty and back to normal place of work or home.
2.   Shifting places of work – e.g. regularly working at more than one site each day before returning home.
3.   From your home to an alternative workplace for work purposes and then returning to normal workplace or home.
4.   Where you need to carry bulky tools or equipment that are used for work. The requirements for this travel to be deductible include:

  • The tools or equipment are needed to complete your work
  • Your employer expects you to transport the tools or equipment
  • There is no reasonable secure storage area available at your workplace

A general guide to tell if the tools or equipment are considered bulky is if it is difficult to transport them on a bus.

You can’t claim travel if:
1.   The travel is for minor work related tasks – e.g. travel down the road to pick up newspaper for the office on the way to work.
2.   You need to drive between your home and workplace more than once a day.
3.   You are on call – e.g. your supervisor contacts you to come into work.
4.   You are travelling to work outside of normal business hours.
5.   You do some work at home.

Itinerant work – you cannot count your home as a workplace unless you carry out itinerant work. If you perform itinerant work you can claim the travel costs of driving between alternative workplaces and home.

Factor’s indicating you perform itinerant work include:
1.   Travel is a major part of your work, not just because it is convenient to you and your employer.
2.   You have various workplaces to travel to through out the day.
3.   You are continually travelling from one site to another.
4.   You are often uncertain of the location of your work site.
5.   Your employer provides you with an allowance in recognition for your continual travel between different work sites through out the day.

Pro Tip:
The ATO are targeting home to work travel claims this year. We recommend speaking in detail with your accountant to ensure you’re entitled to claim the deduction.

Author: Rhys Frewin