In the dynamic world of employment, there are often perks that come our way, like the opportunity to embark on work-related journeys.
Whether it’s a welder heading to a marina for essential boat repairs or any other duty-driven travel, you’ve potentially shouldered some of the expenses yourself. As a result, there may be tax deductions available to you when you’ve incurred travel expenses in the course of your professional endeavours.
To claim a deduction for a work-related expense, you must meet a few criteria:
- You spent the money and weren’t reimbursed.
- The expense is directly related to earning your income.
- You have a record to prove it, usually in the form of a receipt (the claim can be substantiated).
Remember, you can only claim the work-related portion of an expense, and if your total claim is over $300, written evidence is a must.
Work-Related Travel Expenses
Your potential deductions cover a range of expenses, including:
- Public transport, air travel, and taxi fares.
- Short-term car hire.
- Accommodation, meals, and incidental expenses for overnight stays.
- Actual expenses for vehicles, tolls, and parking fees.
- Trips between home and work if certain conditions are met.
If your employer provided a car for your exclusive use, you can claim a deduction for work-related transport expenses it covers. However, operating expenses like repairs and maintenance aren’t claimable unless they’re directly related to your work.
Accommodation & Food
To claim these expenses, they must be incurred during work-related travel where you stayed away from home overnight. Living a long way from work or choosing to sleep near your workplace doesn’t qualify.
If you receive a travel allowance from your employer, it doesn’t automatically mean you can claim a deduction. Check with your tax agent if your deductible travel allowance expenses fall within reasonable amounts set by the ATO each year.
What You Can’t Claim
Normal trips between home and work are generally not claimable, even if you perform minor work-related tasks along the way or travel multiple times a day.
Remember, understanding what you can and cannot claim ensures a hassle-free tax season. So, whether you’re a seasoned professional or just starting, consult with your tax agent about how you can maximise your deductions and make the most of your work-related travels.