How to prepare a logbook

Keeping track of your work related car expenses with the logbook is simple. It could also boost your tax refund.

If you use your car for work purposes and travel more than 5000km for work, the best way to claim these expenses is using the log book method.

If you travel less than 5000km per year for work, then you are usually better claiming the Cents per KM method.

But either way you need to keep a record, so a log book will work for both methods.





How to prepare a logbook

The purpose of a logbook is to determine your business usage versus your private usage.

If we work out your work usage is 60% of the overall usage of your car, we can then claim 60% of your fuel, rego, insurance, tyres, repairs, etc.
So if it costs $10,000 to run your car, we can claim $6000 as a tax deduction. BUT, you need a log book to do this.

How to complete your car logbook

You need to keep a logbook for a 12 week period. These must be 12 consecutive weeks (i.e. 12 weeks in a row).

Your logbook must include every trip you take – not just your business related trips.

Your logbook must contain:

  • Speedo reading on 30 June each year
  • the make, model, engine capacity and registration number of the car
  • the car’s speedo readings at the start and end of the 12 week period
  • the number of kilometres travelled for each journey. If you make two or more journeys in a row on the same day, you can record them as a single journey
  • the business-use percentage for the logbook period

For each journey, record the:

  • start and end date of the journey
  • speedo readings at the start and end of each journey
  • reason for the journey (such as a description of the business reason or whether it was for private use)
  • kilometres travelled on each journey

Simply put, write down the date and speedo when you get in the car. Do your work or private travel. When your trip is complete, record the speedo reading again. Then records why you travelled. Usually travelling to and from work is private, but if you visit clients directly from home and then travel to work, that journey is claimable.


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