We all think we should be entitled to claim travel to work as its part of the cost of earning our income. But unfortunately the ATO basically consider that getting “to and from” work is private.
What trips are work-related?
You cannot claim the cost of normal trips between home and work.
You cannot claim even if: – This info is straight from the ATO
You do minor tasks – for example, picking up the mail on the way to work or home
You have to travel between home and work more than once a day
You are ‘on call’ – for example, you are on standby duty and your employer contacts you at home to come into work
There is no public transport near where you work
You work outside normal business hours – for example, shift work or overtime
Your home is a place of business and you travel directly to a place of employment.
You can claim the cost of trips between home and work where:
You use your car because you have to carry bulky tools or equipment that you use for work – for example, an extension ladder or cello and there is no secure place for you to leave them at work
Your home is a base of employment – you start your work at home and travel to a workplace to continue the work, or
You have shifting places of employment – you regularly work at more than one site each day before returning home.
Travel between two workplaces
You can claim the cost of using your car to travel directly between two separate places of employment – for example, when you have a second job.
Craig uses his own car to travel from his normal place of employment to his second job as a waiter. After finishing work as a waiter, he travels directly home.
The cost of travel from his normal workplace to his second job is an allowable deduction. However, Craig cannot claim the cost of traveling from his second job to his home.
You can claim the cost of using your car to travel:
From your normal workplace to an alternative workplace – for example, a client’s premises – while still on duty and back to your normal workplace or directly home
From your home to an alternative workplace for work purposes and then to your normal workplace or directly home.
Or the boss asks you to work at another location for the day.
You are considered to be an itinerant worker if you have shifting places of work and regularly travel to more than one work site each day before returning home.
The following characteristics will assist you in determining if your work is itinerant:
Travel is a fundamental part of your work
You have a series of workplaces as part of your regular employment
Your regularly work at more than one site each day before returning home.
Other factors that may indicate that your travel is itinerant (to a lesser degree) include:
You have a degree of uncertainty of location of your employment
Your home is the base of your employment
You can carry bulky equipment from home to different work sites
Your employer pays you a travel allowance in recognition that you need to travel continually between different work sites.
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