When you can claim travel allowances and expenses

By  Stephanie Oakley
Categories: Business | Tax

Knowing what you can claim from travel allowances and expenses can be difficult as in some cases, tax deductions from an allowance are to be withheld unless specified otherwise.

The reasonable amount of travel expenses is updated yearly and is based on job type and salary. On the occasion that you are required to travel overnight for work, you may be eligible to receive a travel allowance from your employer for accommodation, food, drink or incidental expenses.

Where exceptions apply, your employer won’t withhold tax and will include the allowance on your payslip. These exceptions are:

  • You are expected to spend all of the travel allowance you have been paid.

  • The amount and nature of the travel allowance is kept separately in accounting records.

  • The travel allowance is not for overseas accommodation.

  • The amount of travel allowance paid is less than, or equal to the reasonable travel allowance rate.

It is important to keep detailed records of your travel expenses, length of trips and if it was overseas or domestic travel. If you claim anything from these trips in the future, you will need to provide the appropriate documentation covering all expenses, not just excess amounts. Vehicle, food, accommodation and incidental expenses need to be documented on a case by case basis:

With a travel allowance;

  • Written evidence needs to be supplied for overseas accommodation.

  • A travel diary needs to be supplied on overseas trips of 6 nights or more in a row.

Without a travel allowance;

  • Written evidence needs to be supplied on all domestic and overseas travel.

  • A travel diary needs to be supplied on domestic and overseas trips of 6 nights or more in a row.

If you have any questions about what expense you can claim contact your accountant.


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