Travel Expenses Fact Sheet

In order to claim travel expenses as a tax deduction, you need to ensure that the correct substantiation is maintained.  The type and length of the business / work-related travel will affect the documentation you require.

The main issues to consider are:

Principal Reason – Business vs Private Travel

Travel expenses are deductible when they are incurred for business or work-related purposes.

Type of Travel Allowable Deductions
Main purpose for business / work Costs are fully deductible
Incidental business/work purpose Apportion
Accompanying relatives – non business / work purpose. Not deductible

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Allowable Deductions

If the other conditions of claiming a deduction for travel are met, examples of tax deductible travel expenses include:

  • Flights
  • Accommodation
  • Meals
  • Transport

Deductions cannot be claimed for the following travel-related expenses in any circumstances:

  • Visas
  • Passports
  • Travel insurance

Substantiation Requirements

In order to claim the allowable deductions outlined above, you must keep written evidence (receipts) in certain circumstances.  This will depend on the amount of the deduction that is being claimed and you receive a travel allowance.

Each year the ATO sets a reasonable travel allowance that covers accommodation, meals and incidentals incurred while travelling for work purposes.

  • For domestic travel where a travel allowance is received – no written evidence is required for deductions claimed up to the ATO reasonable travel allowance amount (otherwise written evidence is required for all expenses).
  • For domestic travel where no allowance is receivedwritten evidence is required to claim any deduction.
  • For overseas travel where a travel allowance is received – No written evidence is required for a deduction claimed up to the ATO reasonable travel allowance amount for meals and incidentals (otherwise written evidence is required for all expenses).  Written evidence is required for accommodation expenses as it is not included in the allowance.
  • For overseas travel where no allowance is receivedwritten evidence is required to claim any deduction.

Travel Diary Requirements

As well as the substantiation requirements outlined above, when you are away from home for 6 or more consecutive nights (whether domestic or overseas), a travel diary must be maintained in order to claim a deduction for travel expenses.  At the very least, the diary should include details for each business activity performed including:

  • The nature of the activity
  • The date, time and duration of the activity
  • The location of the activity

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The information and advice contained in this Fact Sheet is general and is not intended to serve as advice. No warranty is given in relation to the accuracy or reliability of this information. Users are encouraged to contact Marsh Tincknell professional advisers for advice concerning specific matters before making a decision.