1 October 2007

Travel Allowance & Living away from home (LAFH) Allowance for Construction Workers


(last updated26/06/2013)

See this post for the latest ATO Changes to LAFH Allowance and FBT

Related Posts:

TAX WARNING! See this post for the latest ATO views and case law relating to travel allowances and associated travel expenses - Travel Allowance Update 2014.

What is "Travel" Allowance and "Living Away From Home" (LAFH) Allowance

Many construction workers are missing out on large deductions for "Travel allowance" and "Living Away From Home Allowance" (LAFH).

In many cases, construction and other workers receive a travel allowance and or a LAFH allowance to cover the costs of accommodation, food and other costs while working away from home. But these allowances, although sounding similar, are different in both the way they are paid and the way a deduction is claimed. For a detailed explanation of both see our post Claiming Travel Allowance Expenses.

Receving "Travel" Allowance

Receipt of a "travel" allowance is a pre-requisite to claiming a travel allowance using the ATO's "reasonable" amount method that does not require substantiation. A "travel" allowance is assessable income (see our post What is Assessable Income) and must be included as income on your tax return.

Some employers show the allowance separately on the PAYG Payment Summary. Others don't. That is when we need to do some more investigation to confirm receipt of a "travel" allowance.

In some cases the allowance is folded into the "Gross Income" on the PAYG Payment Summary. In this case, you need to either check your paysips for the detail or obtain a letter from your employer confirming receipt of a "travel" allowance and the amount.

Claming against "Travel" Allowance

The ATO provides guidelines for "...what are the reasonable travel and meal allowance expense amounts..." that can be included in the tax return. Where a construction worker has received an "assessable" travel allowance than travel expense claims can be made under these guidelines. The benefit of using the "reasonable" expense method is the expense claims do not require substantiation.

Where workers wish to claim more than the guidelines the total expense must be substantiated (not just the amount in excess of the ATO guidelines).

For the 2013 tax return the "reasonable allowance" can be between $213 and $472 per day, depending on circumstances and locations. For example, If a construction worker receved an assessable "travel" allowance and spent 70 days of the year in a country area the allowabe deduction to be included in the tax return could be $14910

Living Away From Home (LAFH) Allowance

Some care needs to be taken when "Living Away From Home Allowance" (LAFH) is received from the employer as this allowance is paid under the Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) guidelines. Fringe Benefits are not "assessable" income for the employee since tax has already been paid on the amount under the FBT rules. Accordingly, you can not claim a tax deduction against the allowance using the ATO's "reasonable" expense method.

LAFH allowances are usually made for longer term arrangements. A claim against this reimbursement can only be made where the actual expense incurred by workers is greater than the allowance received. In this case the total amount claimed must be substantiated (ie. receipts for all costs - not just the amount in excess of the allowance). An exception to this is where the number of days away is 21 days or less on each arrangement.

See this post for the latest ATO Changes to LAFH Allowance and FBT

Missed out on Claiming a Deduction for Travel Allowance?

Whether you are a construction worker, travelling sales person or for other reasons your employment requires you to travel away from home you may be entitled to a substantial allowable deduction. The LAFH allowance relates to both domestic and overseas work related travel.

If you haven't claimed the deduction in your current or previous tax returns you are able amend your tax return up to two years after the assessment was issued. There may be additional tax dollars you are currently entitled to?

If you believe you have missed out on this deduction you can contact our office on 07 3208 3888 and discuss it further. It doesn't matter if you are local or interstate - we can still do your tax returns by Internet, email or snail mail.

E-tax Return

See these posts with tips, calculators and checklists to help you prepare your eTax Return (and get a better refund) with less hassle:

Web Based Tax Return App:

A benefit of using eZtax, our web based tax return app, is we have the genuine online tools, knowledge and experience to get the best tax refund for our clients, making it easy to complete your annual tax return online.

Our Web Based Tax Return App will step you through all the necessary questions to increase your  tax refund and take into account all relevant tax deductions and tax offsets. Try it now. Its FREE to get started! 

comments

74 Responses to "Travel Allowance & Living away from home (LAFH) Allowance for Construction Workers"
  1. D Dalgety said...
    02 October, 2007

    This is good information. I know people who this could apply to. Thanks for the info.

  2. Patsy Barrett said...
    02 October, 2007

    My husband got an extra $2000 refund for 2007 and will possibly review some previous years to get missed refunds. How happy are we?

  3. Anonymous said...
    30 June, 2008

    Hi, This last year i worked for 5 mths as a jillaroo on a remote 1.2 million acre cattle station in Western Australia and then i worked for 8 months on the same Station for an exploration company as a field assistant. while working as a field assistant i was on a 3 weeks on 1 week off roster. Iwas wondering if i am entitled to any Zone allowances??? for remote living, and if i am where do i find out what zone i'm in??

  4. David Maynard said...
    01 July, 2008

    To anonymous who works on cattle stations in WA re zone allowances. Sorry I don't have your email address to reply so replying here. Hope you read it.

    You can find a ZONE REBATE locator on our web page under the "My Tax Zone" menu.

    The main test for the Zone Rebate is you are in the area for a least 6 months (that can run over two financial years).

  5. Anonymous said...
    15 October, 2008

    Hi, As I work away from home I receive a travel allowance from my employer however it is less than the 'reasonable allowance' on the ATO table.
    So does this mean that although the allowance isnt shown on my PAYG summary I can still claim the difference as a deduction?

  6. D Maynard said...
    16 October, 2008

    To anonymous on 15/10/08. It depends on what kind of payment u receive from eyour employer. If it is a "LAFH" allowance paid under FBT rule it is tax free and, if you wish to claim more than allowance than 100% must be substantiated - ie. must have receipts/records so can not claim difference of "reasonable allowance".

    If paid as travel allowance and has been subject to PAYG installments than you can claim the "reasonable alowance".

    Further, to claim the "reasonable allowance" the employee "must be paid a meal allowance under an industrial award or a travel allowance."

  7. lml34 said...
    23 October, 2008

    Hi,

    I am due to stary remote working on a fly in fly out role. 3 week on 1 week off.

    My employer pays a weekly allowance every week I'm on site, i.e 3 week in 4.

    I am also paid a regular monthly salary.

    Does both my allowance and salary or 1 of the 2 class as LAFHA.

    Is my week site allowance taxed or tax free also?

    Many Thanks

    Confused
    lml34

  8. Anonymous said...
    15 November, 2008

    hi, can people who work in wa and are on abn claim the lafha.

  9. D Maynard said...
    17 November, 2008

    Hi ABN worker in WA. Technically you could claim the allowance, but you mustreceive a "travel allowance" from your payer. This is not common for ABN/sub-contractor arrangements. But there is no reason you couldn't negotiate that in your payment agreement. Such an allowance would have to be included as inclome and the claim then made against that income in your tax return. The question is - is your payer flexible enough to vary sub-contract agreements?

  10. Anonymous said...
    21 March, 2009

    Hi there,
    I am a security systems contractor and I had to spend the last 6 months working away from home. I have only been back for some weekends. The company pays for my accomodation and flights and also rents me a car. However, I pay for meals and fuel as wel as taxi to and from the airport. am I entitled for any allowance that I can deduct from my tax. I have spoken to two different accountants and they have opposite opinions.

  11. Christian said...
    11 June, 2009

    Hello,

    I am an employee working in the offshore oil and gas industry just off the coas of W.A.

    I work 3 weeks on/3 weeks off roster. My employer pays me what is stated on my monthly payslip as a 'LAHA payment' of $1059.17 but this is then included as part of my taxable income for each month (which means I lose almost half of it). Arn't LAHA payments meant to be tax free? Where do I stand here?

  12. Joel & Kylie Kowald said...
    31 May, 2010

    Hi

    My husband and i were living in the town where he works. the family and i have now moved 6hrs away from his work place, he travels back and forth o his 4 on 4 off roster, are we entiltled to claim anything in his tax? His employer does not contribute

  13. David Maynard said...
    04 June, 2010

    Hi Joel & Kylie

    Unless you are transporting bulky tools and/or equipment to/from work than you can not claim a deduction for that travel - it is a private expenses regardless of the distance you travel.

  14. Anonymous said...
    25 June, 2010

    I am contemplating taking a job interstate or overseas and living away from home rather than uprooting my family. The interstate job is permanent and residential so no LAFHA is paid by the employer. I understand the travel to and from the workplace is considered a private regardless of the '000s of km and expense involved, however if I understood some of the earlier responses correctly, am I entitled to claim a meals and accommodation deduction for the period away from home?

  15. David Maynard said...
    25 June, 2010

    Hi Anonymous above.

    To claim the travel deduction you must actually receive an allowance from your employer. In your case there would be no allowable claim.

  16. Anonymous said...
    28 June, 2010

    Hi,we are railway labourers and most of our jobswe are on we get $137 per day laha,the past year we have been working on a job where the machine operators get laha but the labourers dont,our residential addresses are 150+ kilometers away from the site,can we still claim our laha(living expenses)at tax time?
    thank you for your time

  17. David Maynard said...
    29 June, 2010

    Hi railway workers. Thanks for your email.

    Unfortunately you must be in receipt of an allowance in order to claim the "travel allowance". The LAFH alowance is a little different as it is paid under the FBT rules and is tax free to the recipient.

    If you are actually staying away from home who is paying for the accodation/meals etc?. Can you negotiate your pay structure to include an allowance??

  18. Andrew said...
    04 July, 2010

    Hi,

    I'm a construction worker on a 3 weeks on, 1 week off roster. I received tax free LAFHA from the company (does not appear on PAYG summary) to cover for meals and accomodation. Can I claim the expenses that I've spent while I'm away (accomodation & food) as deduction on work related travel?
    Thanks.

  19. David Maynard said...
    05 July, 2010

    Hi 3 weeks on 1 week off.

    If your allowance is not shown on your PAYG payment summary it could be a TAX FREE payment under the FBT rules, in which case you can not make a claim for travel.

    Otherwise, if you received "travel" allowance it may be included in the "Gross" amount on the certtificate. You may want to check a pay slip or with your pay officer. If this is the case you can claim for "travel" expenses (accomodation and food etc)

  20. Anonymous said...
    19 July, 2010

    Hi David,
    I work in remote WA and my residents is in QLD. My employer pay me rent assistance which is taxed. Can i claim flights back home?

  21. David Maynard said...
    19 July, 2010

    Hi remote WA. To claim the air fares you must be transporting "bulky or heavy" tools or equipment to/from home and work. Otherwise it is private expense.

    You may be able to pick up accomodation costs though.

  22. Anonymous said...
    21 July, 2010

    Hi David

    Some of my work colleagues have advised that I can claim deductions for travel using a tax determination TD 2009/15. Is this correct as the deduction I can claim appears to be quite substantial

  23. Brooke said...
    28 July, 2010

    I am a service engineer who travels away from home regularly i receive two pay dockets one with my normal pay and another with meal allowance and hardship. My PAYG summary does not have an allowance and does not include the meal allowance in my gross payment. Can I claim for the extra cost of living away from home (always less than 21 days away) and if so do I need receipts.

  24. Anonymous said...
    06 September, 2010

    Firstly, thankyou for the wonderful information you have provided! I truly hope you can help answer my question as I have had differing advice from two accountants and the ATO won't help! I'm extremely confused.

    My husband works as a contractor. At times, he needs to work away. On his payslips under "after tax allowances" he gets paid LAHA.

    On his group certificate, this amount is not shown.

    It costs him much more than the LAHA given to him by the company to stay/eat. Is there anyway we can claim our out of pocket expenses??!!

    Thankyou so much for your time
    Bella

  25. David Maynard said...
    06 September, 2010

    Hi Bella

    It is a tricky question and the ATO information/rulings tend to be very ambiguous.

    This is the BIG question -if the allowance your husband receives is paid under the FBT rules there is nothing more that can be claimed.

    If it is not paid under FBT rules you can claim it at ato "reasonable rates".

    If the allowance is included in the "gross Wages" on the PAYG Payment Summary you can claim the full "reasonable amount". Otherwise you would pick up the gap (difference between allowance received and ATO "reasonable allowance".

    Hope that helps.

  26. Anonymous said...
    08 September, 2010

    Hi David.

    Thankyou for getting back to me!

    Just to clarify, if it were paid under the FBT rules (it would be declared on the PAYG payment summary under "Reportable Fringe Benefits Amount"?) FBT amount is $0.

    However it is paid after tax on his pay slip therefore isn't in the "gross wages" on the payslip.

    How would you determine if it was included in the gross wages on the PAYG payment summary?

    I'm sorry for all the questions. It is so very confusing!
    Bella

  27. Anonymous said...
    09 September, 2010

    Hi,

    I get a daily allowance from my employer for interstate travel.

    The amount is shown on my monthly payslip, but not on my PAYG payment summary for 2010, nor is there a FBT amount.

    It doesn't look like I pay tax over the allowance, however it is substantially less than the "reasonable rate".

    Can I claim a deduction for the difference?

    Thanks,
    Peter

  28. David Maynard said...
    14 September, 2010

    A zero amount in the Fringe Benefits box doesn't necessarilly mean it is not FBT. If it is a remote allowance it is exempt from the FBT therefore it would not be reported on the certificate.

    If you can't determin from the pay slip than I would suggest checking with the pay officer.

  29. Vicki said...
    21 October, 2010

    Dear David,

    My husband has worked as a self-employed engineer for more than 20 years. On rare occasions he has to go to site or to locations to inspect gear. Next week is has to travel to New South Wales from Perth for 4 nights as part of his current contract. The mining company is paying to fly him over, accommodate him and feed him. I believe he can be paid a LAFHA just for the inconvenience of being away from home. What is this amount per night he is away and what paperwork does he need to complete, if any, to qualify?

    Thanks,
    Vicki

  30. Anonymous said...
    01 November, 2010

    Hi David,

    My brother works on various construction sites and is required to stay away from home for various periods of time.

    He receives a Living away from home payment, which is not an allowance and is not shown on his group certificate. (Therefore, not Taxable).

    Is he allowed to claim for travel costs when he travels home for the weekend and then back to the place of work during the week? i.e. Motor Vehicle costs, or airfares??
    Also, meal expenses whilst living away? His accomodation is already provided for by his employer.

    Thanks for your help.

  31. David Maynard said...
    02 November, 2010

    Hi above.

    It sounds like your brother receives a LAFH allowance which is paid under FBT rules and no further cliam can be made. But check with employer as they sometime get mixed up with terminologies etc.

  32. Anonymous said...
    06 November, 2010

    Hi

    I am an Australian citizen and I live and still own my family home in the UK. I have returned to WA as a civil engineer on a salary of $160k. My employer is quite happy to pay me a LAFHA as long as there are no FBT costs to him. I am single and my current rent in Perth is $500 per week plus utilities .
    Are there any FBT implications for my employer? Is there threshold below which there is no FBT payable by my employer?

  33. Anonymous said...
    06 November, 2010

    Hi

    I am an Australian citizen and I live and still own my family home in the UK. I have returned to WA as a civil engineer on a salary of $160k. My employer is quite happy to pay me a LAFHA as long as there are no FBT costs to him. I am single and my current rent in Perth is $500 per week plus utilities .
    Are there any FBT implications for my employer? Is there threshold below which there is no FBT payable by my employer?

  34. Pink Princess said...
    07 November, 2010

    Hi David

    I have recently moved 1500km as a transfer with my employer. It is for a two year period, and my employer has paid all my relocation expenses. My new letter of offer says they will pay me $400 per week "remote living allowance", and that this will form part of my taxable income. This is to re-imburse me for my rent. However, as they are taking tax from it, I am losing approx $150 per week of it. From my research on the ATO website, they should be paying me as a non-taxable LAFHA - is this correct?

    Alternatively, if they keep paying it as a taxable allowance (which I cannot find anything on the ATO website about), can I then claim my rent etc on my tax return?

    Thank you

    Angela

  35. Pete said...
    12 November, 2010

    Dear David
    Thanks for taking the time to explain this issue.
    I am considering a job with a not-for-profit which would involve me living away from home for perhaps 3 nights a week. The employer does not have the resources to make any LAFHA payments. I understand that my travel expenses to and from are non-deductible...but am I able to make any claim for my accommodation costs while away from home?
    Thanks for any help.
    Pete

  36. David Maynard said...
    12 November, 2010

    Yes you can. If you don't receive a travel allowance than the ATO "Reasonable" limits won't apply and you will need to substantiate fully your deduction.

  37. hsghns said...
    14 November, 2010

    hi david,
    i am a construction worker working away from home. i recieve a living away from home allowance from my employer which is tax free and isnt shown on my group certificate. going by these comments i am unable to claim anything on that if thats correct? But i also recieve a food and travel allowance which is a part of my gross earnings per week and is on my group certificate. this amount is $42 a day. am i entitled to claim some or part of the gap between the $42 and the ato reasonable allowance of $170-$400 without substantiation? any help would be much appreciated, cheers mate

  38. Brodie said...
    05 February, 2011

    Hi David,

    Thanks for the information so far.

    How can I tell if my LAFHA $150 per night is payed under FBT

    On my weekly payslip it has 5 lines;

    Taxed = $1393 Non Taxed (LAFHA) = $150 Gross = $1543 Tax = $333 Net = $1210

    Am I able to claim the ATO reasinable amount per night?

    Regards.

  39. David Maynard said...
    07 February, 2011

    Hi Brodie.

    If the allowance is "taxed" than it is included in your taxable income and therefore you can claim the reasonable amount as it applies to your circumstance.

  40. Anonymous said...
    15 February, 2011

    Hi my husband works 11 days on 3 days off in which he receives lafh as you are able to claim something like $224 per day, he gets $106 lafh .is it correct that you can claim 80% of the shortfall with receipts.

  41. Anonymous said...
    15 February, 2011

    Hi my husband works 11 days on 3 days off in which he receives lafh as you are able to claim something like $224 per day, he gets $106 lafh .is it correct that you can claim 80% of the shortfall with receipts.

  42. David Maynard said...
    15 February, 2011

    Hi. Thanks for your comment/question.

    Is the $106 lafh allowance paid as a "taxable" amount and included on the PAYG Summary?. If so, than he can claim for all or either of: accomodation; meals and / or incidentals. Together these can amount to $270 odd. I am not aware of any 80% rule???

    If it is paid as a tax free fringe benefits (eg - remote area allowance) than no further deduction is claimable.

  43. Belinda said...
    18 February, 2011

    Hi David,

    Thanks very much for answering some of the questions here.

    I work for a telco and am currently on a 8 week secondment. The company pays for accommodation and has given us a LAFHA of $200 weekly.

    In the Allowances section in pay slips, I see the following:

    Description Value
    LAFHA - FOOD (NO SUPER) 228.57

    In the summary however, it lists the LAFHA as pre-tax:

    Pre Tax Allows/Deds 228.57

    Would I still be able to claim for travel expenses to and from the office? I have receipts etc...

  44. Anonymous said...
    19 February, 2011

    Hi David

    I am considering a role with a not for profit organisation in Brisbane, yet reside in northern NSW. My partner and works locally as do the kids. I am interested to know if accommodation expenses to reside away from home during the week would, in part or full, be tax deductible? Alternatively, would such a situation qualify for LAFHA (even though the role is not temporary) if my prospective employer is in a position to process this?

  45. David Maynard said...
    21 February, 2011

    Hi Northern NSW.

    I believe your situation would be classed as normal travel to and from work and the accomodation would be non-deductible in a normal employment arrangement.

    You have a couple of options:

    1. If your employer includes a "taxable" travel allowance than you could pick up the reasonable travel allowance as a deduction.

    2. Most non-profit organisations have access to FBT exempt FBT arrangements. If this is the case simply sal sac that expense.

  46. David Maynard said...
    21 February, 2011

    Hi Belinda

    Thanks for your query. It sounds like the allowance is paid under FBT rules. You may want to check with your employer.

    If it is paid under FBT rules there would be no deduction and the allowance is not included in your assessable income.

    If it is included on your OPAYG summary and must be included in your tax return than you would be eligible to claim the "reasonable" travel expenses.

  47. Anonymous said...
    26 February, 2011

    I am considering applying for a fly in fly out mechanical job in remote WA (1 week on, 1 week off roster). I live in Melbourne. Would airfares between Melbourne and Perth (and return) be tax deductible in any way if my job is interstate, and if so, approximately how much can I claim? Thanks!

  48. David Maynard said...
    02 March, 2011

    Hi Flyin fly our above. Travel to/from work is considered private, even if you travel interstate. The only thing that would make it deductible is if you were required to transport tools/equipment with you.

  49. Anonymous said...
    03 March, 2011

    Hi again David,
    Thanks for your reply above re claiming travel. If carrying tools/equipment, is there a minimum weight or type of tools you have to carry to be able to claim travel, and if so, approx what percentage of the travel can you claim? Thanks for your time

  50. Anonymous said...
    07 March, 2011

    Hi
    I am employed as a veterinarian and it was stipulated as part of my contract i must live within 30mins when I am on call. My PPOR is further away than this, Therefore I live in a house provided by the clinic while on call. I receive no allowances. Am I entitled to claim the cost of my food (groceries, take-away) while living away from home for that week?
    Thanks
    JOsh

  51. David Maynard said...
    08 March, 2011

    Re veterinarian - you can claim thos costs providing documetation (eg receipts) are kept. Alternatively, if your employer provides a taxable "travel" as part of your pay structure you can claim up to $107 per day "reasonable" travel allowance without retaining receips.

  52. Anonymous said...
    05 April, 2011

    Hi i working in construction building mobile telephone towers in remote areas and for everyday/night i work away from home i recieve $130,

    but i have to pay my own accom,food,drink cigs ect

    is it possible to claim more per day i lived away without recipts?

    on my pay slips it my allowence is titled dom travel allowence

    and that 130 is added into my gross income

    thanks from mat

  53. Anonymous said...
    05 April, 2011

    Hi i working in construction building mobile telephone towers in remote areas and for everyday/night i work away from home i recieve $130,

    but i have to pay my own accom,food,drink cigs ect

    is it possible to claim more per day i lived away without recipts?

    on my pay slips it my allowence is titled dom travel allowence

    and that 130 is added into my gross income

    thanks from mat

  54. David Maynard said...
    06 April, 2011

    Hi Telephone tower construction above.

    Thanks for your comment. The answer to your question lays with how you receive the $130 weekly allowance - ie. is it included in your taxable income and shown on your PAYG Payment Summary or is it paid as a tax free Fringe Benefit?

    If it is the first one (included on your PAYG summary)you can claim the ATO's "reasonable allowance", which can amount to over $300 per day depending on your circumstances (and no receipts etc required).

    If it is paid as a fringe benefit there is nothing more you can claim - however, I would recommend you renegotiate with your employer to make the allowance taxable and included on your PAYG Payment Summary.

    Hope that helps

  55. Anonymous said...
    27 April, 2011

    Thanks for all this information but I have a specific question.

    My son a Sole Trader with ABN works on an hourly rate for a Brisbane company that he invoices weekly.

    That company sent him to Townsville due to lack of work in Brisbane.

    The company provides accommodation but my son is responsible for all meals and transport to and from Brisbane.

    Can he claim the ATO's "reasonable amount" for meals etc or does he need proof of purchase? He receives no LAFHA.

    Many thanks,

    Jenny, Brisbane

  56. Anonymous said...
    28 April, 2011

    Hi David
    I am on work visa in Australia, but my company does not pay any allowance. My previous company was paying me LAFHA but the new company refused to pay this.
    I am wondering if I can claim the deduction of expenses such as rent, food, travel etc.
    Much appreciate your help.

  57. David Maynard said...
    12 May, 2011

    Hi Jenny Brisbane.

    Sorry for delay in responding to your question - I brke my ankle over easter break and just getting back on top of things now.

    Your son can only claim the "reasonable allowance" deduction if he is an employee and receives a "travel allowance".

    Since he is self employed, and if he still "resides" in Brisbane, he can claim a deduction for his costs but needs to keep invoices and receipts.

    The travel from Bris to Townsville will only be deductible if he transports heavy of bulky tools/equipment to/from work - regardless of distance.

  58. Anonymous said...
    25 May, 2011

    Hi David

    I have been paid a LAFHA allowance as my employer required me to do some work out of town. I was told that it was tax free to both me and my employer. The question I have is if it should be showing up on my PAYG Summary as last year it did and I ended up having to pay tax on it as it had to be added to my tax return allowances section. Should my employer not be showing this on my PAYG Summary? Thank you so much for your help as I'd like to not have to pay the tax as I was told from my employer?
    Cheers
    Mandy

  59. sherelle said...
    03 June, 2011

    Hi, I am very confussed... I am a sales rep and i travel away to country victoria 4 nights a week once a month. Before i go away my work deposit $560 ( $ 140 per night) allowance into my bank account. This amount is not shown up anywhere in my group certificate or shown on my pay slip.

    Can i claim the difference from the "resonable amount" and the $140 they pay me allowance.

    Thanks

  60. David Maynard said...
    11 July, 2011

    Hi Rob. Thanks for your query.

    The LAFH allowance can be received in two ways: either through FBT FREE fringe benefits (doesn't look like you receive that) and through cliaming a deduiction IF you receive a "taxable travel allowance" (doesn't look like you receive that either).

    From information supplied I would say you are not eligible to claim a deduction for that travel.

  61. Anonymous said...
    20 July, 2011

    Hi David,

    I'm currently working away from home weekly (Mon to Fri) and paid a Daily Travel Allowance for 4 nights, which is noted as After Tax Pay, and does not appear in the PAYG.

    From the previous replies, it seems like I can not claim anything as it sounds FBT exempt despite being less than the Reasonable Amount. I have heard through colleagues that the difference between the company rate and reasonable rate is deductible, but sounds like that is not the case. Where would such a rumour come from and what's to stop a company paying an employee much less than the reasonable amount as an FBT allowance?

    Thanks for any insights!
    D.

  62. Elaine said...
    24 July, 2011

    Hi David,

    My husband works in WA on a FIFO basis from Melbourne. His PAYG Payment Summary shows only Gross Wages, no LAFHA.

    His contract states that he will receive accommodation or LAFHA of $490 per week. Can he claim the reasonable daily allowance based on this or do you think it is an FBT free fringe benefit?

    Thank you in advance.

    Elaine

  63. David Maynard said...
    25 July, 2011

    Hi Elaine. You will need to check if the $490 is paid under FBT rules or "travel allowance".

    If FBT rule there is nothing to claim as it is tax exempt and tax free money. This is usually not shown on the PAYG Payment Summary.

    If it is taxed and included in gross "Taxable" income on the PAYG Payment Summary, than you can pick up the "Reasonable daily travel allowance."

    If it is FBT payment you can check a pay slip and see if the payment is excluded from the tax calculation. It is usually added on to the net (after tax) amount.

    Hope that helps.

  64. Anonymous said...
    01 August, 2011

    Hi David,

    My husband received $150.00 a day specified on his payslip as project allowance. The $150 was included in his gross income and taxed at the appropriate rates. The project allowance was the amount agreed upon between employees and the employer to be in payment of laha. The company paid for his accomodation and food. Will he be able to claim laha on his annual tax return?

  65. David Maynard said...
    11 August, 2011

    Hi D above.

    I am sure some taxpayers claim the difference between the FBT amount received and the "reasonable amount" but it is not an eligible deduction (had a client audited on this who lost).

    As far as the paymeent from the employer goes it is entirely negotiable between employer/employee - who's gor the most clout?

  66. Anonymous said...
    04 September, 2011

    Hi david,

    I work in mental health and as part of my role it is expected that I do on call (have to live within 60 mins of the area). To meet this criteria i will have to move away from home, would i be eligible for anything because i have to move away from home?

    Cheers,

  67. Con said...
    29 February, 2012

    Sorry to bring up an old topic.

    I am employed as a subcontractor & reside in SA.

    I have travelled to Perth & various other locations as my work stipulates. My employer pays Accom, but I pay for Meals.
    As i understand it, if my pay includes an amount for living away, I can claim the reasonable limits for meals. If there is no amount included in my pay for living away from home, I cannot claim anything in regards to meals.

    Thankyou for your assistance.

  68. Anonymous said...
    17 June, 2012

    Hi - I found this topic on a Google search. Thanks for the help and info. Based on previous replies I would guess I'm *not* eligible to claim anything but my exact circumstance doesn't seem to have come up here.

    My employer does not pay me a travel allowance, but I travel regularly interstate for work. Usually accommodation is booked and paid by my employer in advance and then I am required to pay for and keep receipts for meals and transport out of my own pocket and am reimbursed for these after I return. These are usually far less than the reasonable amounts stipulated by the tax office, but none of them appear on my payment summary, so I'm not sure how the employer is treating them - am I able to claim the difference as a tax deduction?

    Thanks
    Ruben

  69. Anonymous said...
    02 July, 2012

    Hi there,

    I travelled around Australia for a 3 months straight. Accomodation & breakfast and dinner were supplied by my employer. Can I still claim anything from being away from home?

    Thanks so much!

  70. Anonymous said...
    13 July, 2012

    Hello,

    My fiance and I have recently moved to WA from Sydney due to a job transfer through his existing employer.

    He did not pay any relocation costs at all and we have had to spend thousands on this move.

    Can I as his spouse claim some of the expenses in this year's tax or must it only be claimed in his ITR??

    I'm also a bit fuzzy trying to figure our what we CAN claim and what we can't. ie: Car relocation, removalists, current rent??

    Any info would be much appreciated. I have googled but found no specific information with regards to this.

    Thanks for your help in advance.

    My email is marce_carina@hotmail.com

    Regards,
    Marcela

  71. Anonymous said...
    30 June, 2013

    Hi there

    Last year I spent 5 weeks working in London. We were provided flights and accom, and $90 aud travel allowance ( paid as cash). I do not expect to see any record of this on my group certificate. According to ATO guidelines I could have been entitled to over $200 aud per day ( a fair difference ). Is there any way to claim this difference up to the point where documentation is required?

  72. My Tax Zone Tax Refund Calculator said...
    02 July, 2013

    Hi Traveled to London. The $200 referred to relates to a ruling regarding what is "reasonable" without substantiation. The catch is that in order to claim it you have to receive the "travel allowance" as taxable income on your certificate. Gibven your circumstnace you can not claim using this method. However, you can still make a claim for "actual" costs incurred providing you can substantiate it with receipts and or bank/credit card statements. Hope that helps.

  73. Anonymous said...
    04 August, 2013

    Hi David
    I work away from home for most of the year, some times less than 21 days and occasionally in excess of 5 weeks but less than 8. If i'm onshore interstate I get paid 150/day on ticket allowance which is taxed. I also receive a per diem which is classed as "A Per Diem is an allowance paid to employees when travelling in reimbursement of the additional costs incurred in living away from home." This is to cover 3 meals a day. My employer also pays for the flights and accommodation. When working offshore on rigs/vessels in oz waters I just get the $150/day. Would i be eligible to the extra ie $170-$150 = 20 or could i claim more than this without receipts? Thanks for the information above. Also only about 50% of the offshore work would be classed as "construction"
    Cheers
    Ben

  74. Anonymous said...
    03 November, 2013

    Hi, Ichigo here,
    I recevied 6308 in site allowances for a remote area....and wanted to know if I can claim $30 for living away from home expenses....do i need to have actual records of my spendings if I claim only the allowance amount? As there was no electronic means of paying on the site I was at....and i didnt keep all my receipts?

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