Claiming Car Expenses - Log Book Method

(last updated 27/03/014)
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For details and a checklist on other methods of claiming car expenses see these posts:

Log Book (detailed) Method of Claiming Car Expenses

In most circumstances the log book method offers the most attractive deduction for work related car expenses.

Using the ‘logbook’ method, you work out the business or work related usage percentage of your car. This percentage is then applied to claiming all running costs of the car (excluding capital costs such as the purchase price of your car or improvements)
Records required include:
  • a logbook (available from newsagents and stationery shops)
  • odometer records, and
  • written evidence for all your car expenses except fuel and oil costs (eg. registration, repairs, insurance and interest)
Fuel and oil costs do not require receipts but you can make a reasonable estimate based on your odometer records. To do so you must obtain odometer readings at 30 June each year to clearly identify the number of kilometres travelled through the year.

A logbook is valid for five years (providing it represents current usage patterns), must record at lease 12 continuous weeks (can run over two financial years) and must contain the following information:
  • when the logbook period begins and ends
  • the car’s odometer readings at the start and end of the logbook period
  • the total number of kilometres that the car travelled during the logbook period
  • the number of kilometres travelled for work activities based on journeys recorded in the logbook. If you made 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.

Example of percentage calculation:

Calculate work related travel 7000
-------- X 100 = 70%
Total k's travel during period 10000

If a log book relates to a prior financial year you must also record odometer readings of the vehicle at beginning and end of the claim year.

FREE fact sheet on claiming car expenses ==> Claiming a Deduction for Car Expenses.

If you receive an allowance from your employer for car expenses it must be included as assessable income. See this post for a checklist of eTax and Assessable Income.

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:
For help with your eTax return see our eTax Return Checklist.

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