18 May 2010

Deduction for Work-related Overnight Travel Expenses

(last updated on 26/03/2013)

Related posts:
Construction and other workers often incur expenses relating to accommodation, meals and "incidentals" in performing their duties.
In recent years there has been an explosion in mining and related projects causing these construction and other workers to travel to various job locations on an itinerant basis. Here are some tax tips for claiming tax deductions for accommodation, meals and "incidentals".

You can claim a deduction for the full amount of your travel expenses where both of the following apply (see also our checklist on eTax and Allowable Deductions):
  • your employer requires you to travel to a worksite for a short period to perform work
  • it would be unreasonable to expect you to return home each day, which means you must stay at or near that worksite while performing that work.
This is the case unless the place at which you stay becomes your temporary residence. That is, you are living away from home for work purposes - see Overnight travel expenses you cannot claim.

Travel expenses include:
  • meals, accommodation and incidental expenses
  • car, air, bus, train, ferry and taxi fares between home and the site.
If you are claiming travel expenses and you receive a travel allowance from your employer you must record the allowance as income on your tax return at item 2.

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

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6 Responses to "Deduction for Work-related Overnight Travel Expenses"
  1. Anonymous said...
    27 September, 2010

    I work at a remote minesite one hour and 20 minutes from my principle place of residence. 2 Nights per week I stay away from home in a shared house provided by my employer. No meals or incidentals are provided. Can I claim for the cost of meals and incidentals ? What substantiation do I require ?

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

    Hi. In order to claim any meal of "incidental" costs not covered by your employer you will either need to keep receipts or, if you receive a "travel" allowance there are amounts you can claim without substantiation.

  3. Anonymous said...
    21 October, 2010

    I work away from home in a mining town for 1/3 of the year. i live in share accommodation which i have to vacate when i fly out.
    I do not receive any travel allowances, my flights and the accommodation is paid for by the company my company contract to.
    is their a minimum amount i can claim for each day away without receipts?

  4. Anonymous said...
    27 February, 2011

    I occasionally work away from home a week at a time, my employer pays for accomadation, and meals, is there any allowance/rebate i am entitled to for being away from home?

  5. Anonymous said...
    28 February, 2011

    Re above comment:

    You can only claim a deduction for costs incurred and where receipts etc are retained. In your case the employer is poaying for everything.

    If you restructured the payment to be made by you and you receive a taxable allowance from your employer to cover the costs, you can pick up another $16.50 per day for "incidentals" and possibly more of the accomodation and meals in accordance with the ATO's "reasonable" allowance guidelines.

  6. Anonymous said...
    13 March, 2011

    I occasionally travel overseas to meet clients. If i do not receive an allowance or reimbursement from my employer for the travel am I entitled to claim the travel expenses as a tax deduction?

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