Can I claim driving to work?
Updated: Jul 29, 2021
A lot of people seem to think they can claim the kilometers they travel from home to work and home again. However, just going to work from home and then from work to home again is not often claimable.
There are a few circumstances where you are able to claim the transport expenses you incur between your home and regular workplace, and these are outlined below.
You can claim transport expenses when you are itinerant, or have shifting places of work. As stated on the ATO website, the following factors may indicate that you do itinerant work:
Travel is a fundamental part of your work
You have a web of work places you travel to, and no fixed place of work
You continually travel from one site to another
You start your work at home and can’t complete your duties until you attend your work site
You are often uncertain of the location of your work site
Your employer provides an allowance in recognition of your need to travel continually between different work sites and you use this allowance to pay for your travel
Another time you can claim your transport expenses is when you have to carry bulky tools or equipment. However, the following criteria must be met:
The tools or equipment are essential to perform your employment duties
The tools or equipment are bulky (awkward to transport because of their size and weight, and can only be conveniently transported using a motor vehicle)
There is no secure storage for such items at the work place
You don’t transport the tools or equipment as a matter of choice
A few other circumstances where you might be able to claim travel from home to work is when your home was a base of employment. As the ATO states on their website, that is, where:
You’re required to start your employment duties at home then travel to your regular place of work to complete those particular duties
Undertaking the work in two different locations was necessary due to the nature of your employment duties
The travel to your regular place of work isn’t part of a normal trip to work that would have occurred anyway.
The ATO also states that there are some other transport costs that you can claim, which includes transport between two separate places of work, for example, if you have a second job. It also includes transport from your regular place of work to an alternative place of work (e.g. to a client) while still on duty, and back to your regular place of work or directly home, or from home to an alternative place of work and then to your regular place of work or directly home.
Among many other examples, you can also claim:
Travel to professional development
Travel to required meetings
Travel to first aid training
Travel to the post office and back to work again (although stopping past the post office on your way to or from work does not make the trip claimable)
Travel for self-education purposes, including public transport costs (stay posted as we will be making a post about self-education soon!)
If you would like to find out more, or find out if you can claim, contact us and we will assist in whatever ways we can!