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Event & Travel Expenses – What can you claim?

Written by Blake Fredericks . May 17, 2022
5 min read

No matter what industry you’re in, travel and events are both common parts of work and business - but knowing what you can claim can sometimes be a bit of a minefield. Here’s a rundown of what types of travel and event costs you can claim as a tax deduction and what records are required to be kept.

Contents

Travel Expenses

Where you travel away from your home for work purposes, you can claim travel expenses you incur which can include:

  • Accommodation and meal expenses (if your trip includes an overnight)
  • Transport expenses (like flights, taxis, train tickets, car hire or Uber rides)
  • Incidental costs such as parking or internet charges

It’s important to note there are some travel costs you can’t claim including:

  • Private travel including expenses associated with taking a friend or family member
  • Souvenirs and gifts
  • Entertainment
  • Visa, passports or travel insurance
  • If you’re an employee, expenses provided or reimbursed by your employer (not to be confused with a travel allowance)

Travel Expenses by Car

Please note where travel is undertaken by your own car, actual expenses usually can’t be claimed in the same way as with other forms of travel. The most common ways to claim deduction for costs incurred using your car for business travel are using either the 'cents per kilometre' method or the 'log book' method.

Under the cents per kilometre method, you can claim a deduction of a set rate per km your car is used for business purposes (72 cents per km for the 2022 year) up to a maximum of 5,000km. This method can be used for employees, sole traders and partners in a partnership. You will need to be able to provide written evidence to show how you worked out your business kilometres for the year.

Under the log book method (ATO website), your deduction is based on the work-related portion of your actual expenses for the car. To use this method, you will need to keep a log book for a minimum of 12 weeks to support the business use portion of your car use and will need to keep a record of expenses you incurred on your car during the year to calculate what proportion of these you can claim as a deduction.

Event Expenses

Provided that events relate to your business or work activities, you can usually claim a tax deduction for any costs associated with attending. Events deductible in the eyes of the ATO will usually need to maintain or increase the knowledge, capabilities or skills you need to ear income in your business or employment. The following are examples of deductible events:

  • Conferences
  • Seminars
  • Education workshops
  • Formal education courses provided by professional associations

Much like with travel expenses more generally, claimable expenses related to the above events you attend can include:

  • Cost of the conference/event/training
  • Transport costs, including airfares, train, buses and taxi fares
  • Tolls, parking fees and short-term car hire
  • Meals and accommodation costs (if your trip includes an overnight stay)
  • Expenses incurred that relate to motor vehicle travel e.g. petrol and repair costs for a hire car

What Records Do You Need to Keep?

  • Written evidence or receipts of all travel and event costs incurred
  • If you are away from home for 6 or more consecutive nights, you will need to use a travel diary that contains:
    - The nature of the activity
    - The day and approximate time the business activity began
    - How long the business activity lasted
    - The name of the place where you engaged in the business activity
  • If you receive a travel allowance for your travel, you may be exempt from keeping travel expense records in some circumstances.

Please note if your travel is both for work and private purposes or contains a private portion greater than what can be considered incidental, you can only claim the amount that relates to work. Private parts of the travel/event are not tax deductible.

Find out more about what you can claim and further details that can assist your situation prior to the end of financial year. Our team are here to help you so reach out and talk with us today.

*This information is relevant at the time of publishing and is subject to change*
Written by Blake Fredericks . May 17, 2022
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