Many people use their vehicles for work-related travel. Whether you’re heading to a meeting or on the road to your next job it is important to ensure that you claim what you are entitled to on your tax return each year.
One in five work-related car claims submitted in the 2018 financial year were for the exact kilometre limit that does not require receipts to be kept. The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) are putting these claims under the microscope. It may not seem like a big claim difference, but this claim of 5,000 kilometres travelled results in a personal deduction of just over $3,000. This has totalled a staggering amount of over $7.2billion over the 2018 period.
In the case of an audit, you need to justify the expenses that you have claimed and the best way to do this is through accurate record keeping or a logbook.
Below are some common questions that we get asked about logbooks.
What do I need to record in my logbook?
According to the ATO, your logbook must contain certain information to be compliant. This information includes the period that your logbook is for, the car’s odometer readings, total number of kilometres travelled during the logbook period, the business-use percentage and make, model, engine capacity and registration number of the car you are using.
What do I need to record for each journey?
To record a logbook journey, you will need to note the reason for the journey (including a description if the travel is for a business purpose or noting if it is private use), start and end date, odometer readings and total kilometres travelled per journey.
Where do I record my logbook?
Your logbook information can be recorded in a printed logbook (available from stationery suppliers), electronically in your own template (such as an excel document), or via the ATO app in the myDeductions tools section.
How long do I need to record my journeys for?
You must record your journeys for 12 consecutive weeks for your logbook to be complete. Your logbook is then valid for a 5-year period.
What if I get a new work car?
If you get a new work vehicle and the usage is the same as your previous vehicle then you will not need to complete a new logbook. However, if the usage is different then you will need to complete a new logbook to ensure you remain compliant.
What other records do I need to keep?
In addition to your logbook, we recommend keeping evidence of your fuel and oil costs (or odometer readings in which you can estimate these with), and evidence of all other car expenses, such as maintenance.