If you use a vehicle in your business or for work, you may be able to claim the cost of the vehicle and its operating expenses on your tax return. If this vehicle is defined as a car, certain rules apply.
The tax administration defines a car as a motor vehicle (excluding motorcycles) that carries loads of less than one ton and less than nine passengers. It also depends on whether you own or lease the vehicle in your name or whether you use someone else’s vehicle. If the vehicle you use is the subject of a wage sacrifice or a novation rental contract with your employer, you cannot claim any deduction for the use of the car, because it is the employer who is renting the vehicle and not you. If the vehicle is owned by someone else and you incur certain expenses to use this vehicle for business purposes, you can claim the actual costs as long as you keep records of all your expenses to prove the claim as well as records. to show how you calculated the business trip. as a percentage of your overall trip.
To make a car expense claim, you have two methods of calculating the claim:
The cents per kilometer method is a single rate of 72c / km driven for business or professional purposes. This is capped at 5,000 km per year and you may need to provide evidence to show how you calculated your work kilometers. This rate takes into account the depreciation of the car and all running costs.
The logbook method uses the actual costs of the car. To calculate the claim percentage, you must keep a logbook recording all business trips for at least 12 continuous weeks. The percentage is calculated by dividing the total business trips by the total number of kilometers traveled during the period of the logbook. It is this percentage that you can claim on the actual expenses and depreciation of the car (up to the limit of the car). You should also keep records of actual cost receipts, except fuel receipts. This can be based on an estimate of the fuel cost based on the odometer records from the start to the end of the period. The logbook is valid for five years unless your circumstances change.
- Helen Warnock is a partner in a Central Qld accounting firm. This article offers general information only. You should consult your personal advisor for advice relevant to your personal situation before taking any action.