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In Focus: Tradies, can you claim travel?

Updated: Jun 28

Working in the trades often requires the usage of your own tools and equipment. While it is commonly known that If you're an employee, you can claim depreciation on the vehicle over its life, but only if you keep a logbook of your work/private use.

However, in order to claim travel you must be able to demonstrate the following:

  1. That you carry heavy or bulky equipment (i.e. not just a tool kit and hardhat) and;

  2. That storage is not available on site

If these conditions are meet then you are able to claim a deduction for your travel.

However in order to claim car expenses, you must either:

  • keep a valid logbook to determine the percentage of work-related use of your car along with evidence of your car expenses (logbook method)

  • calculate your work-related kilometres and be able to show that those kilometres were work related (cents per kilometre method – this is only available for claims up to 5,000 km).

Your vehicle is not considered to be a car if it is a vehicle that:

  • has a carrying capacity of one tonne or more, such as a ute or panel van

  • can transport nine passengers or more, such as a minivan.

In these circumstances – for example, if you use a ute – you can claim the actual expenses that relate to your work travel.


Two tips for making your taxes easy:

  • Keep good records, including invoices and receipts. It makes completing your tax return easier and ensures you can claim for everything you're entitled to.

  • Consider using a tax agent like Turners Accounts. Tax is complicated and an agent can ensure you get it right.

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