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  • Writer's pictureMatthew Carberry

When can you claim the cost of travelling between home and work?

The typical trip between home and work is generally considered private travel. So if you're just driving to work and then home each day, you can't claim this on your tax return.

Although, there are certain circumstances when you can claim deductions, which also includes some people who travel between two workplaces.

The golden rule: If your travel was partly private and partly for work, you can only claim the portion of the expense that was incurred in performing your employment duties.

What you can claim

You can claim the cost of travelling:

  • -directly between two separate workplaces, most commonly when someone has a second job. This is provided that one of the workplaces isn’t your home.

  • -from your workplace to an alternative workplace (such as a client’s premises) while still on duty, and back to your normal workplace or directly home.

  • -if your home was a base of employment – you were required to start your work at home and travelled to a workplace to continue your work for the same employer

  • -if you had shifting places of employment – you regularly work at more than one site each day before returning home

  • -from your home to an alternative workplace for work purposes, and then to your normal workplace or directly home. This does not apply where the alternative workplace has become a regular workplace

  • -if you needed to carry bulky tools or equipment your employer requires you use for work and couldn't leave them at your workplace – for example, an extension ladder or a cello.

What you can't claim

You can't claim the cost of driving your car between work and home just because:

  • - you complete minor work-related tasks on the way to or home from work, such as picking up the mail

  • - you have to drive between your home and your workplace more than once a day

  • - you are on call – for example, you are on stand-by duty and your employer contacts you at home to come into work

  • - there is no public transport near where you work

  • - you work outside normal business hours – for example, shift work or overtime

  • - your home was a place where you ran your own business and you travelled directly to a place of work where you worked for somebody else

  • - you do some work at home.

Other travel expenses you may be able to claim include:

  • - travel expenses you incurred for meals, accommodation and incidentals while away overnight for work, such as going to an interstate work conference (generally, you can't claim for meals if your travel did not involve an overnight stay)

  • - the costs you actually incur (such as fuel costs) when using a borrowed car or a vehicle other than a car for work purposes

  • - air, bus, train, tram and taxi fares

  • - car-hire fees.

You may have to prove that you have reduced your claim to exclude any private portion of your trip (not solely work-related). If you are reimbursed for your travel expenses, you cannot claim a deduction.


Bigger is better… especially when it comes to your tax return. Book your tax return appointment online with Verve Group, visit for more info and to book. Or give us a call on (08) 8120 4877 to book your appointment.

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