Looking to claim a tax deduction for transporting bulky equipment to and from work?

Do you transport bulky tools or equipment to and from work each day in your own car or vehicle? You may be able to claim a tax deduction for the travel expenses you incur in doing this.

Normally, going to and from work is seen to be private travel. This means any expenses involved, such as running costs for your car, or public transport fares, are considered personal and so can not be claimed as a tax deduction. However, there is an exception that provides for claiming a tax deduction for transporting bulky equipment to and from work.

To be able to use the exception and claim a tax deduction for associated travel expenses, there are four criteria that must be met:

    1: You need the tools or equipment to be able to do your work
    The item/s you are transporting must be relevant to your job and necessary for you to be able to produce an income. For example – builders, engineers, plumbers and electricians could reasonably be expected to use items such as a toolbox, power cords and a ladder.
    2: The tools or equipment are of a size or weight that makes it awkward, impractical or not permissible to use other travel options
    Some tools or equipment may weigh 20-30 kg, or be unable to be stowed safely on a bus or train, or be prohibited from being taken on public transport. You may need multiple items of tools or equipment which it is not practical to on-load and off-load from public transport by yourself all the time.
    3: The travel expenses are incurred because it’s necessary to use your own car or vehicle to take bulky tools or equipment to and from your place of work
    You need the tools and equipment being transported to be able to do your job, and there is no other practical means of getting them to the site. Necessity determines the decision to take your own vehicle rather than it simply being a preference.
    4: There is no facility available to securely store the tools or equipment at your place of work
    If a reasonably secure, lockable storage area is available on site, but you still choose to transport your tools or equipment to and from work each day, no deduction is allowable.

You will need to keep records of the travel expenses being claimed. The type of records you need to keep and how your claim can be calculated is determined by what type of vehicle it is.

For a car, travel expenses can be claimed by either:

    1. Keeping a logbook, so the percentage of work-related usage can be calculated, along with documentation of the actual expenses incurred
    2. Recording your work-related trips, so the work-related kilometres can be calculated and a claim made using the cents per kilometre method. Note use of the cents per kilometre method is capped at 5,000 km per car, each year.

For other vehicles, such as those with a load capacity of one tonne or more (for example a ute or panel van), or that can carry nine or more passengers (such as a minivan) travel expenses are claimed based on actual expenses. If the vehicle is also used for private purposes, you will also need records that show the percentage of work-related use.

If you have any questions about claiming a deduction for transporting bulky equipment, or other tax deductions that you may be eligible for, you can call us on 03 5339 3200 or contact us here.

Thanks for reading.

The information contained on this website has been provided as general advice only. The contents have been prepared without taking account of your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. You should, before you make any decision regarding any information, strategies or products mentioned on this website, consult your own financial advisor to consider whether that is appropriate having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs.

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