Brealey Quill Kenny discuss claiming a deduction for using your car for work

If you use your car for work purposes you are able to claim a portion of the running costs as a deduction in your Tax Return.

The two methods allowed by the ATO are the cents per km method and the log book method.

Cents per km method: Under this method you make a reasonable estimate of the number of kms you have travelled in your car for work. You then multiply the number of kms by the ATO standard rate of 66 cents per km. The maximum amount of the claim using this method is 5,000 kms or $3,300.


Log book method: Under this method you keep and complete a log book to determine the work use percentage of your car. The logbook must cover at least 12 continuous weeks and is valid for five years from the date of completion. Pre-printed logbooks are available from stationery suppliers or you can use the log book feature within our BQK App.  Please see below for further information.

Under this method you must also keep a record of the running costs of your car which includes fuel, repairs, servicing, registration and insurance. You can also include depreciation on the car and interest incurred if you financed the car. Your claim is calculated by multiplying the total running costs by the work use percentage. You are required to complete a new log book every 5 years, or if the business use changes by more than 10%.

Under both methods it is important to understand what the ATO considers to be work travel. The ATO considers the following as work travel:

  • Delivering items or collecting supplies
  • Attending customer premises, supplier premises, business meetings or conferences
  • Carrying bulky tools or equipment which you are required to use for business and cannot leave in secure storage at the office
Travelling from home to work is generally considered private unless you attend to a work matter on the way, or your home is the base of employment. You cannot treat the trip as work just because:
  • You do minor work tasks – for example, picking up the mail on the way to the office or home
  • You have to drive between your home and work more than once a day
  • You are on call – for example, you are on stand-by duty
  • You work outside normal business hours – for example, shift work or overtime
  • You do some work at home.

If you would like to discuss making a claim for using your car for work please contact our Canning Vale office.

The Brealey Quill Kenny App can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play by searching, MyAccountants and when prompted, enter the access code BQK2000.

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