ATO Reasonable Travel Allowances

 

The ATO’s reasonable travel allowances are not required to be declared as income, and are excluded from the expense substantiation requirements.

Reasonable amounts are determined by the Tax Office each year and released in an updated Tax Determination.

2014-15

reasonable_travel_allowances_2014-15The reasonable travel and overtime meal allowance expense amounts commencing 1 July 2014 for the 2014-15 income year are contained in Tax Determination TD 2014/19.

For the 2014-15 income year the reasonable amount for overtime meal allowance expenses is $28.20.

The determination contains ATO reasonable allowances for:

  • overtime meals
  • domestic travel
  • employee truck drivers
  • overseas travel

2013-14

ato-reasonable-travel-allowances-1The reasonable travel and overtime meal allowance expense amounts for the 2013-14 income year are contained in Tax Determination TD 2013/16. For the 2013-14 income year the reasonable amount for overtime meal allowance expenses is $27.70.

 

Truckie Wins Travelling Allowance Claim

2012-13

The reasonable travel and overtime meal allowance expense amounts for the 2012-13 income year are contained in Tax Determination TD 2012/17. For the 2012-13 income year the reasonable amount for overtime meal allowance expenses is $27.10

2011-12

The reasonable travel and overtime meal allowance expense amounts for the 2011-12 income year are contained in Tax Determination TD 2011/017. For the 2011-12 income year the reasonable amount for overtime meal allowance expenses is $26.45

Substantiation

Taxation Ruling TR 2004/6  explains the the way in which the expenses can be claimed in order to meet the substantiation rules.

Allowances which are ‘reasonable’, i.e. comply with the Reasonable Allowance determination amounts and with TR 2004/6 are not required to be declared as income and are excluded from the expense substantiation requirements.

These substantiation relaxations only apply to employees. Non-employees must fully substantiate their travel expense claims. Expenses for non-working accompanying spouses are excluded.

Key points:

To be claimable as a tax deduction, and to be excluded from the expense substantiation requirements, travel and overtime meal allowances must:

  • be for work-related purposes; and
  • be supported by payments connected to the relevant expense

And:

  • For travel allowance expenses, the employee must sleep away from home
  • If the amount claimed is more than the ‘reasonable’ amount set out in the Tax Determination, then the whole claim must be substantiated
  • Employees can be required to verify the facts relied upon to claim a tax deduction and/or the exclusion from the substantiation requirements
  • An allowance conforming to the guidelines doesn’t need to be declared as income or claimed in the employee’s tax return, unless it has been itemised on the statement of earnings
  • Claims which don’t match the amount of the allowance need to be declared.

Non-taxable allowances

Amounts of genuine reasonable allowances provided to employees are not required to be subjected to tax withholdings or itemised on an employee’s statement of earnings. See more detailed information here

 

This page was last modified on 9 July 2014