Mileage reimbursement in Australia

Two options for claiming a deduction for car expenses in Australia

The difference between the two options are how many miles you expect to claim. If it is below 5.000, then you need to use option 1 - the cents per kilometre method. If it is above 5.000 kilometres you need to use option 2 - the logbook method.

Option 1 - the cents per kilometre method:

  • Your claim is based on a set rate for each business kilometre.
  • You can claim a maximum of 5,000 business kilometres.

Approved business mileage rates

Engine capacity

Cents per kilometre

Ordinary car

Rotary engine car

2011/12 income year

1600cc (1.6 litre) or less

800cc (0.8 litre) or less

63 cents

1601cc - 2600cc (1.601 litre - 2.6 litre)

801cc - 1300cc (0.801 litre - 1.3 litre)

74 cents

2601cc (2.601 litre) and over

1301cc (1.301 litre) and over

75 cents

Engine capacity

Cents per kilometre

Ordinary car

Rotary engine car

2007-11 income year

1600cc (1.6 litre) or less

800cc (0.8 litre) or less

58 cents

1601cc - 2600cc (1.601 litre - 2.6 litre)

801cc - 1300cc (0.801 litre - 1.3 litre)

69 cents

2601cc (2.601 litre) and over

1301cc (1.301 litre) and over

70 cents

Option 2 - the logbook method:

  • Your claim is based on the business use percentage of each car expense.
  • You need a logbook so you can work out the percentage.
  • You need odometer readings for the start and end of the period you owned or leased the car.
  • You can claim fuel and oil costs based on odometer records.
  • You need written evidence for all the other expenses for the car.

What counts as business mileage in Australia?

What counts:

As a general rule, all driven miles that are work-related counts as business miles. But there is the following exceptions;

What does not count:

  • Normal travel between home and work
  • If you did minor tasks - for example, picking up the mail on the way to work or home
  • If you had to travel between home and work more than once a day
  • If you were on call - for example, you were on standby duty and your employer contacted you at home to come into work
  • If there was no public transport near where you worked
  • If you worked outside normal business hours - for example, shift work or overtime, or
  • If your home was a place of business and you travelled directly to a place of employment.

But you can claim the cost of trips between home af work if:

  • you used your car because you had to carry bulky tools or equipment that you used for work and could not leave at work - for example, an extension ladder or cello
  • your home was a base of employment - you started your work at home and travelled to a workplace to continue the work, or
  • you had shifting places of employment - you regularly worked at more than one site each day before returning home.

Travel between two workplaces

You can claim the cost of using your car to travel directly between two separate places of employment - for example, when you have a second job.

You can claim the cost of using your car to travel:

  • from your normal workplace to an alternative workplace - for example, a client's premises - while still on duty and back to your normal workplace or directly home, or
  • from your home to an alternative workplace for work purposes and then to your normal workplace or directly home.