Recording work KMs: Avoid a tax refund traffic jam

Drop the clutch of excuses. Here’s how to ensure you never forget recording your work kilometres ever again.

Whether it’s because you’re always running late, or simply forgetful, many of us neglect the simple task of recording our work kilometres.

Without them, however, you’re as good as robbing yourself at the end of the financial year.

Be it for a 12-week logbook, or the cents-per-kilometre arrangement, here’s how to keep accurate records of how much you drive for your job.

Tips and tricks

While there’s no substitute for vigilance (why not keep a physical reminder near your car’s odometer?), and we admire anyone who wants to keep it old school, the fact of the matter is that smartphones and GPS technology have made recording your kilometres easier than ever.

No more paper and pen floating around your dash as you rush between appointments.

Nowadays there’s a bevy of these mileage-tracking apps to choose from, so to start you off, here’s three that we think can turn a much-forgotten-about-chore into an easily manageable part of your day.

MileIQ

This is one of the more popular apps because you don’t have to turn it on or off to record your kilometres. It simply works in the background of your busy day by sensing when you’re driving and keep’s all of your mileage, date and time-tracking information automatically.
Cost: Free (trial)
Available: (ITunes/Google Play)

myDeductions

This ATO app allows you to simply record vehicle trips on your phone. Come tax time, you simply email across the relevant work-travel related data. Just make sure you regularly back-up the data and only record it on one device throughout the year.
Cost: Free
Available from: ATO website

DriverDirect

Originally created by Toyota, this app includes a lot of useful features. You can record expenses, create reports and know where petrol stations are if you find yourself in unfamiliar territory. You can also ‘favourite’ certain trips for quicker classification.
Cost: Free
Available: (iTunes Store/Google Play)

What trips can I claim?

Now before you start adding up the KMs, it pays to know which ones you can legally report on.

The ATO says you can claim a ‘deduction for work-related car expenses if you use your own car (or a hire car) in the course of performing your job’.

This might include any of the following tasks:

– Carrying large equipment your employer requires you to use for work and which cannot be kept at work.

– Attending conferences or meetings.

– Making deliveries or picking up supplies.

– Traveling between two separate places of work (where one is not your home).

– Traveling from your home to a client or supplier’s premises and then to your normal workplace or home.

– In the performance of itinerant work.

What can’t I claim?

Not every trip is eligible. The ATO stipulates that you cannot claim normal trips between work and home even if:

– You performed minor work-related tasks that are on the way to work or home, eg. picking up mail

– You drove between your home and work more than once a day

– You were on call and got called into work

– You worked outside of normal hours

– You used your home as a place of business and then travelled directly to another place of work where you worked for somebody else.

– You did some work at home

Need a Navman?

If you’re still confused about what you can and can’t claim, or if you’re not sure that using an app is the right move for you, book an appointment with us.

Claiming kilometres might not seem like a big deal in your business, but over the course of the year, you’d be surprised what it can add up to.

Disclaimer: The content of this article is general in nature and is presented for informative purposes. It is not intended to constitute financial advice, whether general or personal nor is it intended to imply any recommendation or opinion about a financial product. It does not take into consideration your personal situation and may not be relevant to circumstances. Before taking any action, consider your own particular circumstances and seek professional advice. This content is protected by copyright laws and various other intellectual property laws. It is not to be modified, reproduced or republished without prior written consent.

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