Travel Expense Records

What records should I keep?

The following tables explain what records you need if you are claiming domestic or overseas travel expenses for accommodation, food, drink or incidentals.

If you are claiming travel expenses and you received a travel allowance from your employer, you must show the allowance on your tax return.

We set the reasonable allowance amount for your circumstances in an annual taxation determination which explains when you do not need evidence of your expenses and the in which you can claim them.

If your travel allowance was not shown on your payment summary and was not more than the reasonable allowance amount for your circumstances, you do not have to include the allowance providing you have fully expended the allowance on deductible travel expenses and you do not claim a deduction for these expenses.

If you did not receive a travel allowance:

Domestic travel Overseas travel
Written evidence Travel diary(1) Written evidence Travel diary(1)
Travel less than 6 nights in a row Yes No Yes No
Travel 6 or more nights in a row Yes Yes Yes Yes

If you received a travel allowance and your claim does not exceed the reasonable allowance amount:

Domestic travel Overseas travel
Written evidence Travel diary(1) Written evidence Travel diary(1)
Travel less than 6 nights in a row No No No(2) No
Travel 6 or more nights in a row No No No(2 Yes(3)

If you received a travel allowance and your claim exceeds the reasonable allowance amount:

Domestic travel Overseas travel
Written evidence Travel diary(1) Written evidence Travel diary(1)
Travel less than 6 nights in a row Yes No Yes No
Travel 6 or more nights in a row Yes Yes Yes Yes(3)
  1. A travel diary is a document in which you record the dates, places, times and duration of your activities and travel.
  2. Written evidence is required for overseas accommodation expenses regardless of the length of the trip.
  3. Members of international aircrews do not have to keep a travel diary if they limit their claim to the amount of the allowance received.

Reasonable allowance amounts

Contact the ATO or Eclipse Accounting Group for what are the reasonable travel and meal allowance expense amounts for the current year as these will change each year.

Written evidence

You must have written evidence for the whole of your claim, not just the excess over the reasonable amount.