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Calling 2 wheeled accountants - Work Related travel (AUS)

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' started by snailspace, Mar 26, 2009.

  1. Does anyone know if/how bike/scooter riders can claim (on a personally owned bike) for work related travel costs?

    We're office based and regularly visit customers onsite - The other guys at work all drive their own cars to/from customer sites and get to claim a per km expense claim for the cost of doing this...

    I enquired about doing the same thing and our accountant tells me i can't because it's only available on cars.

    WTF? surely this can't be right? sounds like ATO discrimination to me!
  2. Of course its not right, get a new bean counter.
  3. FFS why won't people go and use google... :roll:

    ATO information on this

    Utility trucks, panel vans, large passenger-carrying vehicles and motorcycles

    If you owned, leased or hired (under a hire purchase agreement), one or more of the following vehicles and used them for work purposes, you can claim the costs you incurred relating to this work use (for example, the cost of petrol and oil).

    A utility truck or panel van with a carrying capacity of one tonne or more.
    A vehicle with a carrying capacity of nine or more passengers.
    A motorcycle.
    You can claim the costs you actually incurred. As these types of vehicles are not considered to be cars you cannot use the ‘cents per kilometre’ method or any other method described in Claiming a deduction for car expenses to calculate your claim.

    Unfair and unreasonable but your company is right. You can make the claim yourself when you put uyour tax in. Keep a record of work miles and calculate out the cost.
  4. Thanks guys, i saw that ATO page and asked a couple of other accountant types and they all told me 'you can't use per km or any of the other car methods' but i've not yet found anyone who can tell me what method i CAN use.

    Also has anyone challenged the ATO on why bikes should be treated differently? Sounds like something a bike organisation could get behind - there must be a lot of people who use a bike for work related travel out there?
  5. Been done many a time, but are all personal rulings and are only valid for the person who applied for the ruling.
  6. So does anyone know the reasoning behind the ATO treating bikes and cars differently in this way?
  7. Accountants only drive beige Toyota Camrys.

    Red Toyota Camrys if they're in financial planning, white if they're auditors.
  8. According to ATO E-TAX, keep your reciepts and claim actual
    costs incurred during work use.

    You might need to keep all reciepts for the bike for a year, and divide
    some of them (eg divide the expenditure on new tyres between work
    and private use).

    Disclaimer: I am not an account or tax person. I just read the instructions.
    YOU go read the instructions before you commit to anything.
  9. I don't know about regular use of motorbike for work use but it seems they just dont really consider much besides cars. At the moment I can salary sacrifice car parking at work but not motorcycle parking since the rules state car not vehicle or something like that. but there's heaps of free parking that I don't need to bother fighting this at the moment and couldn't be bothered with salary sacrifice either atm.
    good luck though - there must be some little law somewhere about it :)
  10. I am an accountant.

    Hotcam has pretty much nailed it for you.

    I won't go into why you can't use the same methods as "cars".

    Basically you need to keep all records for expenditure to do with the motorcycle. You will also need to keep some sort of evidence to show business/work related use versus private use. A log book would be fine, but it would need to show the whole years travel not just a 12 week pattern of use as you can use under one of the methods of claiming for "cars".

    So if all expenditure on the bike was say $4400 for the year (including depreciation and even interest on a loan) and you have a record of doing 2000km work related travel out of a total of 8000km travelled in the year, then you could claim 25% or $1100 for that year as a deduction.

    I am an accountant but I am not your accountant. This is general advice not intended for any one person. Please seek advice for your own specific situation before making any claims.
  11. Well thanks all for the pointers...

    It pretty much confirms what i thought.

    I have another discussion coming up with the accountant so i'll post back the results but looks like i'll have to keep a log book and make the claims myself. It's a legitimate business expense so I'll find some way to claim it - can't let those 'beige camry drivers' at the ATO win by making it so complicated no-one claims eh?

    Hadsome - i'd be interested in knowing the details of why they treat bikes different to cars - if you know.

    Also be interested to hear what any bike organisations have to say about the fact 2-wheelies are discriminated against in this way?
  12. So, just to confirm, there's no way to claim the cost of travel on a motorcycle back from the company you work for? This is a huge difference, because when a claim for car travel is made to the ATO, the dollar value (67c/km I think) is offset against your taxable income.

    When your place of employment reimburses you, the amount is added to your after tax income. If your employer uses the same rate as the ATO (which is pretty standard), this is very significant difference in the amount you get.

    I would try and negotiate to get reimbursed somehow, even if you have to pay PAYG taxes. Of course, I have no idea what your work situation is like.
  13. What your employer reimburses you and the ATO figures really have nothing to do with each other. Your employer can pay you whatever they want.

    As far as the tax issues goes, its covered in all the previous posts.
  14. log book on a bike - mmm where to carry said item. esp for ever not just 12 wks. boy the ato don't like to make anything easy do they.

    my sister's name was incorrectly entered into the system by the ato from a paper submitted tax return on her first tax return (3 yrs ago) and every year we argue with them that her name starts with a J not a T and they argue back that it doesn't. mmm cause she wouldn't know her own name would she... no matter how many proof of ID they just won't change her name in the system...