Truck Driver's Tax Claims
Drivers who come to see us for the first time often ask - what can I claim without receipts? I often tell them, not much! It is a tough situation to be on the road and trying to remember to keep receipts. The Australian Tax Office will not be sympathetic to your situation if you try and claim various expenses and you don't have the necessary receipts to back up your claims. With the travel expenses claim it is always a good idea to keep receipts even though they fade and probably cannot be readable by the end of the financial year. If a driver buys their meals from a regular truck stop or service station it is a good idea to keep such things as menus or price lists, this can be used as a guide should the ATO undertake an audit. It won't be the be all and end all, but it will be a start should the ATO undertake a work related expenses review. If you cannot keep receipts you should try and at least keep a diary of what you spend on food while away from home and what location you spent the money. Something will be better than nothing. The ATO will not automatically allow a tax deduction of $95.00 per day because you have been paid an allowance, they will want some proof or substantiation (receipts) to back up your claims.
As I have stated previously, the days of claiming the ATO reasonable daily limit is well and truly over, drivers must ensure they have some proof of expenses paid in order to avoid any fines or penalties if an audit is undertaken.
From recent audit experience I have found the ATO is willing to claim an amount for travelling expenses while away from home provided they have some substantiation to back up the claim.
If there is no substantiation provided, I have found the ATO will only allow a claim equal to the allowance that was paid by the employer which in some cases can reduce a truck driver's refund by $3,000, not mention the additional fines and penalties they can impose!