FAQ Travel Expenses | Wilson & Assoc Chartered Accountants

FAQ on Overnight Travel Expenses

Q1: What are overnight travel expenses?

A1: Overnight travel expenses refer to costs incurred while traveling away from your usual residence for work purposes and spending at least one night away from home.

Q2: Can I claim overnight travel expenses as a tax deduction in Australia?

A2: Yes, you can claim certain overnight travel expenses as tax deductions, provided they are directly related to your work and you have proper documentation to support your claims.

Q3: What types of expenses can I claim for overnight travel?

A3: You can generally claim the following expenses for overnight travel:

  • Accommodation costs
  • Meal expenses
  • Incidentals (e.g., laundry, phone calls)
  • Domestic and international travel expenses (e.g., airfare, train tickets)
  • Baggage and storage fees
  • Conference or seminar registration fees

Q4: Do I need to keep records to support my overnight travel expense claims?

A4: Yes, it is crucial to maintain proper records to substantiate your claims. This includes invoices, receipts, itineraries, and any other relevant documents that can demonstrate the nature and purpose of your travel and expenses.

Q5: Are there any limitations on claiming overnight travel expenses?

A5: Yes, there are some limitations. You can only claim expenses that are directly related to your work, and you must have incurred these expenses yourself without any reimbursement from your employer. Additionally, you cannot claim expenses that are considered private or unrelated to your work.

Q6: Can I claim overnight travel expenses if I use my personal vehicle for work-related travel?

A6: Yes, you can claim car-related expenses for overnight work travel, such as fuel, parking fees, and tolls. However, you need to keep accurate records of your car usage, including the number of kilometers traveled and the purpose of each trip.

Q7: Can I claim deductions for overnight travel expenses if the travel includes a mix of business and private purposes?

A7: Yes, you can claim deductions for overnight travel expenses if the trip involves both business and private purposes. However, you can only claim the expenses that are directly related to your work portion of the trip. It’s important to keep a travel diary to record your activities and allocate expenses accordingly.

Q8: How do I apportion private and business travel expenses for overnight trips?

A8: When your overnight travel includes both private and business purposes, it’s important to apportion your expenses accurately. Here’s a guide to help you:

  1. Determine the primary purpose: Assess the main reason for your trip. If it is primarily for business, you can generally claim expenses related to that portion of the trip.

  2. Separate business and private expenses: Identify and separate expenses that are clearly business-related from those that are private or unrelated to work.

  3. Allocate expenses based on time or usage: For expenses that are partly related to business and partly private, you can apportion them based on either the time or the actual usage for each purpose.

  4. Keep detailed records: Maintain a travel diary or logbook to record your activities, specifying the percentage of time or usage for business and private purposes. This will help support your claims during tax assessment.

  5. Seek professional advice if needed: If you’re unsure about the apportionment process or need guidance, consider consulting a tax professional who can provide personalized advice based on your specific circumstances.

Remember, it’s crucial to keep accurate records and ensure that your claims align with the ATO’s guidelines and requirements. This will help you avoid any potential issues during tax assessment.

Q9: When is a travel diary required, and can you provide an example diary entry?

A9: A travel diary is required when you are claiming deductions for overnight travel expenses that include a mix of business and private purposes, and the trip lasts for six or more consecutive nights. Here’s an example of a travel diary entry:

Example Travel Diary Entry:

Date: July 5, 2023 Location: Singapore

Purpose of the Trip: Attending a three-day business conference (80% business, 20% private)


  • 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM: Attended conference sessions and workshops.
  • 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM: Lunch break.
  • 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM: Continued attending conference sessions.
  • 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM: Free time for personal activities (20% private).
  • 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM: Networking dinner with conference attendees (80% business).


  • Accommodation: $200 (100% business)
  • Meals: $60 (80% business portion only)
  • Incidentals: $20 (80% business portion only)

Q10: Is there a limit on the amount I can claim for overnight travel expenses?

A10: The Australian Tax Office (ATO) provides specific rates for claiming meal and accommodation expenses based on your destination and duration of travel. These rates are regularly updated and can be found on the ATO website. It’s important to note that the rates set by the ATO are considered reasonable and do not require you to provide detailed receipts for individual expenses within those rates. However, if your expenses exceed the ATO’s set rates, you will need to provide supporting receipts and documentation for the higher amounts.

Q11. What are the set rates for meal and accommodation deductions?

2022-23 Domestic Travel

Table 1: Salary $133,450 and below

Table 2: Salary $133,451 to $237,520

Table 3: Salary $237,521 and above

Table 4: High cost country centres accommodation expenses

Table 5: Tier 2 country centres

Table 5a: Employee truck driver’s meals (food and drink)

2022-23 Overseas Travel

Table 6: Salary $133,450 and below

Table 7: Salary – $133,451 to $237,520

Table 8: Salary – $237,521 and above

Table 9: Table of countries

2023-24 Domestic Travel

Table 1:Salary $138,790 or less

Table 2: Salary $138,791 to $247,020

Table 3: Salary $247,021 or more

Table 4: High cost country centres accommodation expenses

Table 5: Tier 2 country centres

Table 5a: Employee truck driver’s meals (food and drink)

2023-24 Overseas Travel

Table 6: Salary $138,790 or less

Table 7: Salary $138,791 to $247,020

Table 8: Salary $247,021 or more

Table 9: Table of countries

Source: ATO

Disclcaimer: The information provided within this article is general information only.  None of the comments in these notes are intended to be advice, whether legal, financial product or professional. You should obtain specific advice regarding your particular circumstances from a tax or legal professional.

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