Depreciation

Question


I Live in Mitchell QLD, I’m working for a road construction company and are working mostly around the NT as the company doesn’t provide female accommodation and shower and toilets I purchased a caravan .What can I claim on Van and tools depreciation? Some tomes I’m roadside sometimes we are in park


Answer

Here is a link to my booklet http://www.bantacs.com.au/booklets/Claim_Your_Trip_Around_Australia_Booklet.pdf on how to claim your trip around Australia as a tax deduction. I believe the rational applied here could equally apply to you. You will also find this page on our web site useful http://www.bantacs.com.au/travelling_workers.php The booklet has heaps of references that will reassure your accountant that you can claim your expenses.
The first test you have to pass is whether you are either travelling for work (required to sleep away from home as part of your job such as a sales rep) or itinerant (have more than one place of work before you return home. I think probably both apply in your case. This is distinct from home to work travel. You see you are not allowed to claim expenses simply because you choose to live a long way from work.
Now I assume by the very nature of building roads you will be moving on regularly so have at least two job locations before you return home. This maybe a problem if you are going home each weekend and don’t move locations during the week but considering the distance I doubt this is the case.
The next point you need to consider is whether you have a home base. If you don’t have a home base the caravan will be considered your home so you will not be away from home for work purposes at all. A home base would be a place where you have the right to live, you keep some personal affects and is the address on your licence and electoral role.
Having ticked all those boxes you can have a field day with your claims. The caravan can be depreciated over 6 2/3 yrs or on a diminishing value method of 30% a year. You can also claim for its repairs, rego and insurance. Your vehicle and accommodation costs such as camp fees are also deductible. You can also claim your meals and even alcohol with your meal. If you make your own you can claim your supermarket expenses. Keeping receipts, a log book and a diary is the key. This is explained in the booklet. Yes you can claim tools and repairs to the van just keep the receipts.
Note there are even better concessions if your employer pays you allowances.

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