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Deductibility of employee travel expenses: The ATO’s guidance


In 2017, the ATO released draft taxation ruling TR 2017/D6, which considers when an employee’s travel expenses will be tax deductible. The draft ruling is comprehensive at 44 pages in length and provides general principles and 18 examples. At the time of writing, the ATO was yet to issue the final version of TR 2017/D6, and accordingly, this article is based on the draft version that was issued on 28 June 2017. This ruling is important not only for individuals when determining their taxable income, but is also crucial for employers who pay travel allowances, living-away-from-home allowances or other amounts for employees when they travel. This article will delve into the detail of the ruling, considering many of the examples that have been given, and will assist practitioners in ensuring that their clients’ obligations with regard to income tax, PAYG withholding and FBT are being correctly managed.


Author profiles

Judy White CTA
Study Period 1 2017 CTA1 Lecture Presenter - Lecture 3: Structures and Lecture 6: FBT CTA2B Advanced Lecturer - for lecture 5 Judy White, CTA, BDO For more than two decades, Judy has been providing a wide range of business services and taxation advice to a portfolio of small to large businesses; including Financial Services, Government and Not-for-profit organisations. In recent years Judy has been specialising in the area of tax including employment taxes. Judy also has a passion for presenting and has extensive experience in presenting seminars, workshops and lectures. Judy has lectured for the Tax Institute since 2008 in the Education programs. Judy has a degree in Accounting (with Distinction) from QUT and is a Chartered Accountant (CA) and a Chartered Tax Adviser (CTA). - Current at 26 June 2017
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Adele Townsend CTA
Adele is a Tax Partner at BDO. She is an experienced domestic and international taxation adviser with both listed and private clients in a wide range of industries, including mining services, transport, manufacturing, biotechnology and property. She also has significant experience advising individuals on a range of complex taxation matters such as divorce, death and international residency. - Current at 12 July 2018
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