What is a travel diary?

By September 5, 2014 September 10th, 2018 Tax

WHAT IS A TRAVEL DIARY

You may have heard your accountant ask you for a travel diary in relation to your employee or business related expenses. The purpose of such a diary is to substantiate the business and private portions of a trip.

What does a diary need to show?

  • Date
  • Location
  • Primary activities on each day (e.g. meeting with Mr Smith to discuss project A, screening of new film, cocktails by the pool, etc.)

If you didn’t receive a travel allowance and you’re simply looking to back up the travel costs you want to claim you don’t actually need a travel diary if the travel is less than 6 nights in a row. That said, it’s often easier to simply keep a travel diary all year just in case you need it. Many people simply use their Outlook calendars or iCal as the information is largely already there.

If you did receive a travel allowance the following applies:

  • Travel less than 6 nights in a row and not claiming more than the reasonable amounts – no travel diary required
  • Travel more than 6 nights in a row and not claiming more than the reasonable amounts – domestic travel doesn’t require a travel diary, but overseas travel does require one
  • Claiming more than the reasonable amounts – travel less than 6 nights in a row doesn’t require a travel diary, whilst travel over 6 nights in a row does require one

Note the above doesn’t consider the requirement to maintain written records in relation to deductions claimed when receiving a travel allowance, it only contemplates the travel diary requirement. Information on the requirements relating to travel allowances and reasonable amounts can be found here.

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