• Michael Bachmayer

Have you started a logbook? Do you need to start a logbook…?

Every year you have a choice of whether you wish to claim your motor vehicle (if applicable) using either the cents per km method or the logbook method. The cents per km method will give you a deduction of 72 cents per km you travelled up to a maximum of 5,000km - a maximum of $3,600 deduction.

But should you claim using cents per Km or should you use the logbook method? The deduction using the cents per km method is capped at $3,600 per car per year. In comparison, the logbook method may give you a substantially better deduction.

Using the logbook method you work out the business use percentage of your vehicle and apply that percentage across the total vehicle costs for the year including depreciation, interest on the loan, fuel, registration, insurance, tires, repairs, and any other car costs. This could result in a substantially higher deduction than the cents per km method.

If you wish to claim a tax deduction for your motor vehicle for the 2022 financial year you must have kept a logbook for 12 continuous weeks during the 2022 financial year (or the ownership period if you bought the car at the end of the year sales).

You can buy a logbook from a newsagent or download one of many logbook apps available. The Logbook must show:

  • Make, model, engine capacity and registration number of the car

  • when the logbook period begins and ends

  • the car’s odometer readings at the start and end of the logbook period

  • the total number of kilometres the car travelled during the logbook period

  • the number of kilometres travelled for each journey. If you make two or more journeys in a row on the same day, you can record them as a single journey

  • the odometer readings at the start and end of each subsequent income year your logbook is valid for

  • the business-use percentage for the logbook period

For each journey, you will need to record the:

  • Reason for the journey (such as a description of the business reason or whether it was for private use). At a minimum the description state purpose and suburb of the trip (something like ‘visit Tax Agent – 82 Brisbane Rd East Ipswich’)

  • Start and end date of the journey

  • Odometer readings at the start and end of the journey

  • Kilometres travelled.

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