Deductions for Travel Expenses

There are two situations in which you may be able to claim back travel expenses.

  1. you are self-employed and spend money on travel in the course of you running your business is done for the purposes of trade
  2. you are employed and receive a fringe benefit from your employer in relation to travel, in other words:
    • your employer provides you with a vehicle for private use; or
    • your employer pays you a monthly travel allowance

We will consider the first scenario when we discuss tax tips for freelancers. In this topic we consider the second scenario, in other words travel deductions that may be claimed by employees.

You may be able to claim a travel deduction if:

  • you are an employee
  • you receive a fringe benefit related to travel; and
  • you travel at least partly for during the course of your employment (for work purposes)

How to claim deduction for travel as an employee

  1. Download and print out the SARS eLogbook for the relevant year of assessment (which also explains all of this). You can access the 2022 eLogbook by clicking here.
  2. Record your vehicle’s odometer reading on 1 March (the first day of the tax year) 
  3. Keep a logbook throughout the year in which you record all work-related travel (does not include travelling to or from work)
  4. Record your vehicle’s odometer reading on 28 or 29 February (the last day of the tax year)
  5. Work out your total kilometres for the year
  6. Work out your total business kilometres for the year
  7. Record your total business kilometres for the year in your tax return (your employer is required to record the fringe benefit received in respect of travel)

The only tricky thing to determine when claiming deductions for travel is to distinguish between private and business travel. It is important to know that private travel includes travelling to and from work every day. Only travel that is specifically done in the course of your duties as an employee is classed as business travel.