Paying tax Tax payer Travel allowance tax

SARS – What you need to know to claim for travel.

When can you claim for travel?

If you receive a travel allowance from an employer or principal, you can claim a deduction on assessment of your annual income tax return for the use of a private motor vehicle for business purposes.

What do I need to do?

Firstly, record your motor vehicle’s odometer reading on 1 March, i.e. on the first day of a tax year.

Secondly, make sure that you keep a logbook throughout the year.  Note that it is not necessary to record details of private travel. You may make use of the SARS eLogbook

Thirdly, record your motor vehicle’s closing odometer reading on the last day of February (28/29) of the next year, i.e. on the last day of the applicable tax year.

Fourthly, calculate your total kilometres for the full year (closing kilometres less opening kilometres).

Fifthly, calculate your total business kilometres for the year (sum of all business kilometres).

What do I record in my logbook?

In respect of every business trip you record the following:

  • The date of travel
  • The kilometres travelled
  • Business travel details (where you started your trip, where you went and the reason for the trip)

How do I work out how much I can claim?

There are two ways of doing this:

  • Calculate your claim based on the cost scale table which SARS supplies (you’ll find this table in the introduction section to the travel eLogbook)
  • Calculate your claim based on actual costs. To do this, you’ll have to keep an accurate record of all your expenses during the year, in addition to keeping a log book. These expenses include fuel, oil, repairs and maintenance, car licence, insurance, wear-and-tear and finance charges or lease costs.