Some employees need to transport heavy or bulky equipment to and from their work place each day to perform their job. This is often the case with engineers, plumbers, electricians, builders, mechanics, defense force members, musicians and medical practitioners, etc.
The general rule is that an employee’s travel to and from work is private and non-deductible. This applies even if they need to transport tools to work.
An exception to this rule is where the home to work travel involves the transportation of heavy or bulky equipment.
For the employee’s home to work travel to be deductible it must meet three requirements:
- It must be essential to transport the equipment to and from work. It cannot be a matter of personal choice or convenience. The equipment must be required to be transported to work so the employee can carry out their work duties on that day and earn their income using the equipment.
- The equipment must be sufficiently heavy and/or bulky. This would normally be 20-30kgs.
- There must be no reasonably secure storage area available at work. A reasonable secure storage facility involves lockers with a lockable facility.
An example of this would be Mathew the electrician. His employer does not supply a secure storage area at his workplace for his tools so Mathew is required to transport his bulky electrical tools to and from work every day. Mathew is entitled to claim a deduction for the expenses he incurs to transport the electrical tools between his home and work.