Tax deductible overseas trips

Business owners and employees who travel internationally for business-related trips can generally claim travel expenses as a tax deduction.

If the overseas travel is for personal and business-related purposes, the business-related portion can be claimed as a deduction.  The documentation required to be maintained should show the distinction between personal and business-related activities.  Any private expenses must be excluded from your claim.

The purpose of the activity and connection to business must be recorded as the ATO has strict requirements on what is classified as a travel related expense.  If your trip lasts most than six days, a travel diary must be kept to provide a detailed description of the times, dates, places, duration and the people that accompanied you on the trip.  Written evidence in the form of invoices and receipts must be retained of the expenses incurred (comprising accommodation, transport, meals, etc).

The ATO publishes travel allowance rates that people travelling internationally can use.  This is considered the reasonable amount employees can claim on items such as accommodation, meals and incidentals, provided their employer pays a travel allowance to cover these costs.  The rate is dependent on salary and the countries visited.


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