Travel e-log book
When can you claim for travel?
If you receive a travel allowance from an employer or principal, you can claim a deduction for the use of your private vehicle for business purposes.
What do I need to do?
Firstly, record your 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. You may make use of the SARS eLogbook, simply download the:
- 2016/17 logbook for the 1 March 2016 - 28 February 2017 assessment year and tax season starting 1 Jul 2017
- 2015/16 logbook for the 1 March 2015 – 29 February 2016 assessment year and tax season starting 1 Jul 2016
- 2014/15 logbook for the 1 March 2014 – 28 February 2015 assessment year and tax season starting 1 Jul 2015
Top Tip: Without a logbook you won’t be able to claim the cost of business travel against your travel allowance.
Thirdly, record your 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)
Top Tip: Your travel between home and your place of work cannot be claimed for business purposes, as this is regarded as private travel. A separate logbook must be kept for each vehicle used for business travel.
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 the 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.
Top Tip: you must keep your logbook for a period of at least five years as you may be required to submit it to SARS to back up your claim.