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 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, simply download the:

  • 2017/18 logbook for the 1 March 2017 - 28 February 2018 assessment year and tax season starting 1 Jul 2018

  • 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 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)
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 motor vehicle where more than one motor vehicle has been used for business travel during the year of assessment.

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.
Top Tip: you must keep your logbook for a period of at least five years from the date of the submission of your return, as you may be required to submit it to SARS to back up your claim.
 

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Last Updated: 31/05/2017 4:21 PM     print this page
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 Top FAQs

How does my odometer reading affect my claim for travel expenses?
You should always maintain an opening and closing odometer reading for your travel claim to be considered. Also, note that the distance

Do I need to submit my logbook?
Yes, you need a log book to support your claim for expenses related to an employer-provided vehicle. However, you do not need to submit the log book with your ITR12 return.

What is an employer-provided vehicle?
Employers often provide their employees with a travel allowance to meet the cost of business-related car travel expenses. Some employers alternatively provide their

How can the taxable fringe benefit for employer-provided vehicles be reduced?
The taxable fringe benefit for employer-provided vehicles can be reduced by license fees, insurance, fuel and maintenance expenses that are directly

How are travel expenses for which I was reimbursed treated for PAYE purposes?
A travel allowance is any allowance paid or advance given to an employee in respect of travelling expenses for business purposes.