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:

  • 2020/21 logbook for the 1 March 2020 - 28 February 2021 assessment year and tax season starting 1 Jul 2021

  • 2019/20 logbook for the 1 March 2019 - 29 February 2020 assessment year and tax season starting 1 Jul 2020

  • 2018/19 logbook for the 1 March 2018 - 28 February 2019 assessment year and tax season starting 1 Jul 2019

  • 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.

To access this page in different languages click on the links below:

Last Updated: 05/03/2020 3:04 PM     print this page
SARS eFiling eFiling Login eFiling Register Now eFiling Forgot Password eFiling Forgot Username E@syFile

 Top FAQs

Do I need to record the daily odometer readings?
No, SARS does not require the daily odometer readings for opening and closing kilometres. You do need to record the opening and closing kilometres for the year of assessment.

How does my odometer reading affect my claim for travel expenses?
You should always maintain an opening and closing odometer reading for the year for your travel claim to be considered and maintain a record of the actual business kilometres travelled for each trip.

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.

If I worked for two Employers during the same tax year and received travel allowances, and used the same vehicle for both employments, how is the ITR12 return created? Will one or two vehicles be used in the calculation?
One vehicle will be used against two allowances. •On the ITR12 where the question “How many IRP5/IT3(a)s did you receive?” appears, you must indicate two IRP5/IT3(a)’s.

If I receive a reimbursement travel allowance, can I claim travel expenses on the ITR12 return (using my logbook/actual costs)?
Your employer will declare any travel reimbursements paid to you on your employees’ tax certificate (IRP5) using the relevant code.