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Must I keep a day-to-day travel logbook?

by , 17 March 2014
This is one of the most frequently asked questions about company cars and travel allowances. So I decided to share it with you. Let's take a look at the actual question John sent us as well as the answer David, our Tax Helpdesk expert, gave him.

When I claim travel expenses against commission income (where no travel allowance was received) do I still need to keep a day-to-day logbook with opening and closing odometer readings as in the case where an employee received a travel allowance or can claim actual expenses and make a % provision for private use? 
Unfortunately no odometer reading (opening & closing) was kept.
Here's what David had to say.
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Must I keep a day-to-day travel logbook?
To claim any business portion for travel, regardless of whether you receive any type of travel allowance, you must keep an accurate travel logbook. 
The reason for this is simple. 
If you don't, SARS will deny any deduction for travel. It has become very strict on this point, so don't try claim for business travel based on a rough percentage calculation.
If you haven't maintained a logbook, then hopefully you'll be able to identify the dates, client and distance travelled for business purposes based on calendar entries or timesheets to construct an accurate logbook to support a deduction for business travel. 
For a list of what you must include in your logbook turn to chapter T09: How to tax travel allowances. If you don't have a copy yet get yours now
Until next time
Natalie Cousens
Managing Editor: Practical Tax Loose Leaf Service
Ps. If you'd like us to share more company car and travel allowance questions and answers with you please email natalie@fsp.co.za 

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