|Rental properties - claiming travel deductions|
Contributed by Darryn Beckwith-Smith
You can claim a deduction for travel expenses incurred to inspect or maintain rental properties and to collect rent such as:
Domestic travel requiring an overnight stay
You may own a rental property that is located so far from where you live that it would be unreasonable to expect you not to stay near the property overnight when making an inspection. If this is the case you are entitled to claim a deduction for travel expenses incurred in travelling to the rental property. Where an overnight stay is involved, you would be entitled to claim for meals and accommodation. A common mistake is claiming travel expenses where the main purpose of the trip is to have a holiday or for other private purposes and inspection of the property is 'incidental' to that main purpose. In these cases only costs directly attributable to visiting the property will be deductible with other travel or accommodation costs incurred in getting to the holiday location will not be deductible.
A common mistake is that claims lack adequate substantiation. If your travel is interstate or over a considerable distance to inspect a rental property, the ATO would expect to find you have some written evidence to support that the travel occurred and what expense was incurred such as diarised records and receipts.