The ATO requires a logbook be kept for a continuous 12 week period. It needs to be started in the year that you are claiming the expenses for.  This means that a logbook for a car bought in January can be started as late as 30 June. As long as this period is representative of the normal business use of the vehicle, the logbook remains valid for 5 years, including for a replacement vehicle.

Keeping a logbook can be a pain, but the ATO now accepts logbook apps which calculate and report business use %. Combined with the GPS recording odometer kms and the start and end locations, this makes maintaining a logbook much easier.

The rule of thumb is that you don’t need to keep a logbook for trade vehicles. But that is only if you are carrying bulky tools & equipment, and doing lots of travel for work. This means that an office worker could not avoid keeping a logbook even if they do drive a ute…

But, what is a trade vehicle? Is a ‘dual cab’ a trade vehicle?? Not necessarily. The ATO has a list of acceptable dual cabs. It comes down to whether the vehicle is principally designed to carry passengers. This is determined by the ratio of passenger space to payload space. If your dual cab does not appear on the ATO list, then you will need to keep a logbook.


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