Log Books and 1 ton Utes
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Log Books and 1 ton Utes.

With the increased popularity of 1 ton utes like the Ford, Holden and 4WD dual cab utes that are used for business use as well as private use the following question is often asked. Does a log book need to be kept to show the personal use of a one ton ute? Well, the answer is both No and Yes.

Log Books and 1 ton Utes Australian Vehicle Tax Log Book

Is the Ute a Vehicle?

There are 2 methods for claiming a deduction for a car, cents per kilometre and the log book method, A car is defined as a motor vehicle (excluding motor cycles or similar vehicles) designed to carry a load of less than 1 ton and fewer than 9 passengers. This is the “No” answer to the question as the vehicle is greater than 1 tonne it isn’t included in the definition of a car and a log book is not needed.

Keep in mind, as the 1 ton ute isn’t defined as a motor vehicle, you can not claim the cents per kilometre method if you haven’t kept a log book.

Now for the Yes part.

The Australian Taxation Office has a rule that basically says if you have an expense that is both used for business and private use then you need to apportion the expense accordingly. To show the apportionment of the expense of the vehicle a “diary” aka a log book needs to be kept outlining the business use of the one ton ute. The expenses of the ute will be reduced by the personal use of the vehicle.

Keeping a Log Book

For a log book to be considered valid by the ATO, it must be kept for a minimum continuous period of 12 weeks. During this time, the log book should record the date, start and finish times, odometer readings, and details of the work-related trips made. This information is then used to calculate the business use percentage of the vehicle, which is the proportion of total vehicle use that is for work purposes.

One of the benefits of keeping log books for a 1 ton ute is that it helps to maximize tax deductions. Vehicle-related expenses such as fuel, insurance, repairs, and maintenance can all be claimed as tax deductions, provided that they are directly related to work purposes. The business use percentage of the vehicle, as determined by the log book, is then applied to these expenses to determine the tax-deductible portion.

My Thoughts.

Let’s say that you are a plumber and you have a single cab ute with a canopy on the back and your ute is full of tools and materials then the likelihood if audited that you would be requested to show your personal use calculation of the vehicle would be low. If you have a dual cab ute that looks like it would be used for both personal and business use I would be seriously thinking about having your log book filled in.

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  1. I own and drive a private commodore ute to and from work carrying my work tools and gear. Can I claim?

  2. Hi,
    re: one tonne vehicle – do you have a list of models that come under that definition eg most duel cabs one tonne claimincludes passengers & sometimes even fuel capacity??

    1. As 1 tonne Ute is excluded from the definition of a car, therefore the methods of claiming a tax deduction for a car do not apply to a Ute. But, the ATO still requires that if an expenses is not 100% for business, an apportionment of the expense is required. For a motor vehicle the ATO suggest keeping a log book for 12 weeks meets the requirements.

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