FREE 5-Day Email Course to learn the ATO’s Uber tax rules
FREE Uber Expense Spreadsheet so you never miss a deduction
FREE Uber Logbook Spreadsheet to claim your car expenses
FREE ABN & GST Registration (if you need it!)
The first question every rideshare and food delivery driver wants to know: what tax deductions can I claim for Uber?
Learn how Uber tax deductions work, what you can claim on your Uber tax return, how to keep a logbook, how the instant asset write-off works, what receipts you need and more. This is everything that rideshare and food delivery drivers in Australia need to know about maximising their tax deductions for Uber.
A logbook is used as evidence to the ATO of the percentage that you use your car for business use vs private use. If you have kept a valid logbook, you can claim a percentage of your vehicle running expenses, including:
servicing, repairs, tyres and other maintenance costs
accessories (e.g. car seat covers, phone holders, tinted windows)
depreciation on the purchase price of your car (if you own your car)
rental/hire/lease fees (if you lease/rent your car)
interest (if you have a loan on your car)
If you wish to claim these expenses you MUST have a valid logbook. We’ll explain the requirements for a logbook in more detail below.
A quick note regarding depreciation. When you purchase a new asset such as a car, bike or scooter, the tax deduction for the cost of the asset is usually claimed over a number of years. This gradual claim is called depreciation. However, for the 2021, 2022 and 2023 financial years the ATO introduced the ‘Temporary Full Expensing’ write-off, which allowed small businesses to claim the cost of their asset all in the one year, instead of having to claim it gradually. Then, for the 2024 financial year we have a new set of rules, Small Business Depreciation and the Instant Asset Write Off. Cars, bikes and scooters costing under $20,000 can be written off, while assets over $20,000 must be claimed gradually, but there is an accelerated rate available. If you have purchased a car this year or are thinking about buying one soon, check out our article on Buying A Car For Uber for more detail on how it works.
If you’ll be using the logbook method, you’ll need to keep the following records of your car expenses:
Fuel – fuel receipts are the best form of evidence, so we suggest keeping an envelope in your glovebox to collect these. If you don’t have receipts, the ATO will accept your bank statements as evidence.
Other Running Costs – you’ll need receipts or bank records of your registration, insurance, servicing, repairs, tyres, maintenance, cleaning and other costs
Car Washes – if you don’t get a receipt for your car washes, the ATO will accept a diary note or other handwritten note with the date and amount of your car wash. Keep a little notebook handy in your glovebox to write these down.
Depreciation – you’ll need the tax invoice or purchase details of your car so that depreciation can be calculated
Interest – if you have a loan or finance, you’ll need to find out how much interest you paid (not loan repayments, just the interest) for the financial year. If you don’t have this, you will need to supply us with your original loan documents showing the amount borrowed, repayments, term of the loan and interest rate.
Lease Payments – if you lease your car, the whole amount of your lease payments are deductible
Logbook – to claim all of the above expenses, you must have a valid logbook. Otherwise your car expenses are irrelevant and you’ll be limited to the cents per kilometre method.
The ATO will accept bank records for your end-of-year tax return, but for your BAS’s you must have a tax invoice for all business expenses over $82.50 in order to claim the GST back.
If you haven’t kept a valid logbook you’ll be restricted to using the Cents per Kilometre Method instead. The ATO gives us a set rate that we can claim per km, and we can claim a maximum of 5,000km. The current rates are as follows:
2021-2022: rate of 72 cents per kilometre, which gives a maximum deduction of 72c x 5,000km = $3,600
2022-2023: rate of 78 cents per kilometre, which gives a maximum deduction of 78c x 5,000km = $3,900
2023-2024: rate of 85 cents per kilometre, which gives a maximum deduction of 85c x 5,000km = $4,250
You don’t have to have specific records of your kilometres. Instead you can make a ‘reasonable estimate’ based on your patterns of work, diary notes, records from Uber/the company you drive for, etc. Note that you can claim the kilometres in between trips as well as kilometres while you have a passenger or are making a delivery. You can also claim kilometres between home and your first trip, and from your last trip back home again.
If you’ve been driving more than just a small amount then $4,250 may be much less than your actual car expenses. So if you don’t keep a logbook you would end up with a lower tax deduction and therefore a bigger tax bill. So unless you are just an occasional driver, we recommend that you should keep a logbook so that you don’t miss out on claiming all of your expenses.
Keeping a Logbook for Uber
Here are the essentials of keeping a logbook:
It must go for 12 weeks. It’s okay if the 12 weeks go past the 30th of June (e.g. you keep your logbook from May-July). But you must start before the 30th of June for it to count for the current year.
You only need to make one logbook entry for each shift/session of Uber driving, you don’t need to record individual deliveries. You also don’t need to record private/non-business trips.
You must record the date, and the odometer reading of your car at the start and end of each shift/session of driving.
You should start your logbook when you leave home or switch on your delivery app, and stop when you arrive back home or switch off the app. Your kms to and from home, and your kms in between deliveries can all be included.
The Free DriveTax Uber Logbook Spreadsheet is the easiest way to track your kilometres, and it does all the adding up and calculates your percentage for you. Download your free copy here. If you prefer a physical paper logbook we recommend the Zions Pocket Logbook, which you can buy from Officeworks for under $7. Using an app is also fine, as long as you are still recording your odometer readings.
It’s important to note that the kilometre records that Uber sends you are not enough to meet the ATO’s requirements of a logbook, because they don’t show your car’s odometer readings. They also don’t include your kms in between trips, so you’ll be missing out on tax deductions!
For more detail on logbooks, including exactly what trips you can and can’t claim and tips to maximise your logbook percentage, visit our blog post on How To Keep An Uber Logbook.
Other Uber Tax Deductions
Other rideshare related expenses that will be tax deductible include:
Uber Service Fees – these are the fees that are deducted from your Uber fares, essentially Uber’s commission
Other Fees – application fees, medical tests, police check, driver accreditation, driver training etc
Clothing – clothing is a personal expense. Only safety wear, such as hi-visibility clothing or steel cap boots is deductible.
Personal Hygiene – deodorant, haircuts etc
Personal Comfort or Health – driving long hours is understandably hard on the body, but back rests, cushions, physiotherapists, massages and all other expenses relating to your bodily wellness or comfort are considered personal and are not deductible
Meals – you cannot claim for food or coffee for yourself
Fines – even if directly related to Uber
Driver’s Licence – your normal drivers licence is considered a private expense
COVID Tests – the ATO only allows tax deductions for COVID tests for people who worked in certain industries where there were specific rules that the could only go to work with a negative test. This included health care workers and some food industry workers. In other words, tests that stemmed from the rules for the general public (i.e. tests if you were a close contact, tests to get out of quarantine if you had COVID etc), are not tax-deductible, tests are only deductible if they were required under specific rules for a specific industry or job. There weren’t any specific rules that rideshare or delivery drivers had to do a test to be allowed to drive, so rideshare and delivery drivers will not be able to claim deductions for COVID tests.
If you have expenses that you’re not sure are deductible, keep the receipts anyway, and let your accountant advise you at tax time whether they can be claimed.
If you’re a rideshare driver, keep in mind that there are some Uber and ridesharing expenses that are claimable on your tax return but not your BAS, or vice versa. Head to our Uber BAS Ultimate Guide to learn what expenses you can claim on your Uber BAS.
Claiming GST On Your BAS
If you do rideshare driving, in addition to your end of year income tax return you must lodge a Business Activity Statement (BAS) to the ATO every quarter to pay GST on your Uber income.
You can claim GST credits to offset your GST bill, just like claiming tax deductions. However there are some differences in what expenses you can claim and what receipts you need to keep. To learn more, check out our Ultimate Guide to BAS’s for Uber Drivers.
Learn More About Claiming Tax Deductions For Uber
This article covers the bare essentials of claiming tax deductions as an Uber driver. Here are a few more articles you might find useful:
If you’d like a more in-depth understanding of your Uber tax obligations, you may be interested in our Understanding Uber Taxes online course. Through a series of 30+ video lessons and tutorials, you’ll learn exactly how to calculate your Uber tax deductions, the easiest way to keep records, the FULL version of the DriveTax Bookkeeping Spreadsheet, how to lodge your own tax return BAS statements and much more. Visit our course information page to find out more.
Happy and safe driving!
Thoughts? Questions? Leave a comment below and I’ll respond shortly! – Jess
About the Author – Jess Murray CPA – Uber Accountant
Jess Murray is a CPA Accountant and registered tax agent. She’s been working in personal and small business tax for 15 years, and has been specialising in tax for Australian Uber Drivers for the last 7 years as the Director of DriveTax. She also teaches an online course called Understanding Uber Taxes.
Jess is on a mission to make taxes straightforward and manageable for Uber drivers across Australia.
The information in this article is general in nature and does not take into account your personal circumstances. If you’d like to know how this article applies to you, please contact us to arrange a consultation, or talk to your accountant.