What is a driving deduction?
A driving deduction is one of the most commonly used deductions. Every year, more than 25 billion DKK are reported in driving deductions to Skat according to a statement by the think-tank, Cepos. This makes it the biggest single deduction that you are able to report yourself.
As such, it is a good idea to be certain of that you are including everything and reporting it correctly. Because even if the driving deduction dates back to 1959, it changes every year.
In this article, we will cover:
- What the deduction is
- What information is required for you to receive it
- Other conditions you will need to be aware of
- Whether you are eligible to receive any deductions
What is a driving deduction?
A driving deduction is a deduction you may be eligible for if you have more than 12 km to your workplace. This applies to all means of transportation, so it does not matter whether you are driving in a car, on a bicycle, via public transport or something completely different. In Danish, this is also referred to as "befordringsfradrag".
It is intended to help people cover the expenses necessary to work. As such, the longer you have to travel to get to work, the bigger the deduction you are eligible for becomes. At the same time, there are many different potential extra compensations to receive e.g. if you have to cross certain bridges on your way to work such as Storebælts- and Øresundsbroen, or are residing in certain municipalities.
To calculate your deduction, you need
- The distance to your workplace
- The number of days you have traveled to the workplace during the year
- Whether you are entitled to receive any extra compensation
How do I calculate the distance to my workplace?
It sounds like a simple question. However, there are actually multiple factors to be aware of which may increase your deduction.
The most important one is, that you do not need to choose the shortest path when traveling to work. This means that if you take another path because it is quicker or perhaps more secure, it becomes this distance that you will need to report. This also means that the distance calculated by Skat's TastSelv is merely indicative and may not necessarily be the right one for you.
If you travel by bike or via public transport, you will need to be aware of this too. In such cases, you will actually need to use the path you would use as a car driver. This may benefit you, e.g. when riding a bike, you may use the bike paths and these often shorten the distance. A great way to find the distance traveled by car is by using a map service such as Google Maps.
How do I calculate the number of days per year?
Another question that should have a simple answer. But what if you are working part-time or if you have had a number of sick days, worked from home or changed workplaces during the year?
You will need to state the number of days where you have actually driven to your workplace. This means that if you have had days where you have not driven to your workplace due to illness, working from home or otherwise, you should not include these.
To keep it simple, Skat themselves use 216 days per year for normal full-time employees. This corresponds to having 6 weeks of holiday and 6 to 8 other days of illness, courses etc. If you have an agreement in place to work from home once a week or have worked part-time or similar to this, you will need to calculate the number of days on your own.
See how you can easily calculate this at the end of the article.
What else do you need to be aware of?
The driving deduction has several other conditions, of which the most important ones are:
- You are not eligible for a deduction if the your transport is covered by your employer, e.g. if you have a company car available
- You are not eligible for a deduction if you drive to and from your place of study
- You are not eligible for a deduction if you drive to and from an unpaid internship
- If you live in a so-called "outer municipality", you may be eligible for a bigger deduction
Outer municiplaities are considered to be the following: