Claim­ing on meals this tax year

Owner Driver - - The Goods -

THE AUS­TRALIAN TAX­A­TION OF­FICE has re­leased the ‘rea­son­able amounts’ claimable by em­ployee truck driv­ers for meals across the 2018/19 tax year.

The re­vised amounts come in slightly higher than the re­vised fig­ures for the 2017/18 pe­riod, but driv­ers must sleep away from home to be able to claim the de­duc­tions for meals.

New amounts of $24.70 for break­fast, $28.15 for lunch and $48.60 for din­ner pro­vide more op­tions to truck­ies given the high cost of food at some road stops.

How­ever, it’s im­por­tant to note that driv­ers can­not com­bine the amounts into one daily fig­ure or carry them over from one meal to the next as they’re set amounts for each meal.

Driv­ers also need to make sure they’re claim­ing the ac­tual amount spent on meals and not the rea­son­able amount listed.

The ATA con­firmed in a no­tice that em­ployee truck driv­ers who re­ceive gen­uine meal al­lowances from their em­ploy­ers do not have to keep writ­ten re­ceipts for claims up to these

rea­son­able amounts but do need to be able to demon­strate the ba­sis for their claims, if asked.

In July 2017, the tax of­fice an­nounced that em­ployee truck driv­ers would only be able to claim $55.30 per day in meal al­lowances with­out de­tailed re­ceipts but the de­ci­sion was re­versed af­ter as­so­ci­a­tions like the ATA pushed back.

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