Claiming on meals this tax year
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.