Employee truck drivers’ reasonable travel and meal expense amounts for 2022-2023

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The amount for reasonable travel allowance expenses for employee truck drivers in the 2022-23 financial year have been published.

Reasonable amounts are given for meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner). The amounts are for all domestic travel destinations (that is, capital cities, regional and country centres). For the 2022-23 income year, the relevant amounts:

Breakfast $26.80

Lunch $30.60

Dinner $52.75

The amounts for each of these meal breaks are separate and cannot be aggregated into a single daily amount. This is of particular importance for the days on which travel commences and ends, when some meals may not be deductible because they are not consumed in the course of work travel. A driver’s work diary (as maintained for fatigue-management purposes) can be used to demonstrate when meal breaks were taken, since employee truck drivers may take meal breaks at different times of the day compared to other taxpayers. It should also be noted that amounts cannot be moved from one meal to another (for example, if the full amount for breakfast is not expended, it cannot be carried over to lunch or dinner).

The deduction allowed for each meal is the amount actually spent and not simply the reasonable amount as above. Although the formal substantiation requirements do not apply for claims up to the reasonable amount, taxpayers should still be able to demonstrate the basis for their claims.  All accommodation expenses and incidental expenses (for example, the cost of a shower) incurred by employee truck drivers as part of work-related travel must be substantiated with written evidence (for example, a receipt).

Where the tax deduction claimed is no more than the reasonable allowance amount, written evidence is not required in support of the claim. However, you could still be required to demonstrate the genuine basis of the claim, by showing how it was worked out, and the work circumstances.

If you have received an overtime meals allowance which is not shown on your payment summary, it does not have to be declared as income in your tax return providing..

  • you have spent all the allowance on deductible expenses and
  • you do not make any claim for the expenses in your tax return