Australian truck drivers are often away from home overnight as they need to deliver goods long distances. Long distance truck drivers who deliver goods interstate can be away from home for a week or two at a time. Generally these truck drivers sleep in the trucks sleeper cab and buy their meals on the road.
As these employee truck drivers are away from home overnight while travelling for work purposes, they are entitled to a deduction for meal expenses incurred. The general rule is that they need to substantiate these meal expenses with receipts.
As an exception to this rule, an employee truck driver is entitled to claim for meal expenses incurred without having to substantiate the expenditure, but only where:
- The employee is required to sleep away from their home overnight while travelling on work.
- The employee is paid a travel allowance to cover the cost of the meals.
- The amount claimed for meal expenses incurred does not exceed the Commissioner’s reasonable amount.
The Commissioner’s reasonable amounts for employee truck drivers for the 2015 income year are set out in TD 2014/19 and are $93.40 per day if the employee’s salary was below $112,610 and $101.85 per day if the employee’s salary was $112,611 and above.
As employee truck drivers normally sleep in their trucks when travelling away from home overnight for work, any accommodation expenses incurred must be fully substantiated i.e. with receipts.