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Tax time deductions - meal allowance

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Newbie

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I'm a consultant and I've been travelling for most of the year for work. My company has paid me a $70/day food allowance but the ATO recommended amount is $109.35. Can I claim the difference?

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ATO Certified Response

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Hi @Lana

 

Thanks for your question here on Community!

 

Firstly, if the allowance is not included on your payment summary, you won’t need to include this in your income tax return, and you wouldn’t be entitled to claim any deductions relating to food expenditure.

 

However, if the allowance is included on your payment summary, you need to declare the allowance on your tax return, and you can then claim any food expenses. You can only claim a deduction for the actual amount you spend on food when you’re travelling away from home overnight for work purposes. The ATO recommended amount (known as the ‘Commissioner’s reasonable amount’) is the amount you can claim up to without formal substantiation, however, you can’t automatically claim the difference between the amount you received as an allowance and the Commissioner’s reasonable amount.

 

If you’d like further information, refer to 'example 2' at (paragraph 18 – 22 of our determination TD 2017/19).

 

We hope this helps.

 

Thanks Kim.

2 REPLIES 2
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Most helpful response

ATO Certified Response

Guest contributor

Replies 1

Hi @Lana

 

Thanks for your question here on Community!

 

Firstly, if the allowance is not included on your payment summary, you won’t need to include this in your income tax return, and you wouldn’t be entitled to claim any deductions relating to food expenditure.

 

However, if the allowance is included on your payment summary, you need to declare the allowance on your tax return, and you can then claim any food expenses. You can only claim a deduction for the actual amount you spend on food when you’re travelling away from home overnight for work purposes. The ATO recommended amount (known as the ‘Commissioner’s reasonable amount’) is the amount you can claim up to without formal substantiation, however, you can’t automatically claim the difference between the amount you received as an allowance and the Commissioner’s reasonable amount.

 

If you’d like further information, refer to 'example 2' at (paragraph 18 – 22 of our determination TD 2017/19).

 

We hope this helps.

 

Thanks Kim.

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Newbie

Replies 0

Super helpful. Thanks for the speedy response Kim Smiley Happy