After years of battling and lobbying, Teamsters Canada finally won its battle about the increase in meal expense deduction for employees in the transportation industry.

Indeed, the Minister of National Revenue, Elinor Caplan, announced yesterday an increase in the flat rate that transportation industry employees can use as a deduction for meal expenses on their income tax return.

“Long distance truck and bus drivers work long hours,” said Minister Caplan. “This increase in the amount they can claim for meals on the road is one of many ways the federal government supports and encourages the transportation industry.

Starting this year, drivers will be allowed to use the rate of $ 15 per meal, up to a maximum of $ 45 per day, when claiming meal deductions on their tax return. In addition, drivers travelling and incurring meal expenses in the United States may now use the rate of US$15 per meal, up to a maximum of US$45 per day, converted to Canadian dollars. They can also keep their receipts and claim actual meal expenses. The Income Tax Act allows employees to deduct 50 % of either the flat rate or the actual costs.

Meal deductions apply to drivers, including some railway employees employed in the transportation of goods, passengers, or both. They can only claim meal expenses if they are not reimbursed for any part of the amounts deducted.

Teamsters Canada is a labour organization representing more than 105,000 members in Canada alone. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, which we are affiliated with, represents 1.5 million members across North America.