As with other employees, drivers must meet all the following criteria in order to claim travel expenses:
In addition, in order to claim food and beverage expenses they must be away for at least 12 consecutive hours from the municipality and the metropolitan area where they normally report for work (home terminal). Generally the claim for food and beverage expenses is limited to 50% of the actual amount spent.
Drivers who work for employers who are in the business of transporting goods or passengere may use form TL2 Claim for Meals and Lodging Expenses and my use the simplified method for calculating their food and beverage expenses. Employees whose main job function is the transport of goods or passengers may also claim using the simplified method even if their employer is not in the business of transporting goods or passengers, so long as they meet the criteria listed above.
Under either the simplified or detailed method, there are limits on the maximum numbers of meals that may be claimed. CRA will allow a claim for one meal after every four hours starting at the time of departure. A maximum of three meals per 24-hour period (again starting at departure time) may be claimed. Where the employee is normally required to be away from his or her home terminal but is sometimes scheduled for a trip lasting 10 hours or less, the maximum claim allowed is for one meal. Employees regularly scheduled on trips lasting 10 hours or less do not meet the criteria listed above for claiming meals.
Alternatively, members of work crews, who purchase groceries and prepare their own meals (either individually or as a crew) may claim using the batching method, which allows a maximum claim of $34 per day.
With the exception of long-haul drivers (see below), the calculated claim for meals (under any of the three methods) is multiplied by 50% to calculate the allowable deduction.
The 60% limitation will be raised by 5% each year until 2011 when it will be capped at 80%.