Moving, Medical and More!: REASONABLE MEAL ALLOWANCES

On September 3, 2020, CRA
announced that, effective January
1, 2020, the rates allowable under
the simplified method related to
travel for medical expenses,
moving expenses, and the
northern residents deduction, as
well as meal claims for transport employees, increased to
$23 from $17 per meal, for a total of $69/day. This is also the

amount that CRA has stated is reasonable for a meal and
therefore the non-taxable portion of an overtime meal or
allowance, or certain other travel allowances provided to
employees.
CRA has previously noted that reasonable allowances paid
by employers for meal costs incurred while travelling is a
question of fact. Reasonable allowances are generally not
taxable. Although they would generally accept $23 per
meal (including taxes), higher amounts could be
reasonable, provided they are supported by relevant facts,
including:
– cost of ordinary meals in the travel area;
– availability of meals in proximity to the location of work
or lodgings while away;
– whether some meals will likely be provided to the
employee at no cost; and
– exchange rates where travel is outside of Canada.
CRA has also indicated previously that they consider the
meal allowances based on the National Joint Council
rates (which well exceed $69/day but are currently less than
$23 for breakfast or lunch) to be reasonable for the meal
portion of these travel allowances. However, these Council
rates are not accepted for the other purposes mentioned
above.
ACTION ITEM: Keep a list of all medical and moving
travel. Retain associated receipts so that the actual
costs can be compared against claims available under
the simplified method rates.

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