Taxation Determination TD 2019/11, issued on 3 July 2019, sets out the amounts the Commissioner treats as reasonable for the 2019-20 income year in relation to employee claims for:
- overtime meal expenses – the reasonable amount is $31.25;
- domestic travel expenses. Reasonable amounts are given for three salary levels for: (i) short-stay accommodation in commercial establishments like hotels, motels and serviced apartments; (ii) meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner). Separate reasonable amounts are given for truck drivers (see below); and (iii) deductible expenses incidental to travel;
- overseas travel expenses. Reasonable amounts are provided for three salary levels for: (i) meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner); and (ii) deductible expenses incidental to travel. These reasonable amounts are shown for cost groups to which a country has been allocated. Where travel is to a country that is not listed, the employee can use the reasonable amount for Cost Group 1 in the table for the relevant salary range.
For employee truck drivers who receive a travel allowance and are required to sleep (take their major rest break) away from home, TD 2019/11 provides separate meal expense amounts for breakfast ($25.20), lunch ($28.75) and dinner ($49.60). These amounts cannot be aggregated into a single daily amount because some of these meals may not have been consumed in the course of work travel. Further, amounts cannot be moved from one meal to another (eg, if the full amount for lunch is not spent). TD 2019/11 states that truck drivers can use their work diary to demonstrate when meal breaks are taken.
The Determination applies to the 2019-20 income year only.