Documentation Helps Truckers Exceed CRA Expenses

The federal Tax Court found in favour of a truck driver whose meal expenses incurred while driving in the US had been reduced by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) from $40 to $33 a day because they didn't match the amounts called for in the CRA information guide.

The judge noted that since federal civil servants were allowed $48 a day for meals (in 2012 the amount is $51) he saw that it was entirely reasonable for a truck driver to at least claim $40 when the expense was incurred in US dollars.

Several court cases have found in favour of truckers who claimed unvouchered meal expenses that exceeded CRA guidelines. The Court rulings are that, considering civil servants were allowed $48 per day, it was reasonable for a trucker to exceed the $33 CRA reference amount.

In certain circumstances, it appears that the CRA reference amount for meals of $51 per day can be exceeded, as long as the expenses are reasonable. It always helps, however, to have strong detailed documentation (e.g., trip records) to back up your claim.