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Do You Think the Increase in Meal Tax Allowances Is Fair?

CALGARY, Alta. - For years, truckers have complained about the paltry meal tax allowance of 50 per cent of $33 per day while on the road.This pales in comparison to the amount government employees are...





CALGARY, Alta. – For years, truckers have complained about the paltry meal tax allowance of 50 per cent of $33 per day while on the road.

This pales in comparison to the amount government employees are allowed to claim.

Not to mention the fact that with the exchange rate in the U.S., it hasn’t always been easy to eat on $33 per day.

Recently, the federal government increased the meal tax allowance to 50 per cent of $45, much to the delight of many linehaul truckers. Still others feel even this isn’t enough – why shouldn’t they qualify for the same tax benefits as government employees?

Truck News travelled to the Road King truck stop in Calgary to talk to truckers about the increase.

Allan Giroux, a Calgary-based trucker with Circle D Transport was preparing for a run to Houston, Tex. when we caught up with him. He said the changes aren’t good enough.

“The cost of living (on the road) is insane. It’s $1.50 for a cup of coffee. It costs an arm and a leg to run these days,” said Giroux as he filled up his truck with fuel.

“The tax allowance should be more in line with federal government employees,” said the lease-op.

He said when running in the U.S., the exchange rate has made eating out extremely expensive and the meal tax benefits don’t allow him to recoup that cost.

Jack Chatelaine said truckers should be able to claim 100 per cent of $50 per day because that’s about what it costs to eat out on a daily basis while on the road.

The trucker, who was preparing for a run to Salt Lake City, said “Whatever we spend, we should be able to claim. Especially when we’re running down south.”

Marion Burfield, a company driver with Glenncoe, was preparing to drop off a load when she took a moment to discuss the meal tax issue.

However, she said $45 a day “works for me” because “I like my own cooking better anyways.”

Whenever she gets home, Burfield cooks enough dishes to take with her while on a longhaul run, which makes the meal tax allowance a bit of a non-issue.

Locky Adams, a company driver who hauls cars and general freight, said the new ruling “is fine.

“We run the U.S. a lot and the prices are higher there, but I think the current rule is fair,” he said, while filling up for his next trip.

“There are enough 300-lb truck drivers out there,” he quipped, adding drivers shouldn’t have to be spending more than $45 per day on food while on the road.

Adams, who had a car trailer loaded up for delivery said he has no problem with current regs.


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