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Long-Haul Drivers Get Bump In Meal Tax Deduction Limit

OTTAWA, Ont. - Despite continuing economic turmoil, the feds stayed true to their promise to increase the meal tax deduction limit for long-haul truck drivers to 75%. The tax-deductible portion of mea...


OTTAWA, Ont. –Despite continuing economic turmoil, the feds stayed true to their promise to increase the meal tax deduction limit for long-haul truck drivers to 75%. The tax-deductible portion of meal expenses previously sat at 70%. The 5% increase went into effect Jan. 1 and is part of a broader 2007 election promise to increase the limit to 80% by 2011.

“Long-haul truck drivers are some of our country’s hardest-working people,” said Finance Minister Jim Flaherty. “They play a pivotal role in our economy as they transport goods across the country and across our borders. Our government is pleased to support their important work by providing tax relief to these hardworking individuals.”

The cost increase is also available to employers who pay the cost of their drivers’ meals while they’re on the road. However, it only applies to long-haul truck drivers, those who are away from home for at least 24 consecutive hours and travelling at least 160 kms from home. They must also be driving a vehicle with a GVWR of more than 11,788 kgs.

Naturally, the trucking industry welcomed the move.

Canadian Trucking Alliance chief David Bradley said he is “extremely pleased that despite the fact that the Minister of Finance and the Government of Canada are under increasing fiscal pressure, they are continuing to honour this commitment.”

The CTA, Owner-Operators’ Business Association of Canada and other trucking organizations lobbied for the change in 2006 and 2007 through a coordinated campaign dubbed End Canada’s Lunch Bag Leg Down. Industry publications including Truck News carried postcards that truck drivers could conveniently and easily mail to Flaherty.

“As we enter 2010, long-haul drivers are once again benefiting from lower taxes as a result of this campaign and the tax changes that it achieved,” Bradley said.


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