Meals and lodging (including showers)

Meals
To calculate your meal expenses, you can use either the simplified or detailed method, or in certain situations, the batching method.

The most you can deduct for meal expenses is 50% of your claim (unless you are a long-haul truck driver claiming meals for an eligible trip, as explained in Meal expenses of long-haul truck drivers). For example, if you use the simplified method, which is based on a daily meal rate of $17 per meal, the most you can deduct is $8.50 ($17 x 50%) for each meal.

Under either the simplified or detailed method, you can claim one meal after every four hours from the departure time, to a maximum of three meals per day. For the purposes of calculating the maximum number of meals allowed, a day is considered to be a 24-hour period that begins at the departure time.

The simplified method - This is the easiest way to calculate your meal expenses since you do not have to keep receipts for your meals, although you do have to keep a detailed list of the trips you take in a record or log book, similar to the example below.

The simplified method is based on a meal rate of $17 for each meal. Multiply the actual number of meals you ate by $17 (to a maximum of three meals per day) and report that amount on Form TL2, Claim for Meals and Lodging Expenses, under the "Meals bought" column of Part 2 – Trip and expense summary.

Example of an excerpt from a log book maintained by a truck driver using the simplified method.

Meals and lodging expenses - Simplified method
Date Departure time Destination Date Check-in time Hrs away Km driven No. of meals
June 15 7:00 Montréal June 17 16:00 57 900 7

The detailed method - If you choose to use the detailed method to calculate your meal expenses, you have to keep a log or record book itemizing each expense, similar to the example below. You also have to keep receipts to support the amount you deduct. Report the actual amount you spent on meals on Form TL2 in the "Meals bought" column of Part 2 – Trip and expense summary.

Example of an excerpt from a log book maintained by a truck driver using the detailed method.

Meals and lodging expenses - Detailed method
Date Time in
or Time out
Location Restaurant Type Cost
June 15 9:30 Oshawa  n/a n/a  0
June 15 n/a  Belleville Paradise Restaurant Lunch $ 9.20
June 15  n/a Montréal Dunn's Restaurant Dinner $22.99
June 15  n/a Montréal Quebec Motel Lodging $64.50
June 16  n/a Montréal Dunn's Restaurant   Breakfast $  5.75
June 16  n/a Belleville Paradise Restaurant Lunch $17.45
June 16 16:00 Oshawa  n/a  n/a  0

The batching method - When you are part of a work crew, such as on a train, your employer may provide you with cooking facilities. If you buy groceries and cook meals either by yourself or as a group, each person can claim up to $34 for each day. As long as you do not claim more than this amount, you do not have to keep receipts. Report this amount on Form TL2 in the "Meals bought" column of Part 2 – Trip and expense summary.

Lodging and showers
You can deduct your lodging expenses. The costs of showers are also considered to be deductible as part of lodging expenses for transportation employees who may have slept in the cab of their trucks rather than at hotels. You need to keep your receipts to support the amount you deduct.

Trips to the United States
For details on what to do if some of the trips you make are to the United States, see Trips to the United States.

Note

You must reduce your claim for meal and lodging expenses, by any non-taxable allowance or reimbursement you received or are entitled to receive from your employer.

Your employer has to sign Form TL2. You do not have to send this form with your return, but you should keep it in case we ask to see it later.

How to claim your expenses

Complete Parts 1 and 2 of Form TL2, Claim for Meals and Lodging Expenses, and have your employer complete Part 3 and sign it. Trips that qualify as an eligible trip for long-haul truck drivers (see Meal expenses of long-haul truck drivers) should be reported in Part 2B, and all other trips should be reported in Part 2A. Claim your meal and lodging expenses on line 229 of your return. You do not have to send Form TL2 with your return, but you should keep it in case we ask to see it later.

Forms and publications

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