Can you deduct Meals and Entertainment Expenses from your business income?

by in Calgary Tax Saving for Business
Meal and entertainment expenses can only be considered business expenses when they are incurred to earn business or property income.  These types of expenses are the ones that are tax deductible. 

Most of the time, the amount that can be deducted for food, beverages and entertainment is 50% of the lesser of the actual cost or a reasonable amount under the circumstances. 

A reasonable amount allowed by the CRA for meal deductions is 50% of $17 per meal to a maximum of $51 per day.  This is the allowable meal deductions which can be claimed without keeping receipts.

Long haul truck drivers are allowed a higher deduction for meal costs during eligible travel periods:

  • 65% for2008

  • 70% for 2009

  • 75% for 2010

  • 80% for 2011 or later


A long haul truck driver is someone whose primary business or employment is driving a long haul truck to transport goods with a gross vehicle weight of more than 11,788 kilograms. 

A period of at least 24 consecutive hours is in transit, driving a long haul truck to transport goods to and from a location that is at least 160 kilometres from the place of work.

 There are instances where 100% of the meals and entertainment costs are deductible.  These included instances when meals and/or entertainment are:

  • Provided as compensation to customers and you are in the business of providing meals and entertainment

  • Billed to your customer and are itemized on the invoice

  • Included in an employee’s income or would be included if the employee did not work at a remote or special work location and the expenses are not for a conference, seminar or similar event

  • Incurred to provide a part or event to which all employees from a particular location are invited (maximum of 6 events per year)

  • Provided to employees housed at temporary work camps and the employee cannot be expected to return home daily

  • For fundraising events for the benefit of a Canadian registered charity.


 Source:  CRA website & taxtips.ca
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