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Reasonable travel and meal allowances for 2018/19

Posted by Northadvisory on July 6, 2018

The Commissioner has set out the amounts considered to be reasonable in relation to claims made by employees for the 2018/19 income year for:

  • overtime meal expenses — for food and drink when working overtime
  • domestic travel expenses — for accommodation, food and drink, and incidentals when travelling away from home overnight for work (particular reasonable amounts are given for employee truck drivers, office holders covered by the Remuneration Tribunal and Federal Members of Parliament)
  • overseas travel expenses — for food and drink, and incidentals when travelling overseas for work.

 

Overtime meals
The reasonable amount for overtime meal allowance expenses is $30.60 for the 2018/19 income year.

 

Domestic travel
The reasonable amount for accommodation applies only for short stays in commercial establishments like hotels, motels and serviced apartments. If a different type of accommodation is used (eg a hostel or caravan park), the reasonable amount cannot be used even if you receive an allowance.

The reasonable amount for meals depends on the period and time of travel. That is, the reasonable amounts only apply to meals (that is breakfast, lunch, dinner) that fall within the time of day from the commencement of your travel to the end of your travel that is covered by the allowance.

The reasonable amount for incidentals applies in full to each day of travel covered by the allowance, without the need to apportion for any part day travel on the first and last day.

Reasonable amounts are provided for three salary levels — up to $122,040; $122,041 to $217,200; and $217,201 and above.

 

Employee truck drivers
Reasonable amounts are given for meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) as follows:

  • Breakfast — $24.70
  • Lunch — $28.15
  • Dinner — $48.60.

The amounts for each of these meal breaks are separate and cannot be aggregated into a single daily amount. The amounts also can’t be moved from one meal to another eg, if the full amount for breakfast is not expended, it cannot be carried over to lunch or dinner.

 

Overseas travel
Reasonable amounts are provided for three salary levels — up to $122,040; $122,041 to $217,200; and $217,201 and above.

Salary excludes any allowances received. If you travel to two or more countries in the same day, use the cost group of the country that is in the higher cost group in determining the reasonable amount for that day.

The reasonable amount for incidentals applies in full to each day of travel covered by the allowance, without the need to apportion for any part day travel on the first and last day.

If you have questions on any of the above issues raised, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Norman Ruan
Accountant
T: 02 9984 7774
E: normanr@northadvisory.com.au