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Claim your lunch | 2024 Gotax

April 24, 2024

Lunch Time Meals: A Non-Deductible Expense

With the very odd exception the answer is NO, you can't claim your meals as a tax deduction.  Read on for more...

Why Can’t We Claim Lunch Time Meals on our Tax?

According to the Tax Office (ATO), the cost of food and drink is considered a private expense and is generally not deductible.  The argument generally goes like this... as a human on this planet you need to consume food and drink to survive, regardless of whether you work or not. 

So, it's considered just a cost of living and not related to earning of your income. This includes meals or snacks you buy and consume during your regular work hours. The ATO’s premise is simple: you need to eat to live, and this necessity doesn’t change whether you’re working or not.

Overtime - Exceptions to the Rule

There are limited exceptions to this rule. For instance, you can claim a deduction for an overtime meal if you buy and eat the meal while working overtime and you receive an overtime meal allowance under an industrial award or enterprise agreement.

In such a case the deduction can get a little complicated, so always write down in a calendar the dates and times it occurred and where possible keep the receipts.  Doing this will ensure you get the maximum claim as there are a couple of ways to claim this.

To Recap

While it’s understandable that you need to eat to do your job effectively, the ATO views lunch as a personal expense.

Therefore, under the current Australian Taxation System, lunch time meals at your place of work are not claimable unless specific conditions related to overtime are met.

Gotax Rules

For a cost effective quick way of getting your tax done and getting that refund quicker, look no further than Gotax.

Just click through to www.gotax.com.au to get started.


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