Overtime meal expenses


Evidence to support expenses

If you incurred work-related overtime meal expenses and wish to claim these as a deduction, the nexus has to be established. If your tax return is selected for a review or an audit, you may be asked to provide the following records to the ATO:

    • details of employment duties and an explanation of the necessity to incur overtime meal expenses for work-related purposes
    • written evidence that you received overtime meal allowances in addition to your normal salary and wages, which allowances were paid under an industrial award, law or agreement
    • a letter from your employer(s), including contact name and telephone number:
      • confirming why you were required to work overtime in the course of carrying out your employment duties
      • providing details of any relevant reportable fringe benefits, or reimbursement to compensate you for expenses incurred
      • providing details of specific overtime meal allowances paid to you


Substantiation does not apply where you received a bona fide overtime meal allowance and the deduction does not exceed the Commissioner’s reasonable allowance amount. However, you may still be required to show the basis for determining the amount of your claim and that the expenses claimed were actually incurred for work-related purposes. The evidence that may be requested in these situations will vary according to the individual circumstances and the nature of the expense.

Where you received a bona fide overtime meal allowance, and the deduction exceeds the Commissioner’s reasonable allowance, substantiation applies. To substantiate the deduction you may be asked to keep receipts or other similar records.

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