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The highwaySTAR Meal Tax Crusade

We’re all aware of the enormous cost of three square meals a day. For drivers who have little choice but to eat in restaurants, the cost can easily exceed $40 or $50 a day for a healthy, well-balanced diet. While few carriers offer anything in the form of a meal allowance, drivers can seek some relief through the tax code. In 2001, highwaySTAR reported the Don Wilkinson case to the world, and suddenly the picture changed. Truckers used to claiming 50% of $33 per day were shown by Wilkinson that the Canadian Customs and Revenue Agency (CCRA) would have to accept “an amount deem reasonable in the circumstances” instead of the previously mentioned figure.

HighwaySTAR has pursued this issue vigorously since we first reported Wilkinson’s Tax Court victory, and we’ve since heard from hundreds of readers who have successfully applied Don Wilkinson’s strategy to their own meal claims. There’s nothing fishy going on here, and nobody is skirting the law. It’s all about interpreting the tax code properly, and we continue to support and encourage drivers and owner-operators alike to take a more aggressive stand with their meal claims.

The links below will take you to various stories we’ve run on the Meal Tax issue, and we’ve placed them here for your reference, all together in one easy to search archive. We strongly suggest that you consult your own financial service provider for a clearer perspective, but remember, if they advise you not to follow in Wilkinson’s footsteps, it may be because they aren’t up to the perceived risk of making the system work for their clients. It may be to your advantage to seek a second opinion.

For easy reference, here are PDF files of all the forms you'll need to make your meal claim with your tax return.

CCRA - T2200 - Declaration of Conditions of Employment
CCRA - T2200 - Declaration of Conditions of Employment (print and fill out)
CCRA - TL2 - Claim For Meals and Lodging Expenses
CCRA - Information Circular 73-21R8 - Claims for Meals and Lodging Expenses of Transport Employees
Appendix "C" - Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat - Travel Directive

In the Magazine

You'll find these and other stories in the highwaySTAR print magazine this month. Available at your favourite truckstop.


  • New HOS regs and team drivers
  • An Alberta drivers antique Kenworth collection
  • Trucks that can back up themselves