As a nurse it's often confusing knowing what you can and cannot claim as a tax deduction. The amazing team at YOUTax have provided us with information to help you get it right.
You can't claim a deduction for the cost of meals eaten during a normal working day as it is a private expense, even if you receive an allowance to cover the meal expense.
You may be able to claim a deduction for overtime meal expenses you incurred if you received an overtime meal allowance from your employer which was paid under an industrial law, award or agreement.
You can only claim for overtime meal expenses incurred on those occasions when you worked overtime and you received an overtime meal allowance for that overtime. Amounts received as overtime meal allowance must be included as income on your tax return.
If you have received an award overtime meal allowance not shown on a payment summary, you may choose not to include the allowance as income on your tax return and not claim a deduction, as long as the allowance does not exceed the reasonable allowance amounts and you have fully expended it.
An amount for overtime meals that has been folded in as part of your normal salary and wage income is not considered to be an overtime meal allowance.
To claim a deduction you will need written evidence for the whole of your claim if your claim per meal is more than the rate stated in TD 2017/19 Income tax: what are the reasonable travel and overtime meal allowance expense amounts for the 2017–18 income year?
See also: TR 2004/6 Income tax: substantiation exception for reasonable travel and overtime meal allowance expenses.
If you have questions about your tax return contact the team at YouTax for advice.