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Meals and snacks

With limited exceptions relating to travel and overtime, the cost of food and drink is private and not deductible.

Last updated 25 April 2023

Example: buying food at work

Scarlett works evenings at the candy bar in a movie theatre. She gets a long break, during which she buys dinner and usually buys some peanuts and water to snack on throughout her shift.

Scarlett can't claim a deduction for the cost of snacks or her evening meal. The cost of the food and drink she has bought is private and not connected to her employment activities.

End of example

Similarly, you can't claim the cost of a meal you buy when you are going between different jobs.

Start of example

Example: meals between jobs

Owen has 2 jobs, as a bank teller and a shop assistant at a liquor store. He finishes work at the bank at 5 pm and starts work at the liquor store at 6 pm. Before starting work at his second job, Owen buys an evening meal.

Owen can't claim a deduction for his evening meal. The cost of the food and drink is private and not connected to his employment activities.

End of example

You can generally claim a deduction for the cost of meals you incur when you travel and stay away from your home overnight in the course of your work.

You may also be able to claim a deduction for the cost of a meal you buy and eat while working overtime.

QC72177