Bicycle Couriers: Take Advantage of the CRA’s Extra Meal Allowance

by Craig Anthony

1 min read

As a bicycle courier, you spend all day pedaling hard, dodging traffic, and making sure documents get to the right place. All this activity burns a lot of calories. Luckily, the Canada Revenue Agency understands that you need to replace this fuel. As a result, bicycle couriers qualify for extra food deductions.To simplify the process, you can claim $17.50 for every day you work at least an eight-hour shift. You don’t need food receipts, but you should keep a detailed work log. For example, if you work 200 full days as a bicycle courier, you can claim a $3,500 deduction on your tax return.You can base your deduction on your actual food costs, but that’s more complicated. Essentially, you have to save all your receipts, but you can only claim the amount that is above and beyond what an average person eats in a day. For instance, if you spent $30 on food and the average person only eats about $10 of food per day, you get to write off $20.A courier who was in the industry for over two decades took this issue to tax court in the 1990s. He won the case by arguing that truck drivers get to write off petrol, so bicycle couriers should get a deduction for the “fuel” that keeps their bikes going. By extension, rickshaw drivers and walking couriers can also claim this deduction.When filing your taxes, don’t forget the extra meal allowance deduction for bicycle couriers.

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