Simplified Meal Rate

by mrcasey
(Oakville, Ontario, Canada)

Simplified meal rate of $17 per meal, does that include tips?

The simplified meal rate is a flat rate - $17 per meal or $51 per day. Does that include tips?

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Yes. You get to claim only the simplified amount without receipts ... or you can use the detailed method and submit all your receipts.

P.S. I would like to remind you there is a difference between information and advice. The general information provided in this post or on my site should not be construed as advice. You should not act or rely on this information without engaging professional advice specific to your situation prior to using this site content for any reason whatsoever.

Comments for Simplified Meal Rate

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Dec 12, 2013
Simplified Method of claiming meals during travel - only for employees?
by: Jennifer, Ontario


Thank you, thank you, thank you a thousand times over for this amazing resource. It's been so helpful!

Here is my question. The CRA describes the "Meals and lodging expenses - Simplified method" under Employment Expenses, and I can't find mention of it in any of the sections for self-employed folk like myself.

So -- when I travel for business as a sole proprietor, need I keep meal receipts and claim exact amounts, or can I use the Simplified Method (and its accompanying $17 rate)?

This seems like such a simple question, but I haven't been able to find the answer anywhere.


Dec 12, 2013
Simplified Meal Expense and Sole Proprietors
by: Lake

Hi Jennifer,

Generally, sole proprietors need to keep receipts for all their expenses. I have chatted about what happens when you lose your meal receipt … can you still claim the expense? (See the tip box for the above link as I think it could also apply to your situation.)

If you are going to go the simplified meal expense route for all your business travel meals, CRA would definitely want to see some kind of log that showed the business trip, its purpose, the dates, etc.

However, the only reference I see when CRA says this is acceptable for sole proprietors is if you are a self-employed foot and bike couriers or rickshaw driver.

So I leave it to you to decide whether you want to risk losing your deduction during an audit because you didn't have meal receipts.

Maybe other bookkeepers will weigh in here.

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