ATA slams ATO over truck driver expenses changes

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Travel expense claims cut

The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) has criticised the Australian Tax Office (ATO) over changes to truck driver expense claims.

The ATO has cut travel expense claims (excluding accommodation) for employee truck drivers without detailed receipts from $97.40 (2016-17) to just $55.30 this financial year.

Despite the cuts, the ATO has increased reasonable food and drink allowance for comparable employees in other industries.

ATA Chair Geoff Crouch says what makes it worse is that the ATO didn’t properly consult the industry first.

The ATO say they released a consultation paper in 2016, but Mr Crouch tells us no one in the trucking industry saw it.

“By sifting through the tax office website, the ATA has now located the tax office’s copy of the consultation paper that we didn’t receive.

“The paper does not provide any evidence to support the decision to slash the reasonable amount for truck driver claims. There are no statistics, case studies or references to relevant court or AAT cases.

“The tax office should reverse its determination, rewrite its consultation paper to include actual facts and consult again.”

We’ll keep you updated.

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