Canadian Trucking Alliance

Canadian Trucking Alliance

March 19, 2007 19:07 ET

Canadian Trucking Alliance/Federal Budget 2007: Conservatives to Restore 80% Tax Deduction for Truck Driver Meals

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - March 19, 2007) - Today's federal budget, introduced in the House of Commons by finance minister, Jim Flaherty, had something for everyone, including truck drivers. Starting immediately the federal government will begin to restore the meal tax deductibility for long-haul truck drivers (or the company that reimburses them) to 80% from the 50% level it has been at since 1994. The breakdown for the incremental increases is: 60% starting March 19, 65% in 2008, 70% in 2009, 75% in 2010, and 80% after 2010. This benefit will be partially offset by a gradual reduction in the input tax credit for GST and HST on meals. To be eligible, drivers must be away for at least 24 consecutive hours, and the purpose of the trip is to transport goods beyond a 160 km radius from the home location; in addition, the vehicle must have a GVWR of greater than 11,788 kgs.

For the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) which has been fighting for the restoration of the 80% deduction, for more than a dozen years, this was welcome news. It had been a feature of virtually every CTA pre-budget submission during that period. The report of the Standing Committee on Finance tabled at the end of 2006, noted the need to finally address this matter. Most recently, CTA joined forces with Teamsters Canada and the Owner-Operator's Business Association of Canada, in launching the End the Lunch Bag Letdown campaign where truck drivers sent thousands of post cards to the finance minister calling upon him to restore the 80% deduction.

"This is a clear, decisive victory for the hardworking Canadian men and women of the trucking industry," says David Bradley, CEO, Canadian Trucking Alliance. "This is a good move."

"It proves once again," he says, "that if you believe in your cause and it is just, that you make reasonable arguments, if you work with other groups having the same objective, and most of all if you are persistent you can prevail upon government to do the right thing. You have to be in it for the long haul and you have to have a government that is willing to listen."

There were other measures of interest to the trucking industry. For example, the budget included $16 billion in new infrastructure funding, most of which starts in FY 2010-2011 and which will include new funding (funding not announced in 2006) of $6 billion over four years for a new Building Canada Fund. From now until 2010, all funding programs announced in 2006 are being folded into various funds, including the Building Canada fund and the fund for gateways and border crossings (including funding for the Windsor-Detroit corridor and the Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor).

Other measures were announced that eventually may or may not have some relevance or benefit for trucking, although it was difficult to do a full assessment from the information contained in the budget papers:

- Updating the Canada-US Tax Treaty to facilitate cross-border investment and commerce;

- Increasing the CCA rate on computers from 45% to 55%;

- $500 million starting in 2008-09 to provide training opportunities for those unable to access training under current EI programs. To be developed in consultation with the provinces;

- $2 billion over 7 years to support the production of renewable fuels like biodiesel.

Contact Information

  • Canadian Trucking Alliance
    Rebecka Torn
    Director, Communications
    416-249-7401 x 224 OR (C) 403-993-6666
    1-866-713-4188 (FAX)
    www.cantruck.ca