CW 17CB Payments for certain work-related meals
Exempt income

(1)

When the employment duties of an employee require them to work away from their employer’s workplace, expenditure that the employer incurs for or on behalf of the employee for a meal for the employee is exempt income of the employee. For these purposes, expenditure includes a reimbursement payment or a meal allowance.

Inclusions: work-related events

(2)

For the purposes of subsection (1), a meal includes—

(a)

food and drink that the employee consumes as part of a working meal arranged as part of or as an alternative to a formal meeting for business discussions:

(b)

food and drink that the employee consumes at a conference or training course:

(c)

light refreshments in the form of snack foods such as biscuits and fruit, or liquid refreshments such as tea, coffee, water, or similar refreshments, provided for the employee, but only if—

(i)

their employment duties require them to be away from their employment base for most of the day; and

(ii)

the employer would normally provide the refreshments to the employee on the day; and

(iii)

it is not practicable for the employer to provide the refreshments on the day.

Inclusions: meals when travelling on business

(3)

For the purposes of subsection (1), a meal also includes food and drink that the employee consumes when their employment duties require them to travel in the performance of those duties.

Exclusion: salary sacrifice

(4)

Subsection (1) does not apply if expenditure is incurred by the employer when, under the terms of their employment, the employee would be entitled to a greater amount of employment income, should the employee choose, or have chosen, not to receive the benefit of the expenditure.

Time limit

(5)

The maximum period applying to expenditure incurred under subsection (1) other than expenditure on a meal described in subsection (2), is 3 months—

(a)

commencing—

(i)

on the date on which the employee starts to work away from their employer’s workplace; or

(ii)

for an employee who does not have a fixed workplace, on the date on which they arrive at their accommodation base:

(b)

ending on the earlier of—

(i)

the date on which the 3-month period expires; or

(ii)

the date on which the employee returns to their employer’s workplace to undertake their employment duties for their employer, or the date on which the employee moves to a new accommodation base, as applicable.

Measuring period

(6)

In the measurement of the maximum period in subsection (5), the period includes the employee’s time away on leave or other breaks for personal reasons, weekend breaks, required rest periods, and other similar periods.

Time limits in exceptional circumstances

(7)

The time limit referred to in subsection (5) does not apply if exceptional circumstances arise beyond the control of the employer and employee that require the employee to continue to work away from their employer’s workplace after the period expires. However, an extension of time must be limited to the period for which the employee is unable, because of the exceptional circumstances, to return to their employer’s workplace.

Meaning of employer’s workplace

(7B)

In this section, employer’s workplace means the workplace of the employer at which the employee normally works.

Relationship with FBT rules

(8)

To the extent to which the expenditure of an employer described in subsection (1) gives rise to a fringe benefit, the fringe benefit tax rules override this section.

Defined in this Act: accommodation, amount, business, employee, employer, employer’s workplace, employment, employment income, exempt income, fringe benefit, fringe benefit tax rules, pay, workplace

Section CW 17CB: inserted, on 1 April 2015, by section 26 of the Taxation (Annual Rates, Employee Allowances, and Remedial Matters) Act 2014 (2014 No 39).

Section CW 17CB(7B) heading: inserted, on 29 March 2018 (with effect on 1 April 2015), by section 34(1) of the Taxation (Annual Rates for 2017–18, Employment and Investment Income, and Remedial Matters) Act 2018 (2018 No 5).

Section CW 17CB(7B): inserted, on 29 March 2018 (with effect on 1 April 2015), by section 34(1) of the Taxation (Annual Rates for 2017–18, Employment and Investment Income, and Remedial Matters) Act 2018 (2018 No 5).

Section CW 17CB list of defined terms employer’s workplace: inserted, on 29 March 2018 (with effect on 1 April 2015), by section 34(2) of the Taxation (Annual Rates for 2017–18, Employment and Investment Income, and Remedial Matters) Act 2018 (2018 No 5).