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The ATO has published a Decision Impact Statement in relation to the decision of the AAT in Gleeson and FCT [2013] AATA 920; 2013 ATC 10-345.

The decision concerned whether Mr Gleeson, an employee truck driver, was entitled to claim deductions as 'work related expenses' for certain expenses including food and drink he consumed at roadhouses and service stations.

The AAT found that as Mr Gleeson incurred the expenses in relation to food and drink while on trips away from home, it followed that he was entitled to claim a deduction for those expenses.

The AAT also concluded that Mr Gleeson received a travel allowance but that he was entitled to rely on the exception from the substantiation provisions in s 900-50 of ITAA 1997 for the relevant year.

The Decision Impact Statement states that the "decision turns on its facts and the Tribunal was entitled to make the findings of fact it did based on the evidence before it. The decision does not present any new principle of law or impact on any of the Commissioner's current published views."

Further, the Decision Impact Statement states that the "Commissioner considers that the decision is consistent with the views currently contained in his advice and guidance products dealing with work-related travel expenses and record keeping, including substantiation and the substantiation exception."

In particular, the Decision Impact Statement goes on to state:

"This decision is not authority for the view that individuals are entitled to claim the Commissioner's reasonable amount without considering what expenses were actually incurred. Senior Member Lazanas allowed Mr Gleeson's claims for his meals because she found that he spent 276 days away from his ordinary residence and because she accepted that he had incurred the amounts he claimed to have expended (paragraphs 44, 45 and 50).

Individuals should be mindful that they may be asked for information to support that an amount was expended even if they do receive a travel allowance, for example, where they stayed, and where and what they ate."

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