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Here's the link to the CRA website but it doesn't seem to specify this. It seems to say $23 but I am not clear on this and it would seem odd to me to claim $23 for a $10 meal. Thanks in advance.

https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/individuals/topics/about-your-tax-return/tax-return/completing-a-tax-return/deductions-credits-expenses/line-25500-northern-residents-deductions/meal-vehicle-rates-used-calculate-travel-expenses.html

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This is from the exact source you quoted: Meal and vehicle rates used to calculate travel expenses for 2020 and previous years

Meal expenses

If you choose the detailed method to calculate meal expenses, you must keep your receipts and claim the actual amount that you spent.

If you choose the simplified method, claim in Canadian or US funds a flat rate of $23/meal, to a maximum of $69/day (sales tax included) per person, without receipts. Although you do not need to keep detailed receipts for actual expenses if you choose to use this method, we may still ask you to provide some documentation to support your claim.

You have two choices: claim exactly what you spent, but you have to have receipts; or take the flat rate, but you don't need receipts. The proof mentioned for the flat rate is that you might have to have something else to justify the reason for the expense.

Because there are no receipts, with the flat rate method they have no idea if you went to the cheapest place in town and ate for less than $10, or the most expensive place in town and spent more than $23 for the meal.

In some locations $69 as day is more than most people spend, in other cities that can be difficult to keep under that number.

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  • What the agency is saying that it's easiest to pay $23, no questions asked.. Imagine you actually pay $22 for each meal, and submit the receipts for reimbursement. The agency may spend $2-$3 in labor to process receipts just to save half that amount.
    – Aww_Geez
    Mar 23 at 21:59

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