Temporary Living Expenses

I’m unable to find further clarification on what qualifies as ‘temporary living expenses’ for moving expenses. I know it is defined as “costs for a maximum of 15 days for meals and temporary lodging near the old and the new home for you and your household members”. However, does this include the cost of rent for the 15 day period if the taxpayer rents a property initially for a few months while house searching? Would it allow include 3 meals a day for each family member during the 15 day period?


Of course not. :frowning: They had already moved, and were residing in their new residence already.

Obviously they need to pay for their own food at home, the same as all of us have to.
The same for their own personal housing costs.

It sounds like it would be wise to exercise great caution on this taxpayer’s file and carefully examine all of this taxpayer’s moving expenses for validity before filing, in case there are other invalid items. Could potentially land them (and you) in hot water…

Simply as a side note, Canada Revenue Agency sees moving expenses as low-hanging fruit and, from experience, delve into these expenses while asking for the same supporting information three or four times. They will deny just about anything being claimed even if you provide support that exceeds the claim being made.

As justjoe has stated, be very, very careful with these expense claims and be prepared to have it reviewed by CRA agents. Also, expect a letter from them asking for every slip of paper.

If they are renting a place for more than a couple weeks, you can’t consider it “temporary”. Temporary living expenses are, for example, when you have to stay in a hotel for a couple of days because your moving truck hasn’t arrived yet - you already bought or rented a house, but can’t “stay” there without beds, dishes, etc.

I’ve done moving expense claims for several clients, and yes - usually - CRA has asked for supporting documentation (as noted by @cracctg). But, I’ve never had one denied after providing the supporting documents.


The rent line is for temporary accommodation from the date of your relocation which is the earlier of the date of the start of your new job or your relocation to your new city, town, village, or other rural location.

For example, one of my clients moved from Calgary to Vancouver. She lived in a bed and breakfast for the first two months until she secured her new, permanent residence. She claimed the first two weeks of the lodging portion of this expense.

Had a client lived six weeks with extended family as the construction of their new home was behind schedule. While no temporary accommodation costs were claimed as there was no cost, meals were claimed using the simplified method. As there were no accommodations costs, CRA denied the meals.

The client had provided grocery receipts for their contribution to the meals, a letter from the extended family confirming the free temporary accommodation, and insurance documents showing the transition from ‘construction’ coverage to a ‘normal’ house coverage, making it clear this was indeed temporary accommodation.

CRA approved the first 15 days using the simplified meal amount for each member of the relocating family.