Discussion:Per Diem Allowance for Truckers

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Discussion Forum Index --> Tax Questions --> Per Diem Allowance for Truckers


Mgreene24 (talk|edits) said:

31 January 2007
I have a client that logged over 280 nights for driving a truck. My question is whether or not there is an average per diem allowance for multiple states? He stayed over night in multiple states. Is there an average??

AHH (talk|edits) said:

31 January 2007
Don't know if this is correct....I use the transportation industry federal M&IE rate per night away from home. 2007 rate is $52/day, and then use the 25% reduction rule. Perhaps someone else will confirm or correct.

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

31 January 2007
I assume you mean meals only? There are a number of discussions of broad use of perdiem [lodging etc] which is not permitted for the self-employed and only refers to employers reimbursing employees. AHH sounds correct.

AHH (talk|edits) said:

31 January 2007
Meals are usually the only expense a trucker will have. They sleep in the truck...you know those big rigs w/ a "sleeper" behind the cab. Lots of these trucking companies don't give their drivers a per diem allowance for meals, but some do.

Mgreene24 (talk|edits) said:

31 January 2007
This client is a W-2 employee and not self employed. So it sounds like the 2006 rate with the 25% reduction rule would be applicable for his 2106 employee business expense.

AHH (talk|edits) said:

31 January 2007
Correct.

Deback (talk|edits) said:

January 31, 2007
The standard meal rate is $39 per 24-hour day, unless the travel is in the larger cities. To find the rates for the larger cities, go to: Domestic Per Diem Rates.

Mgreene24 (talk|edits) said:

31 January 2007
Deback....this standard meal rate would be $ 39 per day if you were paying your employees a per diem, but what about a driver that has over nights that does not get a reimbursement or per diem? Is that $ 39 still applicable or like AHH is it more like $ 52?

Deback (talk|edits) said:

January 31, 2007
It's $39 for truck drivers and all employees who qualify to deduct meal allowances for a 24-hour period, but truck drivers get to deduct 75% of the $39 on Form 2106 (instead of 50%).

Calculate a 25% reduction of $52 and you will get $39.

See Publication 463, page 30, under Standard Meal Allowance (for small localities). Don't forget to ask your clients how many days they traveled to the larger cities and then check the domestic per diem rates link I provided above.

Deback (talk|edits) said:

January 31, 2007
Mgreene - Also, see page 6 in Publication 463, under Special Rate for Transportation Workers. Sorry, I'm about half asleep right now and don't know why I'm sitting at this computer.

Mauro (talk|edits) said:

31 January 2007
Also be aware what the IRS is know crackdown on excessive Per Diem Payments

The IRS says payments made from an employer's expense arrangement with no mechanism for tracking allowances paid will be treated as made under a "nonaccountable plan" if per diem allowances are routinely paid in excess of federal rates without substantiation [IRS Revenue Ruling 2006-56].

The failure to treat the excess allowances as wages for employment tax purposes causes all payments made under the expense allowance arrangement to be treated as made under a nonaccountable plan and, thus, subject to income and employment taxes.

In an accompanying news release [IR-2006-175], the IRS said the new ruling emphasizes the need for employers to track the amount of expense reimbursements paid on a per diem basis.

Playdbluz (talk|edits) said:

23 February 2007
I have always used 75% of the allowable amount. This deduction was originally created for the rails ans has translated into trucking. I disagree that a driver may only deduct meals. The Per Diem rate is in lieu of maintaining receipts for every personal expense (meals, showers, laundry, ect), os be careful not to "double deduct". There must be a driver's log page showing time "driving" or "on duty" away from his residense to justify the deduction. An employee receiving per poem compensation from his employer may still find a deduction here, depending on the amount the employer allows.

PatTax (talk|edits) said:

14 April 2007
Can anyone tell me which form to claim the standard meal allowance? Sch C or 2106? Truck driver is owner-operator who receives a 1099 for truck and W-2 for driver portion. His 1099 is reported at gross and he has to report his wages both on Schedule C and 1040. He is subject to DOT Hours of service rules and has documentation for 264 days with greater than 8 hours service / day. Would his per diem be 39 at 75% or 52 at 75%? He is not reimbursed from the company he leases to and drives for.

Waynecpa (talk|edits) said:

14 April 2007
I would presume the 1099 is for leasing his truck to the company. Per diem at $52 for overnight travel using GSA rules on form 2106 is how I would treat this.

Reporting wages on Schedule C?? Never heard of this before.

PatTax (talk|edits) said:

14 April 2007
Thanks! I agree. I actually have 2 drivers and the other company reports the truck lease (1099 portion) net of the wages. For this one the wages are in the 1099. I am not sure how else to reduce it. I assume they report it this way for the truck owners that use other drivers.

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