To qualify for your per diem, IRS rules state your job has to be away from”your tax dwelling considerably more” than a normal workday and you must sleep away from your home on the days the per diem is being used, ATBS says.
Company drivers can’t subtract meal per diem in their earnings. The Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017, the tax reform eliminated by Congress, removed per diem deductions for company drivers beginning to the 2018 filing year.
Owner-operators are allowed to maintain a meal per diem of $66 per day they are away from home, according to a new per diem structure announced this week by the IRS. The change, a $3 increase, took effect Oct. 1.
Owner-operators, using their Schedule C business expense type, will now be able to deduct $52.80 off of the income for each day they are on the road and away from your home. Although the allotted per diem is 66, the IRS only allows a deduction of 80 percent of that to be deducted out of operators’ income, which equals $52.80. For all days on the street and away from home prior to Oct. 1, operators’ per diem is 63 — a deduction of $50.40 daily.
If you have questions about the use of a per diem, call ATBS at 866-920-2827.