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Non-Taxable Per Diem

The per diem that a truck driver is reimbursed from his or her employer is given to cover or offset meals and incidental expenses (M&IE).  That per diem can be in one of two forms:

  1. Taxable per diem
  2. Non-taxable per diem

Non-taxable per diem reimburses truckers for M&IE expenses that involved overnight travel away from their tax home.  This assumes that their employer is set up to provide per diem via an accountable plan.  If so, truckers should see their non-taxable per diem reported on their W-2, Box 12, Code L.

Note that Box 12 is divided into 12a, 12b, 12c, 12d above.  The a, b, c, and d above are NOT codes.  They simply allow for more than one code to be entered into box 12.  Non-taxable per diem could be in any of those spots on your W-2 and will be marked with a Code L.  It is also important to note that Code L could contain other reimbursements in addition to non-taxable per diem.  Code L is for non-taxable reimbursements for employee business expenses, and is not necessarily limited to M&IE reimbursements.  For that reason, it is recommended that a trucker also use information on the last paycheck stub that a truck driver received for a given tax year as an added resource to figure out how much non-taxable per diem he or she received.

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