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Per Diem Deduction

Per Diem Deduction is actually a misnomer that pertains truck driver tax preparation.  A more correct name for per diem deduction would be meal expenses and incidental expenses tax deduction.  The term "Per Diem Deduction" is not a term that truckers will find in the tax code, yet this term describes a very lucrative tax write-off for truckers.

Essentially, the per diem deduction is a method that can be used by truckers to account for their meals and incidental expenses (M&IE) in lieu of keeping records and receipts.  It provides a much easier and more lucrative tax deduction than an actual cost meal deduction approach would.

The per diem deduction uses CONUS and OCONUS per diem rates to come up with an allowable value for what a truck driver spends on meals and incidental expenses while on trucking-related travel.

The phrase per diem deduction can also be a bit confusing because it sounds like per diem is being deducted. 

It isn't.

Per diem from a trucker's employer simply reimburses the driver for his or her meals.  If the driver receives less per diem reimbursement than the M&IE expenses, then the truck driver should be able to take advantage of the per diem deduction if he or she itemizes.


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