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Taxable Per Diem

The per diem that truckers are reimbursed from their employer is given to them 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

Taxable per diem reimburses truck drivers for M&IE expenses that did NOT involve overnight travel away from their tax home.  When truckers drive only local trips, the per diem they receive is taxable per diem, and should be included in Box 1 of the W-2 form (wages, tips, other compensation).

Taxable per diem does not influence the per diem deduction.  M&IE expenses are also not affected by trips that do not involve travel away from a trucker's tax home.  As far as the per diem deduction is concerned, local trips simply do not exist, and taxable per diem is simply part of a trucker's gross income.

Taxable per diem may also result from an employer providing per diem via a non-accountable plan.

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