Trucker Per Diem

Today TaxMama answers Steve from Orland, CA who’s asking about Per Diem for truck drivers. Steve says “Thanks to your site I found out that I can deduct $41 per day. But how/where do I put this deduction on my schedule “A” form?”

Hi Steve,

First, let’s just update that per diem information, shall we? The IRS reviews the per diem amount, currently $41, for possible increase each year, effective Oct. 1. So the new rates should be out soon. Meanwhile, for the moment, you may only deduct 70% of your total per diem rate. But, the per diem limitation is increasing every two years until 2008, so you’ll gradually get to deduct more of your per diem:

Right now, it’s 70% — 2005
it will be 75% in 2006, 2007
Then, 80% in 2008 and beyond

All job-related expenses go on Form 2106

The per diem rate refers only to meals. You probably have other job-related expenses  you can deduct. For instance, special shoes, uniforms, laundry, gloves, toolbox and tools, classes, licensing renewals….

And if you are an owner-operator, well, the list just goes on.

Fill out Form 2106. The totals get carried to Schedule A, to the Miscellaneous Deductions area – and become part of your itemized deductions.

You’ll find more information and tools for truckers at and
Explains IRS Meal Allowance
Broader explanation of Per Diem computation

Drive carefully.

And remember, you’ll find answers to lots of trucking, business and other tax information, free. Where? At

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