New Federal Tax Law Effective 1 January 2018 Eliminates Form 2106 & Modality For Company Drivers To Take Per Diem Write-Off

Topic 21885 | Page 1

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Joe G.'s Comment
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As of January 1, 2018 it is no longer possible for company truck drivers to deduct per diem from their federal personal tax returns. The per diem program has not been changed but the new tax law eliminated Form 2106 on which the driver entered their unreimbursed employee business expenses of which per diem was one. The only way for a company driver to get per diem is to have the company pay it (it's still possible for LLCs, Sole Proprietors, S-Corps and C-Corps to take the dedcution). If your company does not pay per diem, you are SOL. For the last 10 years I took the deduction on my personal taxes but as of 1 January 2018 I was forced to have Schneider pay me the per diem and that's when I discovered an underpublicized part of the Schneider Per Diem Program. The documentation is the answer to question #13 on the company's Per Diem FAQ document available by request from a driver's DBL. Schneider will pay their company drivers per diem for every day that driver does NOT pass within 50 miles of their "home park location". If a driver passes within 50 miiles of their "home park location" said driver is considered to be Time At Home (TAH) and does not get paid per diem EVEN THOUGH THE DRIVER IS NOT AT HOME! Example; a driver is assigned to the Columbus Ohio Operating Center in Obetz. A driver departing Wheeling West Virginia in the morning and drives via I70 to Effingham Illinois where they decide to take their DOT10. Because the driver passed within 50 miles of their "home park location" (Obetz, Ohio) they will NOT be paid per diem and will be considered TAH (for per diem purposes) even though the driver is spending the evening in Effingham Illinois! If you park at Carlisle, PA and pass on I81 or the PA Turnpike or Atlanta, GA and travel on I285/I85/I75/ etc or Gary, IN and pass through on I80 (you get the idea) you are TAH and NO per diem will be paid for that day. If you don't think this is an issue, think again especially if you spend 300 days OTR. It might be a good idea for you to contact your DBL/Regional Director etc., and apply pressure to have this arbitray policy changed and make it fair to company drivers. I don't know about you but I don't consider myself at home unless I'm in my master bedroom lying in bed watching Hogan's Heroes on the MeTV channel.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Per Diem:

Getting paid per diem means getting a portion of your salary paid to you without taxes taken out. It's technically classified as a meal and expense reimbursement.

Truck drivers and others who travel for a living get large tax deductions for meal expenses. The Government set up per diem pay as a way to reimburse some of the taxes you pay with each paycheck instead of making you wait until tax filing season.

Getting per diem pay means a driver will get a larger paycheck each week but a smaller tax return at tax time.

We have a ton of information on our wiki page on per diem pay

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey, Joe. Welcome to Trucking Truth. So with your first post you tell us about some new per diem rules. Since they are effective now, do you have a link to the IRS rules? That's a lot of information. Just wondering what the authority is for it.

Per Diem:

Getting paid per diem means getting a portion of your salary paid to you without taxes taken out. It's technically classified as a meal and expense reimbursement.

Truck drivers and others who travel for a living get large tax deductions for meal expenses. The Government set up per diem pay as a way to reimburse some of the taxes you pay with each paycheck instead of making you wait until tax filing season.

Getting per diem pay means a driver will get a larger paycheck each week but a smaller tax return at tax time.

We have a ton of information on our wiki page on per diem pay

Joe G.'s Comment
member avatar

https://www.nonforceddispatch.com/truck-drivers-per-diem-2018

Here's a link discussing the issue. Remember that Per Diem is still around. What has changed for company drivers is the elimination of miscellaneous itemized deductions on Schedule A, that's where a company driver would put deductions from their Form 2106 Employee Business Expenses. The Form 2106 was completely eliminated which resulted in the fact that a company driver (paid on W-2) now has no form on which to put the deduction. Of course the best place to go for information is the actual tax code. Many drivers will realize this situation when they file their 2018 taxes in 2019. There is no change for 2017 taxes which are filing April 17, 2018. Good Luck.

Hey, Joe. Welcome to Trucking Truth. So with your first post you tell us about some new per diem rules. Since they are effective now, do you have a link to the IRS rules? That's a lot of information. Just wondering what the authority is for it.

Per Diem:

Getting paid per diem means getting a portion of your salary paid to you without taxes taken out. It's technically classified as a meal and expense reimbursement.

Truck drivers and others who travel for a living get large tax deductions for meal expenses. The Government set up per diem pay as a way to reimburse some of the taxes you pay with each paycheck instead of making you wait until tax filing season.

Getting per diem pay means a driver will get a larger paycheck each week but a smaller tax return at tax time.

We have a ton of information on our wiki page on per diem pay

Big Scott's Comment
member avatar

So that is a link to an article on Landstar's site. Thought you worked as a company driver for Schneider. While this may be true, I would still use an accountant with trucking industry knowledge.

PJ's Comment
member avatar

I have spoken with my accountant because I heard this from Kevin Rutherford from lets truck.com. He does trucking taxes mainly for owner operators. The new tax plan has erased the schedule a for company drivers. They claim since they doubled the personal exemption it should in most cases be a wash. Road Dog channel 146 on sirius xm radio has done a lot of shows on this. That is a great source of info for keeping up with new rules. Companies deduct per diem paid out on schedule c so that has not changed.

Owner Operator:

An owner-operator is a driver who either owns or leases the truck they are driving. A self-employed driver.

Per Diem:

Getting paid per diem means getting a portion of your salary paid to you without taxes taken out. It's technically classified as a meal and expense reimbursement.

Truck drivers and others who travel for a living get large tax deductions for meal expenses. The Government set up per diem pay as a way to reimburse some of the taxes you pay with each paycheck instead of making you wait until tax filing season.

Getting per diem pay means a driver will get a larger paycheck each week but a smaller tax return at tax time.

We have a ton of information on our wiki page on per diem pay

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