Bills Would Restore Per Diem For Company Drivers!

Topic 25510 | Page 1

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Marc Lee's Comment
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BY TRUCKERS NEWS STAFF

MAY 7, 2019

A bill introduced in both the House and the Senate would restore the per diem tax deduction benefit for company drivers that was eliminated in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The deduction saved drivers hundreds — if not thousands — of dollars a year in tax liability, depending on how many days a year they worked.

The bills were introduced by two Democrats from Pennsylvania — Sen. Bob Casey and Rep. Conor Lamb. The Senate bill has been filed to the Senate’s Finance Committee, where it has 13 co-sponsors, all of whom are Democrats. The House bill has been filed to the Ways and Means Committee, where it has 12 co-sponsors — 11 Democrats and one Republican.

The new bill in Congress, dubbed the Tax Fairness for Workers Act, would allow drivers to resume deducting 80 percent of the federal per diem allowance (currently $66 a day) from their annual tax bill, among other small changes to the 2017 tax reform package. The 2018 tax year, filings for which were due in mid-April, was the first year that drivers could not take the deduction.

Their bills would allow drivers to deduct their per diem only if carriers do not provide per diem reimbursements. There’s been a growing trend, accelerated by the per diem changes in the 2017 Tax Cuts law, for carriers to incorporate per diem pay into drivers’ pay packages, allowing drivers to take advantage of the per diem benefit even if they can’t enter it as an income deduction for tax purposes. Under these pay packages, drivers still receive 80 percent of the per diem rate set by the IRS as tax-free earnings.

Should the bills become law, and under the current $66 per diem rate set by the IRS, drivers would a be able to deduct $52.80 from their annual income for every day they spent working away from home. So if a driver drove five days a week on average, that would equate to an annual deduction of $13,728, which would reduce a drivers’ annual tax bill by $1,300 or more, depending on their annual income. However, drivers could only take that deduction if they chose to skip the standard deduction of $12,000 for individual filers and $24,000 for married couples.

In addition to restoring per diem pay for truck operators and other transportation workers, the bill would also allow union dues to be deducted from taxable income.

The per diem changes instituted by the 2017 law did not affect owner-operators, who can still deduct per diem as a business expense.

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

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

Rick S.'s Comment
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Interesting how this might work.

If you're out 315 days a year - your deduction would be $16,632 - which would result in a tax savings for single filers (with a $12K standard deduction).

May or may not affect married filers @ a $24K standard deduction.

I always wondered why they screwed with this deduction.

Rick

Stevo Reno's Comment
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Just read also today, they are looking at taxing every mile we drive in personal cars/trucks using the data link connector! Says to increase taxes for infrastructure as the gas taxes supposedly aren't enough ! lol Calif has high gas taxes as it is, so where the heck they ****ing off that money?

Rick S.'s Comment
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Just read also today, they are looking at taxing every mile we drive in personal cars/trucks using the data link connector! Says to increase taxes for infrastructure as the gas taxes supposedly aren't enough ! lol Calif has high gas taxes as it is, so where the heck they ****ing off that money?

I think Cali is part of a huge conspiracy to spread dem voters to conservative states (NY too). Tax everyone to DEATH, they move to TX, CO, OR, WA and other places that were historically conservative, change the demographic and sentiment to liberal and take over the state politics.

Cali has to pay for all the excess spending. I think last years gas tax (and vehicle reg increase) was to fund state pensions - instead of fixing/upgrading infrastructure. Robbing peter to pay paul. The expense of housing, feeding school and med care for illegal immigrants also costs the state a fortune - the $$ has to come from somewhere...

Rick

Noob_Driver's Comment
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double-quotes-start.png

Just read also today, they are looking at taxing every mile we drive in personal cars/trucks using the data link connector! Says to increase taxes for infrastructure as the gas taxes supposedly aren't enough ! lol Calif has high gas taxes as it is, so where the heck they ****ing off that money?

double-quotes-end.png

I think Cali is part of a huge conspiracy to spread dem voters to conservative states (NY too). Tax everyone to DEATH, they move to TX, CO, OR, WA and other places that were historically conservative, change the demographic and sentiment to liberal and take over the state politics.

Cali has to pay for all the excess spending. I think last years gas tax (and vehicle reg increase) was to fund state pensions - instead of fixing/upgrading infrastructure. Robbing peter to pay paul. The expense of housing, feeding school and med care for illegal immigrants also costs the state a fortune - the $$ has to come from somewhere...

Rick

Add illinois to your list. I moved out over a decade ago bought a bigger home 3 miles over the border in Indiana and saved about 10k a year in taxes with property, sales and income tax. Knock on any door in my neighborhood and you'll find a chicago transplant.

Bruce K.'s Comment
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Here in Wisconsin the Transportation Dept. funds are raided on a regular basis. Fuel tax money is "borrowed" for other purposes. Many politicians try to get elected by promising to fix this misuse of taxpayer dollars, but nothing ever changes.

G-Town's Comment
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Bruce laments...

Here in Wisconsin the Transportation Dept. funds are raided on a regular basis. Fuel tax money is "borrowed" for other purposes. Many politicians try to get elected by promising to fix this misuse of taxpayer dollars, but nothing ever changes.

And some of our forum members often chasten recruiters for passing misleading information as Gospel... Many times not intentional, just uninformed.

"Sorry", but Politicians have a monopoly on that sort of calculated bad-behavior...and it's bipartisan. In every aspect of government, same dysfunctional circus on each side of the aisle, just a different set of clowns.

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