Per Diem Tax Deduction

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AJ D.'s Comment
member avatar

If you take the per diem tax allowance claim, do you have to itemize the rest of your return also? ... or can you just add it to the standard deduction, per like a 1040EZ situation.

Anyone take this deduction?

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

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!
Rolling Thunder, do you think that TurboTax would be appropriate for company drivers? Do company drivers need tailored accounting services as well? Thanks!

TurboTax is certainly appropriate for drivers but like any do-it-yourself setup you have to have good knowledge about what you're doing. TurboTax does a good job of walking you through most things, but there is still plenty of room for error. I've used the software myself for years and I love it but it will definitely give you enough opportunity to royally screw up your taxes.

If you know the laws as they pertain to drivers pretty well and you know how to manage your deductions then go for it. If not I would recommend getting an accountant to walk you through your taxes one or two times until you understand how everything is done. Then you can do it yourself from that point on.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!
I myself would rather have a bigger tax return. yeah I read all the stuff about how you're giving the government an interest free loan but big deal it's nice to get a big ol chunk of change come feb. especially since my birthday is in March :D

I agree 100%. Finance people are schooled to get the maximum returns possible at all times. What they often don't consider is the practical implications.

For instance, there are tons of people out there who wouldn't be able to save a nickel if their life depended on it. Every nickel that comes in goes right back out and they're constantly broke. They could go from making $40,000 per year to $400,000 per year and they'd still manage to save nothing.

For those people, paying the maximum in taxes each week means they have a built in savings account. They simply can't touch that money until they get it back in the spring. And as far as the "interest free loan" you're giving the government? Be serious. First of all, you weren't going to save any money in a savings account anyhow so there would be no interest to be made. But even if you did, you'd be lucky to make $50 per year in interest. When you look at it from a practicality standpoint, being able to save thousands of dollars each year is far more valuable to that person's financial situation than the potential for making $50 in interest.

For anyone that struggles to save money I would recommend considering claiming zero on your taxes so that they take out the maximum. Then you'll get a nice fat check from the Government each spring to do with what you will.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Rolling Thunder's Comment
member avatar

If you take the per diem tax allowance claim, do you have to itemize the rest of your return also? ... or can you just add it to the standard deduction, per like a 1040EZ situation.

Anyone take this deduction?

I took it this past tax year. I used the TurboTax program. I believe it cost $18 or so. The per diem is the only itemized deduction I used and it was real easy. They just ask you questions then fill in the form for you. No receipts needed.

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

Charles K.'s Comment
member avatar
double-quotes-start.png

If you take the per diem tax allowance claim, do you have to itemize the rest of your return also? ... or can you just add it to the standard deduction, per like a 1040EZ situation.

Anyone take this deduction?

double-quotes-end.png

I took it this past tax year. I used the TurboTax program. I believe it cost $18 or so. The per diem is the only itemized deduction I used and it was real easy. They just ask you questions then fill in the form for you. No receipts needed.

Rolling Thunder, do you think that TurboTax would be appropriate for company drivers? Do company drivers need tailored accounting services as well? Thanks!

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

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!
Rolling Thunder, do you think that TurboTax would be appropriate for company drivers? Do company drivers need tailored accounting services as well? Thanks!

TurboTax is certainly appropriate for drivers but like any do-it-yourself setup you have to have good knowledge about what you're doing. TurboTax does a good job of walking you through most things, but there is still plenty of room for error. I've used the software myself for years and I love it but it will definitely give you enough opportunity to royally screw up your taxes.

If you know the laws as they pertain to drivers pretty well and you know how to manage your deductions then go for it. If not I would recommend getting an accountant to walk you through your taxes one or two times until you understand how everything is done. Then you can do it yourself from that point on.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

For anything more than 1040EZ, computer/online programs are fine. I've used Turbo Tax since DOS days.

Their advertising days "100% accurate, guaranteed". But there's an old programmer's saying: Garbage in, garbage out. The programs are certifiably accurate, but if you fool around with the numbers, that's on you.

Rolling Thunder's Comment
member avatar

Like Brett said, it is fine for us company drivers as long as you put the right info in. All I had to put in pertaining to trucking was the per diem.

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

Rob Perry's Comment
member avatar
double-quotes-start.png

Rolling Thunder, do you think that TurboTax would be appropriate for company drivers? Do company drivers need tailored accounting services as well? Thanks!

double-quotes-end.png

TurboTax is certainly appropriate for drivers but like any do-it-yourself setup you have to have good knowledge about what you're doing. TurboTax does a good job of walking you through most things, but there is still plenty of room for error. I've used the software myself for years and I love it but it will definitely give you enough opportunity to royally screw up your taxes.

If you know the laws as they pertain to drivers pretty well and you know how to manage your deductions then go for it. If not I would recommend getting an accountant to walk you through your taxes one or two times until you understand how everything is done. Then you can do it yourself from that point on.

Hi all, if you are a company driver and planning on taking the per diem deduction, keep in mind there is many deductions you can take on top of the per diem deduction(Which is a good thing) . As a driver you can take certain out of pocket expenses like gloves, boots, CB, Laundry detergent among many other things. I would recommend speaking with a tax professional at H&R Block. Turbo Tax is designed to do the simple returns. As a truck driver you have a lot of allowable expenses and you don;t want to miss a deduction . Good luck to you all! :)

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

Phox's Comment
member avatar

I wouldn't say turbo tax is designed for simple taxes, I think it would be better to say it designed to make doing taxes as simple as possible. you know H & R Block employees use the same kind of software just not as pretty... software asks for info, H & R Block persons fill in said info based on what you tell them or what your tax stuff (w2, etc) say. I have found most of them have no more tax knowledge than anyone else here. at best they have a book they can reference which is pretty much the same as you going on google and looking up the answer.

I really hate how afraid of taxes people are. long as you don't fudge your numbers, use just about any of the big name tax software you can do it on your own. turbo tax even asks questions regarding owning your own business and that's where it gets really bad but they still make it easy.

I took a federal income tax in college a couple years ago...passed it with an A... taxes are not nearly as complicated or scary as people want to think or accountants and other tax "pro's" want you to think they are. if they told you it was easy and you could do it on your own they would go out of business. Thus they tell you things like "we'll make sure you are represented if you get audited" or "we'll get you the most money back" they prey on people who believe they are needed.

Jarod(Red)'s Comment
member avatar

Whats everyone's opinion on the per diem option? I thought about it but not sure

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

Whats everyone's opinion on the per diem option? I thought about it but not sure

I itemize for my income tax. But I don't bother with per diem

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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