Q. I am a company driver. What is deductible when I’m on the road?

A. While self-employed individuals can generally deduct any expenses incurred to earn their income, company drivers are limited to non-reimbursed expenses required by their employer. You are entitled to per diem for overnights and motel expenses. A good rule to follow for deductions would be any expenses incurred that are necessary or required in the performance of your job and/or operation of the truck but are not reimbursed by your company, such as uniforms, gloves, logbooks, maps, cell phone, CB, tools, Windex, paper towels, showers, etc. Remember, as a company driver, these deductions are only available if you itemize and are not available if you take the standard deduction.

Q.What is the per diem rate?

A.The per diem rate for meals is 80% of $66 per day (effective 10-1-18 thru 9-30-2020).

  • The per diem rate for meals in 2018 was 80% of $66 per day.
  • The per diem rate for meals in 2017 was 80% of $63 per day.
  • The per diem rate for meals in 2016 was 80% of $63 per day.

The per diem rate for meals when in Canada is 80% of $71 per day (effective 10-1-18 thru 9-30-2020).

Per Diem can only be taken when the driver spends the night away from home.