Truckers and other taxpayers in the transportation industry have new per diem amounts effective October 1 2015.
The last time we had an increase in the Per Diem was in October 2011. Since then we are claiming the 80% out of $59 per day away from home, based on hours of service of DOT regulations
According to Section 1 of the revenue procedure legally allows us to claim the meals. The Rev. Proc. 2010-39, 2010-42 I.R.B. 459 provides a guide to calculate the amount of ordinary and necessary business expenses paid or incurred while traveling away from home. Taxpayers are not required to use a method described in this revenue procedure. A taxpayer may substantiate actual allowable expenses if the taxpayer maintains adequate records or other sufficient evidence. In this case, every trucker would keep his log book as a sufficient record to prove his claim.
The M&IE rates have increased effective October 1, 2015. Prior to this date, the M&IE rates are $46, $51, $56, $61, $66, and $71 depending on the locality the taxpayer sleeps that night. Effective October 1, 2015, the M&IE rates increase to $51, $54, $59, $64, $69, and $74. The full per diem tables by state and key city can be found at www.gsa.gov.
In order to avoid the multiple calculations based on area and locality, we recommend using the special M&IE per diem rate for taxpayers in the transportation industry, it is $63 for travel in the continental United States on or after October 1, 2015 ($59 for travel before October 1, 2015).
Per Diem is based on the locality the taxpayer sleeps that night. In addition, the per diem rate is if the taxpayer is away from home for 24 hours or during the time the taxpayer must rest per DOT regulations.
Expenses such as shower fees, navigational devices, and items purchased for the truck’s interior may also be deducted. It is important that receipts be kept and may be helpful for truckers to consult with a professional tax preparer familiar with allowable expenses. It is especially important when a trucker is an owner/operator and is compensated as an independent contractor.
It is also important that a log be kept to show cities that may be in the high cost area. You can use the Per Diem Mobile App in order to track your day away from home and the amount you can allow to claim per city or region. You can download this application at http://www.gsa.gov./portal/content/102827