What You Need to Know About 2018 GSA Per Diem Rates

President Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act enacted back in December 2017 has eliminated the per diem allowance for most industries not only the trucking world. Here is what you need to know about 2018 GSA per diem rates.

What You Need to Know About 2018 GSA Per Diem Rates

While the tax reform bill eliminated the per diem allowance, it did leave a special provision in place for individuals subject to Hours of Service (HOS) regulations. Business owners and owner-operators are allowed to deduct 80 percent of the per diem rate from annual taxes.
However, employee drivers cannot use the per diem per sec 1312 of the 2018 tax code. All business deductions associated with employees have been eliminated from Sch 2106 on Sch of 1040.

The new allowance only enables owner-operators, or self-employed drivers, to receive a standard amount per day to cover meal expenses. Per diem is a reimbursement that allows those eligible to deduct up to 80 percent via sec 1312 of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

2018 GSA Per Diem Rates

Work Eligibility
Per Diem Rate
USD Deduction
Full Day
$63 ($68 Outside of US)
Partial Day
$47.25 ($51 Outside of US)

GSA Per Diem Overnight Rule

The law required that you are reimbursed for expenses on your next paycheck by the employer. The reimbursement is non-taxable.

You must record and track expenses! You will not be able to deduct any business-related expenses on future tax returns. It is advisable to keep a record of the following expenses: repairs, tools, motels, etc. to verify they are reimbursed.

Owner-operators must meet Internal Revenue Service (IRS) qualification to claim a per diem tax break. To claim per diem, you must travel far enough that you cannot return in a single day. However, if you are not necessarily required to be away from home the full 24 hours. For instance, a driver on a 10 duty cannot complete a 16-hour trip without a rest stop. The HOS regulations only allow 14-hours on duty without a full 8 hours of sleep.

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