IRS per diem rates for truckers stay the same

October 12, 2022

Land Line Staff


The per diem for days away from home remain unchanged for 2022-23.

Special rules apply for those who work in the transportation industry. Someone who works in the transportation industry is defined in Rev. Proc. 2019-48 as someone whose work directly involves moving people or goods by airplane, barge, bus, ship, train or truck.

The IRS increased the per diem rate in 2021 to $69 per day, up from $66 per day. Per diem for travel in Canada increased from $71 to $74.

In spite of rising inflation, the IRS did not increase the per diems for 2022-23 when it announced the new per diems on Sept. 26.

According to Barry Fowler with Trucker Tax Tools, a driver can prorate per diem for partial days of travel and claim 75% of the per diem.

He also explained that self-employed owner-operators can deduct 80% of the per diem, down from 100% for tax years 2021 and 2022.

In order to deduct your travel expenses, you, as the taxpayer, must be away from your home residence or tax home longer than what would constitute your ordinary work day. You must be away from your home long enough that you cannot complete the trip without sufficient sleep or rest.

The rest period must be long enough to require adequate lodging, such as an overnight stay at a motel or in your truck. A short duration of rest, such as a quick nap at a rest stop, does not qualify your travel expenses as deductions because it does not satisfy the overnight rule.

However, it is not necessary that you, as the taxpayer, be away for more than 24 hours in order to meet the overnight rule.

An example of meeting the overnight rule would be if you were traveling on business and you rent a room to sleep or rest during a layover. An example of not meeting the overnight rule would be if you were traveling several hundred miles and needed to stop to rest for an hour.

If you have no regular place of business and you do not maintain a fixed home, you may not deduct any travel expenses. A trucker who lives in his or her truck during the entire course of the year cannot deduct per diem meals. LL