OOIDA asks drivers how per diem changes are affecting their Tax Day

April 15, 2019

Land Line Staff


As Tax Day brings tax season to a close, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association is asking for input for drivers on how changes in the tax code are affecting their bottom line.

Changes to the tax code brought about by the landmark Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 could have a significant impact on per diem deductions for company drivers.

One of the most significant changes for the trucking industry is the law’s elimination of the ability of employee drivers to deduct 80% of up to $63 in daily expenses for meals on the road.

Eliminating the per diem deduction for meals could total well over the new standard deduction of $12,000 for a driver who spends 250 days on the road annually, meaning drivers could be left owing more money to taxes.

“Now that it’s Tax Day, I think we’ll get a better grasp of exactly how the changes in that tax bill are going to affect the type of tax burden that employee drivers and truckers as a whole are experiencing this year,” said Collin Long, OOIDA’s director of government affairs. “We’re certainly interested in finding out exactly how the tax code changes are affecting drivers of any variety, because we want to make sure that Congress is aware of how the changes they’ve made are affecting our members.”

Long says lawmakers need to understand how big the problem is, who it’s affecting, and how much impact its having before a potential solution can be hammered out.

“The more truckers understand how the tax changes are affecting them, and let their members of Congress and certainly OOIDA know, we’ll get a better idea of how we can tackle the problem going forward,” he said.

In January, OOIDA sent a letter to the leadership of both the Senate Committee on Finance and the House Ways and Means Committee, outlining its concerns about eliminating the per diem for employee drivers.