Tax Fairness for Workers Act would provide relief to company drivers

August 1, 2019

Mark Schremmer

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Rep. Abby Finkenauer, D-Iowa, on Tuesday, July 30, signed on as a co-sponsor of the Tax Fairness for Workers Act, which would restore the ability of company truck drivers to deduct daily eligible expenses while on the road.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association is hopeful the bills, HR2103 and S1026, start to gain momentum as many company truck drivers were hit with tax bills of several thousand dollars this past April.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 eliminated employee drivers’ ability to deduct 80% of up to $63 in daily expenses on the road. The change didn’t affect owner-operators or leased drivers.

Even though the Act increased the standard deduction to $12,000, it is not uncommon for a trucker who spends 250 days on the road each year to accumulate a per diem deduction much more than that.

Land Line Magazine’s July edition profiled a pair of OOIDA members who said they had to pay the federal government $7,125 and $5,600, respectively.

On July 3, OOIDA sent letters to lawmakers to express support for the Tax Fairness for Workers Act.

“The elimination of the per diem for company drivers has unfortunately increased the tax exposure for many hard working Americans who make their living behind the wheel of a truck,” OOIDA President Todd Spencer wrote.

Rep. Conor Lamb, D-Pa., introduced the bill in the Congress, and the Senate version was introduced by Sen. Robert Casey, D-Pa.

Finkenauer become the 17th co-sponsor in the House, while there are 16 co-sponsors in the Senate.

OOIDA encourages company truck drivers to reach out to its lawmakers to let them know how you have been affected by the tax change.

Mark Schremmer

Mark Schremmer, associate editor, joined Land Line in 2015. An award-winning journalist and former assistant news editor at The Topeka Capital-Journal, he brings fresh ideas, solid reporting skills, and nearly two decades of journalism experience to our staff.

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