Writing for our sister publication Commercial Carrier Journal Senior Editor James Jaillet detailed tax law changes that ought to be of concern to company drivers. He wrote:Tax Cuts and Jobs Act enacted in late 2017 was mostly beneficial to trucking industry stakeholders. In addition to cutting rates for corporations and smaller pass-through entity businesses, the law overhauled personal tax filings, too, allowing larger standard deductions for all filers and lowering rates across the board.
“However, swept away with the old tax code was the allowance for transportation workers — such as truck drivers — to take an income deduction for daily expenses on meals and incidentals, aka the per diem deduction. The change only affects company drivers, as owner-operators will still file their per diem as businesses expenses.”
As a result, some carriers are considering — or have already implemented — changing pay packages for drivers to help make up for the loss of the per diem deduction tax benefit. To help offset the change, fleets are adding per diem reimbursements to drivers’ pay, which are mostly tax-free.
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