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If you file an itemized tax return, you can deduct employee business expenses you incur but are not reimbursed for. You can deduct any expenses that are necessary or required in the performance of your job and/or operation of the truck but are not reimbursed by your employer, such as, uniforms, work boots, gloves, logbooks, maps, cell phone, CB, tools, etc. These deductions are only available if you itemize and are not available if you take the standard deduction. Remember, you are also entitled to the per diem allowance for overnights to cover the cost of meals and incidentals while on the road. However, this deduction is only available if you are not reimbursed for meals and you itemize.To determine if you will benefit from itemizing, the total of all your individual deductions must be greater than the Standard Deduction.
|Standard Deduction||Tax Year 2014||Tax Year 2015|
|Married Filing Jointly & Qualifying Widow(er)||12,400.00||12,600.00|
|Head of Household||9,100.00||9,250.00|
|Married Filing Separately||6,200.00||6,300.00|
The 2015 Per Diem rate remains the same through September 30, 2015. Beginning October 1, 2015 the Per Diem rate increases to $63.00 per day at 80% deductible for transportation workers.
The 2014 Per Diem rate for meals is $59.00 per day at 80% deductible for transportation workers.
Example: If you are a single company driver and your only deduction is your Per Diem for overnights, your deduction for overnights must total more than the standard deduction.
Let’s say your overnights for the year total 250
250 overnights multiplied by the per diem rate (250 x 59) = $14,750
The allowable per diem deduction is 80% of the total, therefore 80% of $14,750 = $11,800
The Standard Deduction in 2014 for a single company driver is $6,200 – However with 250 overnights you would qualify to itemize with $11,800 in deductions. By itemizing you will have $5,700 more in deductions than if you had used the Standard Deduction; ADD TO THAT ANY ADDITIONAL ITEMIZED DEDUCTIONS WHICH YOU MAY HAVE (such as State Income and Property Taxes and Mortgage Interest) AND YOUR INCOME TAXES WILL BE LOWER.