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Mon Apr 15, 2019, 11:04 PM

Trump's tax plan strips a key exemption for dining & living expenses for truckers while on the road

Mother Jones
@MotherJones

Trump's tax overhaul hit American truck drivers hard by stripping a key exemption for dining and living expenses while on the road.

Now, millions of long-haul drivers are finding themselves slapped with massive and unexpected tax bills.


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Reply Trump's tax plan strips a key exemption for dining & living expenses for truckers while on the road (Original post)
Miles Archer Apr 2019 OP
dalton99a Apr 2019 #1
soryang Apr 2019 #3
A HERETIC I AM Apr 2019 #2

Response to Miles Archer (Original post)

Mon Apr 15, 2019, 11:22 PM

1. "Padding the pockets of owner-operators, and taking money away from company drivers"

Not every trucker is experiencing tax season sticker shock. Buried in the fine print of the 2017 tax law is a provision allowing one group to continue to benefit from the per diem exemption: owner-operators, the slim minority of drivers who own their own trucks, or have a fleet employing other drivers. About 300,000 of the nation’s 3.5 million drivers fall into this category.

“This was the best tax bill I’ve ever seen for owner-operators,” says Rutherford, who says that beyond their continuing access to the per diem exemption, they also reap benefits from the law’s new 20 percent deduction for pass-through businesses. The provision means their profits, instead of being taxed as corporate income, are taxed at a lower personal rate.

“I wish Congress had been aware of the unfairness of the fact that they are padding the pockets of the owner-operators, but they are taking money away from the company drivers,” says Bridges.


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Response to dalton99a (Reply #1)

Mon Apr 15, 2019, 11:32 PM

3. Most of the "owner operators" I met were not doing well financially

They weren't paid enough per mile to recoup their expenses. Any adverse tax treatment would put them under, they were so marginal anyway. Especially, those who bought into the "lease to own" racket.

I haven't driven in three years so I could be out of date. The owner operators I knew who did do well, were older experienced drivers, in a niche business, with an older rig, already paid off, and moving some specialized cargo for a company or companies with specialized transportation needs. These drivers made money.

Losing per diem deductions would have hurt me a lot tax wise as a company (employee) driver, so I'm glad I no longer drive.

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Response to Miles Archer (Original post)

Mon Apr 15, 2019, 11:25 PM

2. Specifically......

The Per Diem Allowance for transportation workers subject to hours of service regulations.

In 2017 that was $63 for every day away from home, and 3/4 of that for the days leaving and the days returning. So if I had a 3 day trip, I could deduct $47.25 for the day I left, $63 for the next day and another $47.25 for the day I returned.

In ‘17 it amounted to $14,000 or so for me, with all the multi-day trips I do regularly.

I think it was 80% of that total that was taken off my gross, so it reduced my AGI and therefore my tax burden significantly.

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