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How the Latest Per Diem Changes will Affect Owner-Operators

Updated: Jan 12

One of the goals of the government stimulus programs has been to get restaurants back on their feet. And the good news is, one of the new stimulus incentives designed to aid restaurants can bring significant tax benefits to our owner-operator (O/O) clients. This specific tax incentive increases the Business-Meal Deduction from 50% to 100%, with the idea being that people will spend more money eating out thereby supporting the restaurant industry. This incentive is only temporary and is in place for tax years 2021 and 2022.

This means O/Os will be able to take a 100% Per Diem deduction as opposed to the traditional 80% Per Diem deduction each full day they are on the road. As always, in order to take the Per Diem deduction, you must still use some sort of written record (e-Log, calendar, etc.) to verify all days spent away from home. For all of our clients using the ATBS Hub, we have a feature for tracking Per Diem days away from home.

Per Diem is one of an owner-operator’s largest tax-deductible expenses, and the difference between a tax preparer doing it right versus doing it wrong can mean several thousand dollars to you. We hope this outline provides the necessary guidance you need to take full advantage of the new (albeit temporary) 100% Business-Meal deduction. And as always, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your ATBS Business Consultant.

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