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Unlock Fleet Savings With Trucker Per Diem Amid Economic Uncertainty

Updated: Nov 29, 2023

Turbocharge Your Fleet's Tax Benefits with Trucker Per Diem

The freight market has experienced steady softening over the past few months while the nationwide average price for a gallon of diesel fuel hovering around $5.36 or about $2.02 more than just one-year ago(1). So how can fleets mitigate the exploding cost of fuel and softening freight rates(2)? Use per diem compliance tech to unlock fleet savings amid economic uncertainty and record inflation.

An automated telematic solution, like Per Diem Plus®, allows motor carriers to rapidly deploy a solution to realize immediate savings, offset pain at the pump and boost driver pay. Additionally, our cloud-based mobile-enabled platform offers flexible Service Plan Options allowing motor carriers to easily implement an IRS-compliant fleet per diem plan that:

  • Can be implemented in a single day

  • Enhances recruiting & retention by raising employee driver take-home pay

  • Saves a motor carrier thousands of dollars annually per driver

  • Automates per diem payroll accounting & tax compliance

  • Eliminates the need to retain ELD backups for 3 years to substantiate per diem

Although Congress temporarily increased the trucker per diem deduction to 100% for 2021 and 2022, there is a common misconception in the industry that at 80% deductibility per diem will not save a motor carrier money. The below tables prove otherwise.


The following analysis assumes 2,500 average weekly miles / driver; $69 per diem; $65,000 annual driver wages; 255 nights away from home; a 12% effective federal income tax rate, and $10/$100 workers' comp rate.

The 100% per diem deduction was a blessing to trucking
For 2021 & 2022 IRS Allowed Full Expensing Of Meals Per Diem

Workers Compensation Savings From Using Per Diem Plus

Twenty-three states are members of the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI), 39 rely on NCCI regulations. Under NCCI rules a motor carrier paying substantiated per diem under an IRS-accountable plan can exclude up to $69/day of per diem from taxable wages, which provides a significant per driver annual savings to a fleet(3).

The per diem exclusion saves a typical fleet an extra $1,850/year/driver
NCCI Regulations Allow Per Diem To Be Excluded From Wages

With growing economic uncertainty and recessionary clouds on the horizon it is not known if Congress will extend the 100% deduction for per diem. However, a motor carrier that implements Per Diem Plus will be in a stronger position to weather the economic storm.

The typical fleet saves $3,000/year/driver
Tax & Worker Comp Savings

Driver Tax Savings From Per Diem

As of January 1, 2018, employee drivers can no longer claim per diem as an itemized deduction on their federal income tax return. However, motor carriers can offer per diem to employee drivers to recapture the lost tax savings. The average Married over-the-road driver earning $65,000 annually will save approximately $3,457 in federal income taxes equivalent to $0.03 cents per mile.

A typical married driver will save over $3,400 in federal taxes
Married Driver Tax Benefit From Per Diem

The average Single over-the-road driver earning $65,000 annually will save approximately $4,485 in federal income taxes equivalent to $0.04 cents per mile.

A typical single driver will save over $4,800 with per diem
Single Driver Tax Benefit From Per Diem

Fleets can unlock unlock over $2,700 in savings amid economic uncertainty and record inflation, while increasing driver annual take home pay over $4,400.

About Per Diem Plus

At Per Diem Plus, we understand the significance of efficiency when it comes to per diem tracking and payroll reporting for truck drivers and fleets. That's why we've made automation a cornerstone of our platform.

Streamlined Per Diem Tracking: With Per Diem Plus, the days of manual calculations and ELD backups are long gone. Our automated system ensures that per diem tracking is a breeze. Truck drivers can focus on the road, not record keeping. It's accuracy without the effort.

Real-Time Compliance: Our automation doesn't stop there. We keep you in compliance with the latest IRS regulations in real-time. No more worrying about keeping up with changing rules - our system does it for you.

The Power of Time: By automating per diem tracking and payroll reporting, we give you the gift of time. Time to focus on what truly matters for your business, and time to ensure your drivers are getting the reimbursements they deserve.

With Per Diem Plus, you're not just getting a tool; you're getting a solution that transforms your per diem process. Say goodbye to the tedious and hello to the efficient. Make the smart choice today and experience the difference that automation can make.

For more information, contact us at or visit

About the author

Mark W. Sullivan, EA, the founder of Sullivan Consulting, established the firm's roots in St. Louis, MO, in 1998. In 2020, he made a strategic move to the thriving business environment of Arizona. Mark specializes in the intricate realm of federal tax controversy representation, appeals, and consulting, catering not only to individuals and businesses but also extending his expertise to renowned law and accounting firms nationwide.

Mark's distinguished career includes serving as a consulting and expert witness in a multitude of civil and criminal cases, spanning several federal district courts. His credentials are underscored by an unlimited Enrolled Agents license, a testament to his exceptional knowledge and unwavering commitment to his craft. His recognition by the Internal Revenue Service for admission to practice is grounded in his extensive background as a Revenue Officer, having worked in demanding locations such as New York, NY, St. Louis, MO, and Washington, D.C.

Mark's extensive experience as a Revenue Officer has uniquely positioned him to navigate the intricate landscape of federal tax matters. Now, based in Scottsdale, AZ, Mark continues to offer his expertise to clients across the nation, ensuring that their interests are diligently and professionally represented. Have a tax question, contact Mark Sullivan HERE


1 Kingston, John, "Weekly DOE/EIA diesel price decline is biggest since 2008", Freightwaves, July 25, 2022 LINK

2 Achelpohl, Scott, "Survey points to exodus of small operators - and fuel costs as the culprit", FleetOwner, May 23, 2022 LINK

3 North Carolina allows a $75 exemption for per diem Rule 2-B-2 LINK

Copyright 2022 Mark Sullivan Consulting,PLLC. Per Diem Plus proprietary software is the trademark of Per Diem Plus, LLC.®


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