truck driver meals

Is there a "standard amount" for the deduction for meals (in Job related Expenses) or do you have to have receipts? Husband is Over The Road Truck Driver. He spent about $20/day on food.... 5days a week, 50 weeks a year.
    Cancel
    You can use a special standard meal allowance if you work in the transportation industry. You are in the transportation industry if your work:

        *      Directly involves moving people or goods by airplane, barge, bus, ship, train, or truck, and
        *      Regularly requires you to travel away from home and, during any single trip, usually involves travel to areas eligible for different standard meal allowance rates.

    This includes individuals subject to the Department of Transportation's “hours of service” limits include the following persons.

    * Certain air transportation workers (such as pilots, crew, dispatchers, mechanics, and control tower operators) who are under Federal Aviation Administration regulations.
    * Interstate truck operators and bus drivers who are under Department of Transportation regulations.
    * Certain railroad employees (such as engineers, conductors, train crews, dispatchers, and control operations personnel) who are under Federal Railroad Administration regulations.
    * Certain merchant mariners who are under Coast Guard regulations.
    _______
    Amount

    The amount is $59/day overnight ($65 in Alaska or Hawaii).  Eighty percent is deductible, compared to 50% for non-DOT travel.
    _____________
    Where to Deduct

    The deduction is a miscellaneous itemized deduction if you are an employee.  They are claimed under the deductions and credit tab.  Miscellaneous itemized deductions are only available if you qualify to itemize and only to the extent that they exceed 2% of your Adjusted Gross Income.  

    Example:  If your AGI is $50,000, only miscellaneous deductions over $1,000 are deductible.  Because of this, many items deductible as miscellaneous itemized deductions have no tax value because the taxpayer doesn't itemize, or because they are lost in the 2% of adjusted gross income limitation.
    • where is "miscellaneous deductions" under Deductions and Credits tab? I see the "job related expenses"... it doesn't go there?
    Cancel
    They would be under the category "employment related expenses", then "Job Related Expenses".  (Those categories are from my desktop version, but I assume they are the same for the on-line program.)
    • Thanks so much!
    • my husband is also an otr truck driver. our refund did not get any higher after putting in the food/meals deduction/ why is that?
    Cancel
    KW- see the first answer

    "The deduction is a miscellaneous itemized deduction if you are an employee. They are claimed under the deductions and credit tab. Miscellaneous itemized deductions are only available if you qualify to itemize and only to the extent that they exceed 2% of your Adjusted Gross Income. "

    most likely you either aren't itemizing or it's not enough to make a difference.....
    • Husband is a Truck Driver. I started out with us owing $20k just as soon as I entered his income of about $140k. I bout freaked out thinking what did we get into here. But after entering most of the deductions I'm happy to see that the amount due is down to $2174.00. I still have some little things to enter such as tolls, scales, office expenses and miles driven in my personal vehicle to pick up parts.  I knew once we started this business we would never see a refund again, but I can handle owing $2k verses $20k. I will sleep better tonight!
    Cancel
    Contribute an answer

    People come to TurboTax AnswerXchange for help and answers—we want to let them know that we're here to listen and share our knowledge. We do that with the style and format of our responses. Here are five guidelines:

    1. Keep it conversational. When answering questions, write like you speak. Imagine you're explaining something to a trusted friend, using simple, everyday language. Avoid jargon and technical terms when possible. When no other word will do, explain technical terms in plain English.
    2. Be clear and state the answer right up front. Ask yourself what specific information the person really needs and then provide it. Stick to the topic and avoid unnecessary details. Break information down into a numbered or bulleted list and highlight the most important details in bold.
    3. Be concise. Aim for no more than two short sentences in a paragraph, and try to keep paragraphs to two lines. A wall of text can look intimidating and many won't read it, so break it up. It's okay to link to other resources for more details, but avoid giving answers that contain little more than a link.
    4. Be a good listener. When people post very general questions, take a second to try to understand what they're really looking for. Then, provide a response that guides them to the best possible outcome.
    5. Be encouraging and positive. Look for ways to eliminate uncertainty by anticipating people's concerns. Make it apparent that we really like helping them achieve positive outcomes.
    Cancel