Pending Legislation Will Increase Meal Deduction

The Senate is considering legislation that would accelerate the rise in the meals expense deduction for truck drivers to 80 percent. Under current law, truck drivers are entitled to deduct 60 percent of their allowable meal expenses. That percentage is scheduled to increase to 80 percent in 2008.

The Small Business Works Act, proposed by Senator Christopher Bond (R-MO), would implement the increased meal deduction to 80 percent in 2002. The House passed legislation in March favoring this increase. The Senate has attempted to add this increase to several pieces of legislation over the past two years, but the increase has yet to be made into law.

The increased meal allowance would apply to interstate truck drivers, and others who are subject to the Department of Transportation's hours of service limits. For meals to be deductible, you must be traveling overnight for business, or long enough that you need to stop for sleep or rest to properly perform your duties.

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