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IRS Raises Safe-Harbor Per Diem Rate for Drivers

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has raised the amount per day that the employer of a truck driver may reimburse the driver for meals and incidental expenses when the driver is away from home on travel. This per diem amount, which has been $52 a day for several years, will go up to $59 a day. It represents a safe harbor for employers and drivers alike, since reimbursements up to that amount need not be documented by receipts or other evidence. Reimbursements over that amount must either be documented or will be considered income to the driver. The change takes effect Jan. 1, 2010, for drivers for whom the employer has used the $52 amount during 2009, and on Oct. 1, 2009, (for amounts paid with respect to travel after Oct. 1), for other drivers. IRS published the change in Rev. Proc. 2009-47, which was issued Sept. 30.

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