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Do I itemize or standard deduction per diem

I'm a company driver so do I itemize or take the standard deduction when claiming per diem. And I'm confused on the 80%, (example) if out 100 days... 100 x 63 x 80% = $5,040 right?

Why not 100% of the 80% ($50.40 ) Instead of $63.

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You can deduct 80% of $63 ($50.40) for every *full* day you're out on the road.

The day you get home, and the day you leave home, you can claim each of those as 3/4 days on the road.

If you're out for 18 days, then home for 3:

Day 1 (Depart): 75% of 80% of $63 ($37.80)

Days 2-17: 80% of $63 ($50.40 each)

Day 18 (Return): 75% of 80% of $63 ($37.80)

(Short cut: Subtract 1/4 day off each end, and claim 17.5 days. It's a lot easier.)

Total: $882.00. I don't know about you, but I don't spend that much for food on the road...

As for the 80% and the $63...

The IRS comes up with a number that applies to everyone ($63), based on their own secret formula. Then, they apply that to us based on our occupation. Most business travelers only get to take 50% of that number. Since we are rather limited in where we can stop, the IRS has been a bit more generous with us.

And nobody gets 100% of the $63...

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The above answer is a good example of how to compute/calculate per diem. However your question was whether or not to take the standard deduction or itemize. There is no clear cut answer to that question. As a company driver your per diem allowance alone will usually not be enough to overcome the standard deduction. You have to consider the fact of medical expenses, and if you own a home or not. It is not cut and dry as you think. That is why tax personnel charge, because most of the time you have to fill out extra forms to complete the calculations, then decide which way gives you the most benefit.

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