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Schneider is proud to continue offering a truck driver per diem pay program in 2022. This program provides a great opportunity for eligible drivers to maximize their take-home pay.
Sometimes per diem pay can be confusing, so I would like to provide additional details about it and answer some of the most commonly asked questions, including:
- How does per diem pay work, and is there a net benefit to it?
- Should I consider participating in Schneider’s per diem pay program?
What is per diem pay for truck drivers?
Truck driver per diem pay is an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) reimbursement designed to cover meal and incidental expenses incurred by drivers while they are away from home. It gives drivers more take-home pay because fewer taxes are withheld.
Schneider’s truck driver per diem pay program works by breaking compensation into two components:
- A taxable linehaul rate.
- A non-taxable per diem rate.
Carving out a non-taxable per diem amount lowers your overall gross pay, which also lowers your taxes and results in a higher weekly take-home pay.
Real-life per diem pay example
Check out the net take-home pay between a standard pay package driver and a per diem pay package driver:
|Weekly Miles||Standard Pay Package||Per Diem Pay Package|
$0.17 Non Taxable
|Taxable Line Haul (LH)||$1,102.50||$675.00||$427.50|
|Per Diem LH add||n/a||$382.50||$382.50|
|Vacation pay add||$21.20||$20.34||$0.87|
|401(k) less (4%)||$44.95||$27.81||$17.13|
|FICA less (7.65%)||$82.52||$51.07||$31.46|
|Fed taxes less (22%)||$237.33||$146.86||$90.47|
|States taxes less (5%)||$53.94||$33.38||$20.56|
|Weekly Take Home|
|Annual Take Home|
Answers to frequently asked questions about per diem pay
What is the difference between the taxable linehaul rate and the non-taxable rate? How can a driver recognize them on a pay statement?
The non-taxable rate is the per diem portion – $0.17 per mile in the above example. You must combine the taxable portion and non-taxable portion to get the gross pay you’re bringing home.
If I’m a driver and I choose to sign up for per diem, does that put more money in my pocket?
Absolutely, and the benefit is it brings more money to you in real time. In most cases, drivers don’t need that money at the end of the year at tax time; they need it while they’re out on the road every week.
What other things does a driver need to consider when determining if per diem is right for them?
Every situation is different depending on your tax circumstance. If you’re contemplating not participating, talk to a tax consultant. We’d hate for someone to be deprived from seeing the real-time benefit. This is an individual situation – decide what is best for you.
Is every driver eligible?
Not every driver is eligible for per diem pay because it is expressed in cents-per-mile, and it’s used to cover over-the-road costs for meals and incidentals. You are not eligible for Schneider’s per diem pay program if:
- You do not drive an over-the road configuration.
- You are not paid through a cents-per-mile pay package.
- You are still in training.
- You are paid a daily rate.
- You are on an hourly pay package.
Schneider drivers receive additional per diem information during orientation.