The Internal Revenue Service issued its annual update of the amounts that can be deducted under an “allowable plan” for business meal and incidental expenses (Revenue Procedure 2007-63). These rules enable employers and owner-operators to claim up to $52 per day within the “lower 48” states and $58 per day elsewhere for meals and incidentals without keeping itemized receipts. The rules contain numerous limitations and requirements, however.

The dollar limits and substantiation requirements are unchanged from last year. But under a 1997 law that has phased in over more than a decade, truck drivers' meals will be 80% deductible in 2008, up from 75% in 2006 and 2007. That compares to 50% for most other workers' business meals when they are away from home.