KLLM Transport Services has announced a new per diem allowance program available to over-the-road, regional and dedicated company drivers. KLLM says the program is in response to requests and opinions submitted through its driver suggestion line.
Jim Richards, chief operating officer at the Richland, Miss.-based company, reviews driver suggestions each week. “We’d been receiving numerous suggestions about per diem pay,” Richards says. “So we worked very closely with the IRS and our accounting audit group to increase drivers’ take-home pay.”
With per diem, the Internal Revenue Service allows a portion of pay to be reclassified as nontaxable to help offset “road living expenses” incurred away from home. For each travel day worked, $52 of gross earnings may be reclassified as nontaxable per diem. Drivers still receive all earnings, but taxable income is lowered; with fewer taxes to pay out, drivers’ take-home pay increases.
Before putting the new program into effect, KLLM sought the opinion of its drivers once more. Richards addresses the KLLM driving force in a weekly operations message that drivers can access through a toll-free 800 number each Friday. Starting last December, Richards talked about the details of the program each week.
“We were able to make adjustments before the program actually began, based on drivers’ suggestions,” Richards says. “Because we discovered not everyone wanted to participate, we made the per diem allowance optional.”
The new program went into effect Feb. 5. “We think the per diem allowance is a great thing, and we’re excited about the benefit to our drivers,” Richards says.