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Per diem rates would be entered on Schedule C (Form 1040), Lines 24a and 24b, for travel and meal expenses.

To enter the Per Diem rates for Federal Schedule C into the TaxAct program:

  1. From within your TaxAct return (Online or Desktop), click Federal. On smaller devices, click in the upper left-hand corner, then click Federal.
  2. Click Business Income in the Federal Quick Q&A Topics menu to expand, then click Business income or loss from a sole proprietorship.
  3. Click + Add Schedule C to create a new copy of the form or click Editto review a form already created.
  4. Continue with the interview process to enter all of the appropriate information.
  5. On the screen titled Great! Let's get started on expenses for this business, click Enter expenses.
  6. On the screen titled Enter your business meals expense for this business, enter the Total meals expense, then click Continue.

Note. Enter all of your meals expenses. Your deduction is generally limited to 50% of your total costs, but TaxAct will take care of the math for you. If the taxpayer is subject to the Department of Transportation (DOT) hours of service limits, the deduction is limited to 80%

You can find the current rates on the U.S. General Services Administration's Per Diem Rates website. A searchable Excel file can be downloaded from this site to make finding the applicable rates easier.

Note that any link in the information above is updated each year automatically and will take you to the most recent version of the document at the time it is accessed.

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