I'm a Conductor for Union Pacific railroad. I'm still learning what I can and can't deduct. My main confusion is the Meal and Incidental deduction. Like an idiot, I didn't save my reciepts for the last year, but I do get a 39 dollar-per-instance Per Diem for my stays in Eau Claire and Adams, WI. UP also reimburses 6 dollars non-taxable on each payslip for the return train home. I'll be sure to save every meal related receipt from now on. So here's my questions... First, do I get to deduct the total amout of Per Diem x total out-of-town stays as "Meals as covered by hours of service laws"?
Second, I assume I have to subtract the reimbursed 6 dollars per stay, meaning 33 dollars per out-of-town stay?
Third, going forward, let's say I HAD saved my reciepts. How does that work, do I choose between the total dollar amount of the reciepts or the Per Diem, or do I get to add the receipt total to the Per Diem and deduct the combined total? Also, that 6 dollar per instance reimbursement, I assume that gets subtracted?
Finally, can I only claim 80% of whichever total I get, or the full Per Diem, based on the laws for transportation jobs?

Seriously, if anyone here can give me a clear answer to these questions, you would be my personal hero. Thank you!