Either way, the implication was we were shirking around in a prolonged childhood, and needed to take on adult responsibilities.
The website for the GSA rates is: There is also an app you can download. You may need to hunt for it on their website. These are GSA rates that are averaged into two categories. If you Google the term, you will be able to get the current version. These are maximum rates that can be given to an employee without an exchange of receipts.
The rates are set by the government for every area of the world and are broken down by counties in the US.
The rates can be found or various online sites and are set annually. As long as the allowance does not exceed the per diem rate maximum and the company has a reasonable belief that the employee would deduct these expenses without reimbursements, no receipts are required to be exchanged.
Per diems are only tax free if you are working away from your tax home. And unless you are maintaining your tax home by annual work at home, you need to be able to show you are duplicating expenses at home and at the assignment. These things are not tax deductions remember: Most people have a residence in one location and pay for that residence days out of the year.
When their job requires them to be temporarily out of town, a second temporary residence must be maintined. Be it a short term apartment or one night in a hotel, this second home is essentially a duplicated home expense incurred to earn income. To relieve this burden, the IRS allows your company to reimburse you for these expenses.
Also, renting out your residence to someone else may potentially disqualify it from being a tax home.
Feel free to call to talk about your situation.
It is a tiny number and seems inconsequential, but a few bucks is a few bucks! The take away is that you need to clarify what the payment is for. The determination of whether or not it is taxable is based on the Tax Home status of the recipient.
Because technically that is what they are; confusion arises in that they are given in advance of expenses instead of afterward. And they are for your away-from-home expenses, not expenses at your tax home.
A normal reimbursement process would be: Step 1 - Employee spends an amount of money in the process of completing work for employer Step 2 - Turns in a receipt Step 3 - Receives a reimbursement check separate from their paycheck. In the case of a per diem, the reimbursement amount is pre-determined per an act of congress, so there is no need to see a receipt.
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