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New IRS Per Diem Rates

The Internal Revenue Service announced special per diem rates that will begin Oct. 1, 2015. The rate substantiates the amount of ordinary business expense for lodging, meals, and incidentals when traveling away from home. Expense reports are still required for substantiation that include date, time, place, amount, and purpose of business expenses. Highlights of the new rates:

  • Special transportation industry meal and incidental expenses, or MI&E, rates are $63 for travel in the continental U.S., and $68 outside the continental U.S.
  • The rate for the incidental expenses only deduction is $5/day.
  • The rates for high-cost localities is $275 ($68 of the amount for meals), and $185 ($57 for meals) for low-cost (any other) localities. The 2015 list changed from 2014, and the changes are detailed on page 3 of the official IRS announcement.

Please contact a Salmon Sims Thomas tax advisor if you have questions about the deductibility of per diem amounts and/or tax implications of varying outside the established rates.