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Feds Recently Freeze Travel Reimbursements for 2013
Date:1/2/2013

Colorado Springs, CO (PRWEB) January 02, 2013

Hotel owners and business travelers expect an increase in per diem reimbursement about this time every year, but not for 2013. In a recent U.S. GSA press release the estimated savings for the Federal government is around $20 million for fiscal year 2013.

Three organizations within the Federal government maintain per diem rates. The U.S. GSA office maintains domestic rates within the 48 contiguous states while the State Department and the Department of Defense together develop international per diem rates including Hawaii and Alaska. Domestic rates are stable throughout the fiscal year (October through September) while international rates can fluctuate considerably due to currency exchange rates and seasonality.

Being reimbursed for travel expenses through per diem allowances alleviates a lot of the IRS recordkeeping requirements. Taxpayers only need to demonstrate that there was a business purpose which took them away from home. Otherwise, each meal and travel expense would require specific details such as where, what and why. Overnight sleep or substantial rest is required while traveling to take a per diem deduction on a tax return.

This also indirectly maintains the tax rate for Department of Transportation (DOT) workers such as pilots, flight attendants, railroad engineers and truck drivers. These workers are allowed an IRS per diem deduction for each day away from home, but commonly the employer does not reimburse to the full per diem rate.

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