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    IRS Issues 2019 to 2020 Per-Diem Rates For Business Travel Away From Home

    September 2019

    If you travel for business and incur expenses while away, there are new per-diem rates you need to be aware of. 

    Beginning October 1, 2019 (and ending September 30, 2020), new rates will be in effect, per an IRS announcement on Wednesday. These new rates include the transportation industry meal and incidental expenses rates, the rate for the incidental-expenses-only deduction, and the rates and list of high-cost localities for purposes of the high-low substantiation method.

    High-low substantiation method

    For purposes of the high-low substantiation method, the per-diem rates are $297 for travel to any high-cost locality and $200 for travel to any other locality within the continental United States (CONUS). These are slightly higher than last year.

    The amount of these rates that is treated as paid for meals for purposes of Sec. 274(n) is $71 for travel to a high-cost locality and $60 for travel to any other locality within CONUS. These are unchanged from last year.

    The notice contains a list of the localities that are high-cost localities (localities that have a federal per-diem rate of $248 or more, $7 higher than last year) for all or part of the calendar year.

    Incidental expenses

    Since 2012, incidental expenses have included only fees and tips given to porters, baggage carriers, hotel staff, and staff on ships. The per-diem rate for the incidental-expenses-only deduction remains unchanged at $5 per day for any locality of travel.

    Transportation industry

    The special meals and incidental expenses rates for taxpayers in the transportation industry are $66 for any locality of travel within CONUS and $71 for any locality of travel outside CONUS. These are unchanged after increasing $3 last year.


    For questions specific to your situation, please contact us.

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