IRS Updates Business Travel Per-Diem Rates

The IRS recently issued its annual update of special per-diem rates for substantiating ordinary and necessary business expenses incurred while traveling away from home. The new rates are in effect from October 1, 2021, to September 30, 2022. Specifically, the per-diem rates issued 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 $296 for travel to any high-cost locality and $202 for travel to any other locality within the continental United States, both slightly higher than last year.

The amount of these rates that is treated as paid for meals is $74 for travel to a high-cost locality and $64 for travel to any other locality within continental United States, both also slightly higher than last year.

The notice contains a list of the localities that are high-cost localities (localities that have a federal per-diem rate of $249 or more, $4 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 $69 for any locality of travel within continental United States and $74 for any locality of travel outside continental United States, both $3 more than last year.