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Accountable Plan

What is accountable plan with regard to airline flight crew per diem?

An accountable plan is an employer's reimbursement or allowance arrangement for reimbursement of an employee's travel expenses or M&IE expenses.  To be qualified as an accountable plan, the arrangement must include all of the following rules.

  1. Your expenses must have a business connection.  That is, you must have paid or incurred deductible expenses while performing services as an airline flight crew.

  2. You must adequately account to your employer for these expenses within a reasonable period of time.

  3. You must return any excess reimbursement or allowance within a reasonable period of time.

Are per diem reimbursements for airline pilots or flight attendants considered part of an accountable plan?

Per diem reimbursements for those in the aviation field satisfy these tax requirements in most situations. Reimbursements that do not meet those requirements are likely to be considered part of a nonaccountable plan.

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