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Common Tax Phrases for
Pilots and Flight Attendants
2% Limit
A.G.I. (Adjusted Gross Income)
Above the Line Deductions
Accountable Plan
Actual Cost Meal Deduction
Adequate Records
Alternative Minimum Tax
Below the Line Deductions
CPA (Certified Public Accountant)
Commuting Expenses
D.O.T. (Department of Transportation)
Day Trips
Department of State
Documentary Evidence
Effective Date
Effective Tax Rate
Employee Business Expenses
Enrolled Agent
Expiration Date
General Services Agency
Gross Income
Hours of Service Limits
IRS Form 1040
IRS Form 2106
IRS Publication 1542
IRS Publication 463
IRS Publication 529
Incidental Expenses
Indefinate Duty
Itemized Tax Deduction
Necessary Expense
Non Taxable Per Diem
Nonaccountable Plan
Ordinary Expense
Per Diem
Per Diem Calculator
Per Diem Deduction
Per Diem Rates
Personal Expense
Schedule A
Seasonal End Date
Seasonal Start Date
Special Per Diem Rates
Standard Deduction
Standard Meal Allowance
Standard Per Diem Rates
Substantiated Expenses
Tax Attorney
Tax Audit
Tax Bracket
Tax Credit
Tax Deduction
Tax Home
Tax Liability
Tax Preparer
Tax Software
Taxable Income
Taxable Per Diem
Temporary Duty
Transition Period
Transportation Workers
Travel Expenses

Incidental Expenses

Incidental expenses are the "I" in M&IE. When a taxpayer deducts employee business expenses from their taxes, typically, the incidental expenses are lumped in with the meal expenses to give the taxpayer the M&IE total. It is possible (even though it is very rare) that a taxpayer can calculate the incidental expenses separate from the meal expenses. In that case, the taxpayer could use the actual costs of the incidental expenses incurred during the tax year. The following travel expenses are considered to be incidental expenses.

  • Fees and tips given to porters, baggage carriers, bellhops, hotel maids, stewards or stewardesses and others on ships, and hotel servants in foreign countries,
  • Transportation between places of lodging or business and places where meals are taken, if suitable meals can be obtained at the temporary duty site, and
  • Mailing costs associated with filing travel vouchers and payment of employer-sponsored charge card billings.  

Incidental expenses do not include expenses for laundry, cleaning and pressing of clothing, lodging taxes, or the costs of telegrams or telephone calls. If an item is NOT listed as and incidental expense AND it is determined to be a tax deductible employee business expense, then the item can be added to your itemized employee business expenses if done properly. On the other hand, if an item IS listed as an incidental expense AND you use the normal M&IE calculation as most people do, DO NOT add that expense into the list of employee business expenses because you are essentially double-dipping. The reason it is considered to be double-dipping is that the expense is already automatically a component of the M&IE total.

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