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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

Per Diem Deduction

Per Diem Deduction is actually a bit of a false name, a misnomer, that pertains to airline pilot tax preparation and flight attendant tax preparation. Per Diem Deduction is not a term that pilots and flight attendants will find in the tax code, yet this term describes a very lucrative tax write-off for pilots and flight attendants.

A more correct name for per diem deduction would be meal expenses and incidental expenses tax deduction because the flight crewmember's meals and incidental expenses are the actual tax deduction.

Essentially the per diem deduction is a method that can be used by taxpayers (particularly flight crewmembers to account for their meals and incidental expenses (M&IE) in lieu of keeping records and receipts.  It provides a much easier and more lucrative tax deduction for flight crewmembers than an actual cost meal deduction approach would.

As the phrase implies, the per diem deduction uses CONUS and OCONUS per diem rates to come up with a substitute value for what a flight crew member spends on meals and incidental expenses while on airline job related travel.  The per diem rates for each airport location are calculated according to specific rules set forth in IRS Publication 463.  Once calculated, this value is used as a pilot or flight attendant's M&IE expenses which is the main component of the per diem deduction.

The phrase per diem deduction can also be a bit confusing because it sounds like per diem is being deducted.  It isn't.  Per diem from a flight crewmember's employer simply reimburses the crewmember for their meals.  If the crewmember receives less per diem reimbursement than the M&IE expenses, then the flight crewmember should be able to take advantage of the per diem deduction if he or she itemizes.

EZPERDIEM.COM quickly figures out the M&IE expenses for flight crews by using the layovers for the airports the crewmember stays at.

Airline Pilot Taxes and Flight Attendant Taxes

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