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Common Tax Phrases for
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2% Limit
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OCONUS
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Per Diem
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Per Diem

Per diem is a daily fixed allowance a pilot or flight attendant’s aviation employer might give the flight crewmember to reimburse them for lodging, meals, and incidental expenses when they are away from home on business. Per diem is also a term used by the IRS for their per diem charts showing the local lodging, meals, and incidental expense rates. The per diem rates used for the per diem deduction is not to be confused with the per diem paid by an aviation employer for employee business expense or travel expense reimbursement.

This concept can be a bit confusing, but think of this way: Per diem paid by an aviation employer is a reimbursement for M&IE expenses. M&IE expenses are deductible (via the so called per diem deduction). The per diem deduction is really just a fake name for deducting meals and incidental expenses. The M&IE expenses can be deducted by keeping records of actual costs of M&IE expenses while on trips, but a better (an much easier) way to get an M&IE calculation is to use a service like EZPERDIEM.COM to perform the per diem calculation via the standard meal allowance methods described in IRS Publication 463.

 

NOTE:  Even though lodging is a possible per diem reimbursement, lodging is not an expense that airline employees generally incur, and therefore lodging is NOT allowed to be included in the per diem deduction.

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