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Special Per Diem Rates

How should pilots and flight attendants use the special per diem rate for transportation workers?

Transportation workers are eligible to use a higher standard per diem rate than the general public to generate a per diem deduction calculation. This special rate is referred to as the special rate for transportation workers.  There are a couple of caveats that taxpayers should be aware of when thinking about using this special rate.

  1. You can use the special per diem rate in lieu of the city-by-city per diem rates. You CANNOT switch from one method to another in a given tax year. Once one method is used, you must use that method for the entire year.
  2. The special per diem rate is generally lower than the city-by-city per diem rates, but you cannot tell unless you run both sets of calculations like EZPerDiem and EZCrewTax do.
  3. You can only use these rates if you are a transportation worker (i.e. truck driver, airline pilot, flight attendant, railroad worker, etc.).

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