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c3ar
New Member

Can I use per diem for housing ($200) instead of actual costs? Can I use the combined housing/meal per diem ($275) instead, and if so how is *that* entered into Turbotax?

I travel for business for two months each year. Usually I  deduct  actual housing costs and per diem for m&ie.  Last year  housing costs were low.  Can I use the per diem for housing ($200/day) instead of actual housing expenses?  Alternately, can I use the per diem for housing and m&ie ($275/day), and if so, how is that entered into TurboTax, since it combines housing and meal expenses?


2 Replies
bwa
Alumni
Alumni

Can I use per diem for housing ($200) instead of actual costs? Can I use the combined housing/meal per diem ($275) instead, and if so how is *that* entered into Turbotax?

Housing can only be based on actual costs.  Housing rates shown in GSA schedules are maximum rates for Government employees, not tax deduction rates.

c3ar
New Member

Can I use per diem for housing ($200) instead of actual costs? Can I use the combined housing/meal per diem ($275) instead, and if so how is *that* entered into Turbotax?

Thanks.  Turns out the explanation from the IRS is tucked away in a small note in Publication 463 (p. 6) in the discussion of per diem for meals: "There is no optional standard lodging amount similar to the standard meal allowance. Your allowable lodging expense deduction is your actual cost."  I would never have found this without reading every word of this long document.
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