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Level 1

Can I use lodging per diem rates from gsa.gov for job related travel expenses at temp work locations (union carpenter)? Or is it actual receipts only? I'm finding conflicting answers in turbotax. I know I can use meal per diem but just need to know the

 
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Level 12

Can I use lodging per diem rates from gsa.gov for job related travel expenses at temp work locations (union carpenter)? Or is it actual receipts only? I'm finding conflicting answers in turbotax. I know I can use meal per diem but just need to know the

You can use either.  This link taken from IRS Pub 463:  https://www.irs.gov/publications/p463/ch06.html#en_US_2016_publink1000283280, allows you to use the GSA.gov per diem amounts for both lodging and meals and incidentals for approved travel expenses.  The GSA.gov website for these tables can be seen clicking on this link:  Per Diem Rates - GSA

You may claim actual expenses if they are not considered lavish or extravagant, but, having said that, the per diem amounts are actually quite generous numbers.  (I recommend familiarizing yourself with Pub 463 some as it is the authority for all of these types of questions on deductible business travel).

Level 1

Can I use lodging per diem rates from gsa.gov for job related travel expenses at temp work locations (union carpenter)? Or is it actual receipts only? I'm finding conflicting answers in turbotax. I know I can use meal per diem but just need to know the

Can you use the lodging per diem rates if you stay with a relative or friend instead of at a hotel when on business travel?  If so, what documentation is needed since there is no receipt.
Level 12

Can I use lodging per diem rates from gsa.gov for job related travel expenses at temp work locations (union carpenter)? Or is it actual receipts only? I'm finding conflicting answers in turbotax. I know I can use meal per diem but just need to know the

It depends on the type of accountable plan you have with your employer.  Here is a direct link to the IRS guidelines on recordkeeping of these expenses:  (copy and paste link):  <a rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="https://www.irs.gov/publications/p463/ch05.html#en_US_2016_publink100034069">https://www.irs.gov/pub...>
Level 1

Can I use lodging per diem rates from gsa.gov for job related travel expenses at temp work locations (union carpenter)? Or is it actual receipts only? I'm finding conflicting answers in turbotax. I know I can use meal per diem but just need to know the

Here are a couple of other answers to lodging per diem.  Both say you can only use actual cost not per diem.  No wonder I'm confused.   Most answers that I'm finding state you can only use actual receipts.

"There is no optional standard lodging amount similar to the standard meal allowance. Your allowable lodging expense deduction is your actual cost."
<a rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="https://www.irs.gov/publications/p463/ch01.html#en_US_2016_publink100033790">https://www.irs.gov/pub...>
TaxGuyBill 3 months ago

Per Diem is only for meals (Meals and Incidental Expenses, or MI&E).  Lodging must be based on actual cost only.  While the Government sets maximum lodging amounts in each area for Government Employees while traveling, that's a maximum amount, not per diem, and applies only to Government employee reimbursements.