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iammrbig2017
New Member

Meal per diem I receive traveling is only $20 listed under wages on W2 for 166 days so how do I claim expenses if I didn't keep receipts and my only proof is on pay stub?

I don't have much more to add.  Under taxable wages on my W2 it specifically says per diem and the yearly total per diem my employer paid me.  The amount is included in my wages in box 1.  I travel all over the US for my job, gone months at a time. In 2017 I received per diem for 166 days. I spend way more than $20 a day for food and incidentals.  But I don't keep records or receipts.  I heard I can claim this as an expense.  If so how?  Is there a standard?  Do I deduct the $20 from it?

1 Best answer

Accepted Solutions
IsabellaG
Expert Alumni

Meal per diem I receive traveling is only $20 listed under wages on W2 for 166 days so how do I claim expenses if I didn't keep receipts and my only proof is on pay stub?

No, you would not subtract your employer reimbursement from your expense if it is included in your W-2 wages. But you will need to itemize deductions in order to claim any employee business expenses. TurboTax Deluxe or higher can handle this situation.

If you have records for the days that you were travelling away from home for business, instead of keeping records of your  meal expenses and deducting the actual cost, you can generally use a standard meal allowance, which varies depending on where you travel. The deduction for business meals is generally limited to 50% of the unreimbursed cost. Your meals are deductible as a Miscellaneous Employee Expense, and is reduced by 2% of your Adjusted Gross Income.

You can use the rates provided at this link to the Federal Government’s per diem for meals and incidental expenses. You can use the per diem tool to calculate your expense for the year.

See Publication 463 for more information.

In TurboTax:

1.       Go to Federal on the left side of your screen, and click on Deductions and Credits on the top of your screen.

2.       Scroll down to Employment Expenses, and start Job Expenses for W-2 Income.

3.       Continue, answering the questions until you reach Any Other Expenses?

4.       Enter your meals in Meals and Entertainment Expenses.

5.       Continue to the screen Reimbursements for your expenses. Say yes.

6.       Continue to answer the questions until you reach the screen Tell us about reimbursements. Since this was included in your W-2, leave that box blank.

7.       Continue through the section until you’re finished.

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**Mark the post that answers your question by clicking on "Mark as Best Answer"

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1 Reply
IsabellaG
Expert Alumni

Meal per diem I receive traveling is only $20 listed under wages on W2 for 166 days so how do I claim expenses if I didn't keep receipts and my only proof is on pay stub?

No, you would not subtract your employer reimbursement from your expense if it is included in your W-2 wages. But you will need to itemize deductions in order to claim any employee business expenses. TurboTax Deluxe or higher can handle this situation.

If you have records for the days that you were travelling away from home for business, instead of keeping records of your  meal expenses and deducting the actual cost, you can generally use a standard meal allowance, which varies depending on where you travel. The deduction for business meals is generally limited to 50% of the unreimbursed cost. Your meals are deductible as a Miscellaneous Employee Expense, and is reduced by 2% of your Adjusted Gross Income.

You can use the rates provided at this link to the Federal Government’s per diem for meals and incidental expenses. You can use the per diem tool to calculate your expense for the year.

See Publication 463 for more information.

In TurboTax:

1.       Go to Federal on the left side of your screen, and click on Deductions and Credits on the top of your screen.

2.       Scroll down to Employment Expenses, and start Job Expenses for W-2 Income.

3.       Continue, answering the questions until you reach Any Other Expenses?

4.       Enter your meals in Meals and Entertainment Expenses.

5.       Continue to the screen Reimbursements for your expenses. Say yes.

6.       Continue to answer the questions until you reach the screen Tell us about reimbursements. Since this was included in your W-2, leave that box blank.

7.       Continue through the section until you’re finished.

**Say "Thanks" by clicking the thumb icon in a post
**Mark the post that answers your question by clicking on "Mark as Best Answer"
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