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Meal Reimbursement

Our company reimburses for meals (same day travel) only if the employee's total travel time is more than 10 hours. At one time this was in some federal regulation. Can anyone help me find the regulation? Or has the regulation changed and we should reimburse for lunch even if total travel time is under 10 hours? Thanks.

Submitted by: Anonymous

 

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I work for a branch of government, and we follow the IRS rules religiously. Currently, we use the GSA table to determine the amount of per diem (http://www.gsa.gov/portal/content/104877). With regard to same day travel, we do not provide for meals as the IRS rules state any per diem paid for NON-OVERNIGHT travel is taxable compensation to the employee. So if your company chooses to reimburse for same-day travel meals, know that it must be reported on the W2 and the employee must claim it as income. A word of caution...some companies have tried to "get around" this by allowing an employee to stay overnight when a seminar, for example, is just an hour away. This obviously does not mandate overnight status. Make sure if the employee goes into overnight status, that it is truly warranted that they need to spend the night. Anonymous on 10/18/2013 7:23:04 AM
http://www.gsa.gov/portal/content/104877 Anonymous on 10/17/2013 1:53:50 PM
I am not aware of any federal regulation. Our company policy is that we do not reimburse for meals for local travel/seminars. Any meal expenses for out of town travel on company business is a reimbursable item by our company. Debbie on 10/17/2013 11:18:51 AM
I don't know that any federal regulations (aside from IRS) exist which govern meal reimbursement for private corporations. I always thought such is a policy made at the corporate level. The only regulation I know relates with IRS laws as it pertains to how either the corporation reports their employee reimbursements or how the employee claims unreimbursed employment expenses. If the corporation decides to reimburse employees for such expenses, then the corporation should design a policy that will need to consider the financial and tax ramifications to the corporation. The corporate accountant and legal counsel should probably chime in. Hope this helps. ^_^ CerWes on 10/17/2013 9:06:32 AM
http://www.defensetravel.dod.mil/Docs/perdiem/JTR(Ch1-7).pdf Chapter 4, paragraph C4050 (A)(20): per diem (meals, incidentals, and/or lodging) is not authorized for travel lasting less than 12 hours from start to finish. Anonymous on 10/17/2013 8:57:41 AM
Finding the hours of travel requirement is like looking for a needle in a haystack. This page has the regulations related to per diem rates and travel for government employees: http://www.gsa.gov/portal/content/101518 Senior EA-Business Writer on 10/17/2013 7:52:04 AM
Our corporation requires the employee be away/travel for more than 12 hours to receive a "per diem" which is for meals. It is in our policy, however, it only states it is in regulation to local federal laws. I would check out the US.Gov websites or do a search on the IRS website. They also have rules about if the company does not reimburse you , you can keep track of it and claim it on your personal income taxes. Joan Hudson on 10/17/2013 7:48:52 AM
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