News & Announcements

IRS Announces 2019-2020 Per Diem Rates for Travel Expense Reimbursements

Posted Tuesday, October 8, 2019 6:26 am

The IRS recently published IRS Notice 2019-55, announcing the 2019-2020 special per diem rates to be used to substantiate ordinary and necessary business expenses incurred while traveling.

  • Special transportation industry meal and incidental expenses (M&IE) rates unchanged. The special M&IE rates for taxpayers in the transportation industry remain $66 for any locality of travel in the continental United States (CONUS) and $71 for any locality of travel outside the continental United States (OCONUS).
  • Rate for the incidental expenses only deduction unchanged. The rate for any CONUS or OCONUS locality of travel for the incidental expenses only deduction remains $5 per day.
  • Rates and list of high-cost localities for purposes of the high-low substantiation method. For purposes of the high-low substantiation method, the per diem rates increase to $297 for travel to any high-cost locality and $200 for travel to any other locality within CONUS.  The amount of the $297 high rate and $200 low rate that is treated as paid for meals is $71 for travel to any high-cost locality and $60 for travel to any other locality within CONUS.  The per diem rates in lieu of the M&IE only substantiation method are $71 for travel to any high-cost locality and $60 for travel to any other locality within CONUS.

The guidance also lists high-cost localities that are subject to the federal per diem rate of $248 or more.

  • The following localities have been added to the list of high-cost localities: Mill Valley/San Rafael/Novato, California; Crested Butte/Gunnison, Colorado; Petoskey, Michigan; Big Sky/West Yellowstone/Gardiner, Montana; Carlsbad, New Mexico; Nashville, Tennessee; and Midland/Odessa, Texas.
  • The following localities have changed the portion of the year in which they are high-cost localities: Napa, California; Santa Barbara, California; Denver, Colorado; Vail, Colorado; Washington D.C., District of Columbia; Key West, Florida; Jekyll Island/Brunswick, Georgia; New York City, New York; Portland, Oregon; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Pecos, Texas; Vancouver, Washington; and Jackson/Pinedale, Wyoming.
  • The following localities have been removed from the list of high-cost localities: Los Angeles, California; San Diego, California; Duluth, Minnesota; Moab, Utah; Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Effective Date. This notice is effective for per diem allowances for lodging, meal and incidental expenses, or for meal and incidental expenses only, that are paid to any employee on or after October 1, 2019, for travel away from home on or after October 1, 2019.  For purposes of computing the amount allowable as a deduction for travel away from home, this notice is effective for meal and incidental expenses or for incidental expenses only paid or incurred on or after October 1, 2019.

Feature of the Month:

Pay Equity in the Workplace: Do Gender-Based Disparities Still Exist?

Pay equity is one of the hottest topics in Human Resources today. It seems like every day there’s a story on pay equity on the news or in various e-newsletters. But what does pay equity really mean? Does pay equity exist already, or how can we create it? Let’s take a look at this sensitive and critical HR topic.

Learn More

Subscribe to Our Training Events Updates

Subscribe to our training events notices to get in early on upcoming events.  Notices will arrive via email every Wednesday.

Back to top

Email Sign Up

Subscribe

If you are a member, please login below to manage your subscription. Otherwise, click "Continue to Subscribe"

Login

Continue to Subscribe

Subscribe

Fill out the fields below to receive HEC emails.


How did you hear about HEC?

I would like to receive the following:

HR News Digest (weekly)
Training Events Notices (weekly)