The Internal Revenue Service has issued a notice outlining the special diem rates that taxpayers can use to substantiate the amounts they are claiming for lodging, meals and incidental expenses when traveling away from home.

Notice 2016-58 announces the new per diem rates for travel expenses, which take effect Oct. 1, 2016. The same notice also provides the special transportation industry rate, along with the rate for the incidental-expenses-only deduction, plus the rates and list of high-cost localities for purposes of the high-low substantiation method. 

As in the General Services Administration’s definition of “incidental expenses” in the Federal Travel Regulations, the IRS said incidental expenses include only fees and tips given to porters, baggage carriers, hotel staff, and staff on ships.

“Transportation between places of lodging or business and places where meals are taken, and the mailing cost of filing travel vouchers and paying employer-sponsored charge card billings, are no longer included in incidental expenses,” said the IRS. “Accordingly, taxpayers using the per diem rates may separately deduct or be reimbursed for transportation and mailing expenses.”

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