Federal bureaucrats who travel for business can be forgiven if they spend some government time making personal vacation plans. The Internal Revenue Service said this week that it won't go after taxpayers for not including as income their personal use of frequent flyer miles from business travel.

While the IRS has never taxed these benefits in the past due to many technical and administrative issues, the prospect creeped up again in December when the president signed the National Defense Authorization Act. Among other provisions, the new law authorizes federal agency employees to retain and make personal use of promotional items such as frequent flyer miles, upgrades, or access to carrier clubs or facilities received as a result of certain official travel.

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