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Standard Meal Allowance

What is the standard meal allowance with regard to airline crew per diem calculations?

The standard meal allowance is the amount a taxpayer who travels away from his or her tax home for work-related travel may deduct for meals and incidental expenses (M&IE) if that taxpayer chooses not to use the actual cost meal deduction.  The standard meal allowance is calculated by using per diem rates set by the federal government for every locality in the world for a specific time of the year.  The standard meal allowance rates are also known as CONUS per diem rates and OCONUS per diem rates.

Is it beneficial to use city-by-city locality per diem rates for determining M&IE?

The city-by-city per diem calculation typically results in a significantly higher tax write-off than the actual cost method.  Also, flight crewmembers may use the special rate for transportation workers as described in IRS Publication 463, but to get the highest write-off, the crewmember should have both sets of calculations performed.  EZPerDiem and EZCrewTax automatically check both sets of M&IE calculations.

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