Make a Referral
Refer a company to BenefitMall
Press & Media Center
Get all the facts and information you need
Video Library
Watch our latest videos and demos on our new video library
Passport and Social Security card

GSA Announces New Per Diem Rates for FY 2019

If your employees travel on business, you’ll want to make note of the new federal per diem expense rates, effective October 1, 2018 for fiscal year 2019.

The IRS uses the federally established rates to determine the maximum allowable deduction. According to the IRS, per diem payments are not part of the employee’s wages if the payment is equal to or less than the federal per diem rate and the employer receives an expense report from the employee. 

According to, rates are updated by the General Services Administration (GSA) each year based on the cost of living.  

The per diem rate is an allowance paid to an employee for expenses incurred when traveling away from home. The per diem method can simplify recordkeeping, since employees don’t have to keep receipts for covered travel expenses. According to CPA Practice Advisor, employees simply document the time, place and business purpose of the travel expense. The employer then pays the employee the per diem allowance designated for the specific travel destination and deducts the per diem paid. 

There is a per diem rate for combined lodging and meal costs and a per diem rate for meal costs alone. As an employer, you may use either per diem method for reimbursing employee travel expenses. FAQ’s about each method can be found here. 

Per diem rates can vary, depending on where your employees travel. Certain locales have higher-than-average costs all year, while others are more expensive on a seasonal basis. The GSA has a handy online tool for determining per diem rates by location.


Add your comment




Subscribe Me

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner


First Name
Last Name
Phone #
Zip Code
# of Employees