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Tax Law (Questions About Taxes)/Per diem vs actual expenses


Hi John -

I have a team of salespeople and a team of service technicians.  With respect to expense reimbursement, both groups are currently on a per diem plan for meals and for lodging.  I would like to move my sales force to a plan that reimburses actual expenses for both hotels and for lodging.  I would like my service technicians to be reimbursed for actual hotel expenses and per diem for meals.


1. Can I have two separate reimbursement plans like this for these separate groups?
2. With respect to the technicians, can the reimbursement plan also be bifurcated like the example above - actuals for lodging, but per diem for meals?
3. Other than Publication 1542, which lists per diem rates, what IRS or other documentation is available for me to keep in my employment file?

Thank you so much in advance for the help!



Thanks for your question.

1. You can have two separate plans for the separate groups.
2. You can pay actual lodging and per diem for meals.
3. You need to maintain documentation evidencing that the individuals receiving payments were qualified to receive them, i.e., they were traveling out of town for business purposes.

Hope this helps.

John Stancil, CPA  

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John Stancil, CPA


I can answer questions on personal income taxes, partnerships, and some corporate income taxes. I can deal with some state tax questions. Limited gift and estate tax questions. I am also familiar with ministerial and church tax reporting issues. I am Professor Emeritus at Florida Southern College. Sales taxes and property taxes are state and local issues so I am not likely be be able to give you an in depth answer on those types of taxes. I have maintained a CPA practice, specializing in tax, for over 35 years. I am a member of the National Association of Tax Professionals, The Florida Insititute of CPA's, The NCPE Fellowship. In addition I am a Certified Mentor for SCORE. Visit my website at I also offer seminars and consultations to churches and clergy on their tax issues at Also visit my blog, I am listed on Tax Connections at Prepare and file your own taxes at


I hold a doctorate in Accounting, and am a CPA. My certifications of CIA, CFM, and CMA are inactive. I passed all certification examinations on the first attempt, and received honorable mention for my scores on the CIA exam. I have operated a CPA firm for over 37 years and have taught accounting and tax at the college level for over 35 years.

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The CPA Journal, Florida CPA Today, Green Consumer, Green Business, Global Sustainability as a Business Imperative, Palmetto Review, NATP TaxPro Quarterly, Mustang Journal of Finance and Accounting.

DBA University of Memphis MBA University of Georgia BS in Accounting Mars Hill University

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