Tax Law (Questions About Taxes)/per-diem


Dear Sir,
I am a flight attendant. I have taxable and non-taxable per diem each month on my pay check.
There are services that prepare flight crew income tax returns and I was told that they use the per-diem as a deduction.
I am confused though....can I only use the per-diem that is listed as "taxable" per diem or can I also deduct the "non-taxable" per diem? I cannot ever seem to exceed my standard deduction each year even with my interest on my home and maybe this will help.
Thank you for your assistance.


Thanks for your question.

Basically you can only deduct the taxable per diem.  The way it works, though is that, on Form 2106 you list your entire travel expenses (most likely just the per diem, but there could be other expenses).  Then you subtract the amount reimbursed for the non-taxable per diem.  This net amount carries over to Schedule A as a miscellaneous itemized deduction.  However, you can only deduct the portion that exceeds 2% of your adjusted gross income.

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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