Part 301-11-Per Diem Expenses
Subpart A-General Rules
§301-11.1 When am I eligible for an allowance (per diem or actual expense)?
You perform official travel away from your official station, or other areas defined by your agency;
You incur per diem expenses while performing official travel; and
You are in a travel status for more than 12 hours.
§301-11.2 Will I be reimbursed for per diem expenses if my official travel is 12 hours or less?
§301-11.3 Must my agency pay an allowance (either a per diem allowance or actual expense)?
You perform travel to a training event under the Government Employees Training Act (5 U.S.C. 4101-4118), and you agree not to be paid per diem expenses; or
You perform pre-employment interview travel, and the interviewing agency does not authorize payment of per diem expenses.
§301-11.4 May I be reimbursed actual expense and per diem on the same trip?
Yes, you may be reimbursed both actual expense and per diem during a single trip, but only one method of reimbursement may be authorized for any given calendar day except as provided in §301-11.305 or 301-11.306. Your agency must determine when the transition between the reimbursement methods occurs.
§301-11.5 How will my per diem expenses be reimbursed?
Per diem expenses will be reimbursed by the:
Lodgings-plus per diem method;
Reduced per diem method; or
Actual expense method.
§301-11.6 Where do I find maximum per diem and actual expense rates?
Consult this table to find out where to access per diem rates for various types of Government travel:
|For travel in||Rates set by||For per diem and actual expense see|
(a) Continental United States (CONUS)
|General Services Administration||For per diem, see applicable FTR Per Diem Bulletins issued periodically by the Office of Governmentwide Policy, Office of Transportation and Personal Property, Travel Management Policy, and available on the Internet at |
(b) Non-foreign areas
|Department of Defense (Per Diem, Travel and Transportation Allowance Committee (PDTATAC))|| Per Diem Bulletins issued by PDTATAC and published periodically in the Federal Register or Internet at |
(c) Foreign areas
|Department of State||A per diem supplement to section 925, Department of State Standardized Regulations (Government Civilians-Foreign Areas and available on the Internet at |
§301-11.7 What determines my maximum per diem reimbursement rate?
Your TDY location determines your maximum per diem reimbursement rate. If you arrive at your lodging facility after 12 midnight, you claim lodging cost for the preceding calendar day. If no lodging is required, the applicable M&IE reimbursement rate is the rate for the TDY location. (See §301-11.102.)
§301-11.8 What is the maximum per diem rate I will receive if lodging is not available at my TDY location?
If lodging is not available at your TDY location, your agency may authorize or approve the maximum per diem rate for the location where lodging is obtained.
§301-11.9 When does per diem or actual expense entitlement start/stop?
Your per diem or actual expense entitlement starts on the day you depart your home, office, or other authorized point and ends on the day you return to your home, office or other authorized point.
§301-11.10 Am I required to record departure/arrival dates and times on my travel claim?
You must record the date of departure from, and arrival at, the official station or any other place travel begins or ends. You must show this same information for points where you perform TDY or for a stopover or official rest stop location when the arrival or departure affects your per diem allowance or other travel expenses. You also should show the dates for other points visited. You do not have to record departure/arrival times, but you must annotate your travel claim when your travel is more than 12 hours but not exceeding 24 hours to reflect that fact.
§301-11.11 How do I select lodging and make lodging reservations?
You must make your lodging reservations through your agency's travel management service.
You should always stay in a "fire safe" facility. This is a facility that meets the fire safety requirements of the Hotel and Motel Fire Safety Act of 1990 (the Act), as amended (see
5 U.S.C. 5707(a)).
When selecting a commercial lodging facility, first consideration should be given to government lodging agreement programs such as FedRooms® (
http://www.fedrooms.com). The advantages of obtaining lodging using the FedRooms® program are:
Lodging rates are set at or below per diem rates;
There are no add-on fees;
The room cancellation deadline is 4:00 p.m. (or later) on the day of arrival;
Most hotels offer last standard room availability rates;
There are no early departure fees; and
Rates are available using all booking channels (e.g., E-Gov Travel Service, Travel Management Service, FedRooms® website, and hotel reservation call centers). The FedRooms® rate code (XVU) must be entered to get the program benefits.
Note to §301-11.11:
§301-11.12 How does the type of lodging I select affect my reimbursement?
Your agency will reimburse you for different types of lodging as follows:
Conventional lodgings (hotel/motel, boarding house, etc.). You will be reimbursed the single occupancy rate.
Government quarters. You will be reimbursed, as a lodging expense, the fee or service charge you pay for use of the quarters.
Lodging with friend(s) or relative(s) (with or without charge). You may be reimbursed for additional costs your host incurs in accommodating you only if you are able to substantiate the costs and your agency determines them to be reasonable. You will not be reimbursed the cost of comparable conventional lodging in the area or a flat "token" amount.
Nonconventional lodging. You may be reimbursed the cost of other types of lodging when there are no conventional lodging facilities in the area (e.g., in remote areas) or when conventional facilities are in short supply because of an influx of attendees at a special event (e.g., World's Fair or international sporting event). Such lodging includes college dormitories or similar facilities or rooms not offered commercially but made available to the public by area residents in their homes.
Recreational vehicle (trailer/camper). You may be reimbursed for expenses (parking fees, fees for connection, use, and disconnection of utilities, electricity, gas, water and sewage, bath or shower fees, and dumping fees) which may be considered as a lodging cost.
Your agency will not reimburse you for:
Personally-owned residence. You will not be reimbursed for any lodging expenses for staying at your personally-owned residence or for any real estate expenses associated with the purchase or sale of a personal residence at the TDY location, except in conjunction with an authorized relocation pursuant to chapter 302 of this Title.
Personally-owned Recreational vehicle (trailer/camper). You will not be reimbursed any expenses associated with the purchase, sale or payment of a recreational vehicle or camper at the TDY location.
§301-11.13 How does sharing a room with another person affect my per diem reimbursement?
Your reimbursement is limited to one-half of the double occupancy rate if the person sharing the room is another Government employee on official travel. If the person sharing the room is not a Government employee on official travel, your reimbursement is limited to the single occupancy rate.
§301-11.14 How is my daily lodging rate computed when I rent lodging on a long-term basis?
When you obtain lodging on a long-term basis (e.g., weekly or monthly) your daily lodging rate is computed by dividing the total lodging cost by the number of days of occupancy for which you are entitled to per diem, provided the cost does not exceed the daily rate of conventional lodging. Otherwise the daily lodging cost is computed by dividing the total lodging cost by the number of days in the rental period. Reimbursement, including an appropriate amount for M&IE, may not exceed the maximum daily per diem rate for the TDY location.
§301-11.15 What expenses may be considered part of the daily lodging cost when I rent on a long-term basis?
When you rent a room, apartment, house, or other lodging on a long-term basis (e.g., weekly, monthly), the following expenses may be considered part of the lodging cost:
The rental cost for a furnished dwelling; if unfurnished, the rental cost of the dwelling and the rental cost of appropriate and necessary furniture and appliances (e.g., stove, refrigerator, chairs, tables, bed, sofa, television, or vacuum cleaner);
Cost of connecting/disconnecting and using utilities;
Cost of reasonable maid fees and cleaning charges;
Monthly telephone use fee (does not include installation and long-distance calls); and,
If ordinarily included in the price of a hotel/motel room in the area concerned, the cost of special user fees (e.g., cable TV charges and plug-in charges for automobile head bolt heaters).
§301-11.16 What reimbursement will I receive if I prepay my lodging expenses and my TDY is curtailed, canceled or interrupted for official purposes or for other reasons beyond my control that are acceptable to my agency?
If you sought to obtain a refund or otherwise took steps to minimize the cost, your agency may reimburse expenses that are not refundable, including a forfeited rental deposit.
§301-11.17 If my agency authorizes per diem reimbursement, will it reduce my M&IE allowance for a meal(s) provided by a common carrier or for a complimentary meal(s) provided by a hotel/motel?
No. A meal provided by a common carrier or a complimentary meal provided by a hotel/motel does not affect your per diem.
§301-11.18 What M&IE rate will I receive if a meal(s) is furnished by the Government or is included in the registration fee?
Except as provided in §301-11.17 or in paragraph (b) of this section, your M&IE allowance must be adjusted for meals furnished to you by the Government (including meals furnished under the authority of chapter 304of this title) by deducting the appropriate amount shown at
www.gsa.gov/mie. For meals provided on the day of departure and the last day of travel, you must deduct the entire allocated meal cost from the decreased M&IE rate (see §301-11.101). The total amount of deductions made will not cause you to receive less than the amount allowed for incidental expenses.
Your agency, at its discretion, may allow you to claim the full M&IE allowance if:
You are unable to consume the furnished meal(s) because of medical requirements or religious beliefs;
In accordance with administrative procedures prescribed by your agency, you requested specific approval to claim the full M&IE allowance prior to your travel;
In accordance with administrative procedures prescribed by your agency, you have made a reasonable effort to make alternative meal arrangements, but were unable to do so; and
You purchase substitute meals in order to satisfy your medical requirements or religious beliefs.
In your agency's discretion, and in accordance with administrative procedures prescribed by your agency, you may also claim the full M&IE allowance if you were unable to take part in a Government-furnished meal due to the conduct of official business.
§301-11.19 How is my per diem calculated when I travel across the international dateline (IDL)?
When you cross the IDL your actual elapsed travel time will be used to compute your per diem entitlement rather than calendar days.
§301-11.20 May my agency authorize a rest period for me while I am traveling?
Your agency may authorize a rest period not in excess of 24 hours at either an intermediate point or at your destination if:
Either your origin or destination point is OCONUS;
Your scheduled flight time, including stopovers, exceeds 14 hours;
Travel is by a direct or usually traveled route; and
Travel is by coach-class service.
When a rest stop is authorized the applicable per diem rate is the rate for the rest stop location.
§301-11.21 Will I be reimbursed for per diem or actual expenses on leave or non-workdays (weekend, legal Federal Government holiday, or other scheduled non-workdays) while I am on official travel?
In general, you will be reimbursed as long as your travel status requires your stay to include a non-workday, (e.g., if you are on travel through Friday and again starting Monday you will be reimbursed for Saturday and Sunday), however, your agency should determine the most cost effective situation (i.e., remaining in a travel status and paying per diem or actual expenses or permitting your return to your official station).
Your agency will determine whether you will be reimbursed for non-workdays when you take leave immediately (e.g., Friday or Monday) before or after the non-workday(s).
§301-11.22 Am I entitled to per diem or actual expense reimbursement if I am required to return to my official station on a non-workday?
If required by your agency to return to your official station on a non-workday, you will be reimbursed the amount allowable for return travel.
§301-11.23 Are there any other circumstances when my agency may reimburse me to return home or to my official station for non-workdays during a TDY assignment?
Your agency may authorize per diem or actual expense and round-trip transportation expenses for periodic return travel on non-workdays to your home or official station under the following circumstances:
The agency requires you to return to your official station to perform official business; or
The agency will realize a substantial cost savings by returning you home; or
Periodic return travel home is justified incident to an extended TDY assignment.
§301-11.24 What reimbursement will I receive if I voluntarily return home or to my official station on non-workdays during my TDY assignment?
If you voluntarily return home or to your official station on non-workdays during a TDY assignment, the maximum reimbursement for round trip transportation and per diem or actual expense is limited to what would have been allowed had you remained at the TDY location.
§301-11.25 Must I provide receipts to substantiate my claimed travel expenses?
Yes. You must provide a lodging receipt and a receipt for every authorized expense over $75, or provide a reason acceptable to your agency explaining why you are unable to furnish the necessary receipt(s) (see §301-52.4 of this chapter).
Note to 301-11.25: Hard copy receipts should be electronically scanned and submitted with your electronic travel claim when your agency has fully deployed ETS and notifies you that electronic scanning is available within your agency (see §301-50.3 of this chapter). You may submit a hard copy receipt, in accordance with your agency's policies, to support a claimed travel expense only when electronic imaging is not available within your agency.
§301-11.26 How do I request a review of the per diem in a location?
If you travel to a location where the per diem rate is insufficient to meet necessary expenses, you may submit a request, containing pertinent lodging and meal cost data, through your agency's Travel Manager asking that the location be reviewed. Depending on the location in question your agency's Travel Manager may submit the review request to:
|For CONUS locations||For non-foreign area locations||For foreign area locations|
General Services Administration, Office of Governmentwide Policy, Attn: Travel Policy (MTT), 1800 F St. NW, Washington, DC 20405.
Defense Travel Management Office, Attn: SP&P/Allowances Branch, 4601 N. Fairfax Dr, Suite 800, Arlington, VA 22203.
Director, Office of Allowances, Department of State, Annex 1, Suite L-314, Washington, DC 20522-0103.
§301-11.27 Are taxes included in the lodging portion of the Government per diem rate?
No. Lodging taxes paid by you are reimbursable as a miscellaneous travel expense limited to the taxes on reimbursable lodging costs. For example, if your agency authorizes you a maximum lodging rate of $50 per night, and you elect to stay at a hotel that costs $100 per night, you can only claim the amount of taxes on $50, which is the maximum authorized lodging amount. This section is effective January 1, 1999, for CONUS locations and effective January 1, 2000, for non-foreign areas. For foreign areas, lodging taxes have not been removed from foreign per diem rates established by the Department of State. Separate claims for lodging taxes incurred in foreign areas are not allowed.
§301-11.28 As a traveler on official business, am I required to pay applicable lodging taxes?
Yes, unless exempted by the State of local jurisdiction.
§301-11.29 Are lodging facilities required to accept a generic federal, state or local tax exempt certificate?
Exemptions from taxes for Federal travelers, and the forms required to claim them, vary from location to location. The GSA SmartPay
§301-11.30 What is my option if the Government lodging rate plus applicable taxes exceeds my lodging reimbursement?
You may request reimbursement on an actual expense basis, not to exceed 300 percent of the maximum per diem allowance.
Approval of actual expenses is usually in advance of travel and at the discretion of your agency. (See §301-11.302.) Also, see §301-70.201 for when an agency can issue a blanket actual expense authorization
§301-11.31 Are laundry, cleaning and pressing of clothing expenses reimbursable?
Your agency may reimburse the expenses incurred for laundry, cleaning, and pressing of clothing as a miscellaneous travel expense for TDY within CONUS. However, you must incur a minimum of four consecutive nights lodging on official travel to qualify for this reimbursement. Laundry and dry cleaning expenses have not been removed from foreign per diem rates established by the Department of State, or from non-foreign area per diem rates established by the Department of Defense. Separate claims for laundry and dry cleaning expenses incurred in foreign areas and non-foreign areas are not allowed.
§301-11.32 May I be reimbursed for an advanced room deposit in situations where a lodging facility requires the payment of a deposit, prior to the beginning of my scheduled official travel?
Yes, your agency may reimburse you for an advance room deposit, when such a deposit is required by the lodging facility to secure a room reservation, prior to the beginning of your scheduled official travel. However, if you are reimbursed the advance room deposit, but fail to perform the scheduled official travel for reasons not acceptable to your agency, resulting in forfeit of the deposit, you are indebted to the Government for that amount and must repay it in a manner prescribed by your agency.
Subpart B-Lodgings Plus Per Diem
§301-11.100 What will I be paid for lodging under Lodgings-plus per diem?
When travel is more than 12 hours and overnight lodging is required you are reimbursed your actual lodging cost not to exceed the maximum lodging rate for the TDY location or stopover point.
§301-11.101 What allowance will I be paid for M&IE?
Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, your allowance is as shown in the following table:
When travel is Your allowance is More than 12 but less than 24 hours 75 percent of the applicable M&IE rate for each calendar day you are in a travel status. 24 hours or more, on The day of departure 75 percent of the applicable M&IE rate. Full days of travel 100 percent of the applicable M&IE rate. The last day of travel 75 percent of the applicable M&IE rate.
If you travel by ship, either commercial or Government, your agency will determine an appropriate M&IE rate within the applicable maximum rate allowable.
§301-11.102 What is the applicable M&IE rate?
|For days of travel which||Your applicable M&IE rate is|
|Require lodging||The M&IE rate applicable for the TDY location or stopover point.|
|Do not require lodging, and||Travel is more than 12 hours but less than 24 hours.||The M&IE rate applicable to the TDY site or the highest M&IE rate applicable when multiple locations are involved).|
|Travel is 24 hours or more, and you are traveling to a new TDY site or stopover point at midnight.||The M&IE rate applicable to the new TDY site or stopover point.|
|Travel is 24 hours or more, and you are returning to your official station.||The M&IE rate applicable to the previous day of travel.|
Subpart C-Reduced Per Diem
§301-11.200 Under what circumstances may my agency prescribe a reduced per diem rate lower than the prescribed maximum?
Under the following circumstances:
When your agency can determine in advance that lodging and/or meal costs will be lower than the per diem rate; and
The lowest authorized per diem rate must be stated in your travel authorization in advance of your travel.
Subpart D-Actual Expense
§301-11.300 When is actual expense reimbursement warranted?
Lodging and/or meals are procured at a prearranged place such as a hotel where a meeting, conference or training session is held;
Costs have escalated because of special events (e.g., missile launching periods, sporting events, World's Fair, conventions, natural or manmade disasters); lodging and meal expenses within prescribed allowances cannot be obtained nearby; and costs to commute to/from the nearby location consume most or all of the savings achieved from occupying less expensive lodging;
The TDY location is subject to a Presidentially-Declared Disaster and your agency has issued a blanket actual expense authorization for the location (see §301-70.201);
Because of mission requirements; or
Any other reason approved within your agency.
§301-11.301 Who in my agency can authorize/approve my request for actual expense?
Any official designated by the head of your agency (see §301-70.201 for when an agency can issue a blanket actual expense authorization).
§301-11.302 When should I request authorization for reimbursement under actual expense?
Request for authorization for reimbursement under actual expense should be made in advance of travel. However, subject to your agency's policy, after the fact approvals may be granted when supported by an explanation acceptable to your agency. Also, your agency can issue a blanket actual expense authorization under §301-70.201.
§301-11.303 What is the maximum amount that I may be reimbursed under actual expense?
The maximum amount that you may be reimbursed under actual expense is limited to 300 percent (rounded to the next higher dollar) of the applicable maximum per diem rate. However, subject to your agency's policy, a lesser amount may be authorized.
§301-11.304 What if my expenses are less than the authorized amount?
When authorized actual expense and your expenses are less than the locality per diem rate or the authorized amount, reimbursement is limited to the expenses incurred.
§301-11.305 What if my actual expenses exceed the 300 percent ceiling?
Your reimbursement is limited to the 300 percent ceiling. There is no authority to exceed this ceiling.
§301-11.306 What expenses am I required to itemize under actual expense?
You must itemize all expenses, including meals, (each meal must be itemized separately) for which you will be reimbursed under actual expense. However, expenses that do not accrue daily (e.g., laundry, dry cleaning, etc.) may be averaged over the number of days your agency authorizes/approves actual expenses. Receipts are required for lodging, regardless of amount and any individual meal when the cost exceeds $75. Your agency may require receipts for other allowable per diem expenses, but it must inform you of this requirement in advance of travel. When your agency limits M&IE reimbursement to either the prescribed maximum M&IE rate for the locality concerned or a reduced M&IE rate, it may or may not require M&IE itemization at its discretion.
Subpart F-Taxes on Extended TDY Benefits
§301-11.601 What is a taxable extended TDY assignment?
A taxable extended TDY assignment is a TDY assignment that continues for so long that, under the IRC the employee is no longer considered temporarily away from home during any period of employment if such period exceeds 1 year. You are no longer temporarily away from home as of the date that you and/or your agency recognize that your assignment will exceed one year. That is, as soon as you recognize that your assignment will exceed one year, you must notify your agency of that fact, and they must change your status immediately. Similarly, as soon as your agency recognizes that your assignment will exceed one year, your agency must notify you of that fact and change your status. The effective date of this status change is the date on which it was recognized that you are no longer temporarily away from home as defined in the IRC.
If you believe that your temporary duty assignment may exceed one year, you should carefully study IRS Publication 463, "Travel, Entertainment, Gift, and Car Expenses," to determine whether you are or will be considered "temporarily away from home" under this provision. If you are not or will not be considered temporarily away from home under this provision, then you are on taxable extended TDY.
The IRC makes an exception for certain Federal personnel involved in investigation or prosecution of a Federal crime during any period for which such employee is certified by the Attorney General (or the designee thereof) as traveling on behalf of the United States in temporary duty status to investigate or prosecute, or provide support services for the investigation or prosecution of, a Federal crime.
§301-11.602 What factors should my agency consider in determining whether to authorize extended TDY?
Your agency should consider the factors discussed in §302-3.502 of this subtitle in determining whether to authorize extended TDY.
§301-11.603 What are the tax consequences of extended TDY?
If you are on a taxable extended TDY assignment, then all allowances and reimbursements for travel expenses, plus all travel expenses that the Government pays directly on your behalf in connection with your TDY assignment, are taxable income to you. This includes all allowances, reimbursements, and direct payments to vendors from the day that you or your agency recognized that your extended TDY assignment is expected to exceed one year, as explained in §301-11.601.
Your agency will reimburse you for substantially all of the income taxes that you incur as a result of your taxable extended TDY assignment. This reimbursement consists of two parts:
The WTA and ETTRA for taxable extended TDY assignments cover only the TDY benefits described in FTR Chapter 301, Subchapter B. On an extended TDY assignment, you are not eligible for the other benefits that you would have received if your agency had permanently relocated you.
§301-11.604 What are the procedures for calculation and reimbursement of my WTA and ETTRA for taxable extended TDY?
If your agency knows from the beginning of your TDY assignment that your assignment qualifies as taxable extended TDY, then your agency will withhold an amount as a WTA and pay that as withholding tax to the IRS until your extended TDY assignment ends. The WTA itself is taxable income to you, so your agency increases, or "grosses-up," the amount of the WTA, using a formula to reimburse you for the additional taxes on the WTA.
If your agency realizes during a TDY assignment that you will incur taxes (because, for example, the TDY assignment has lasted, or is going to last, longer than originally intended), then your agency will compute the WTA for all taxable benefits received since the date it was recognized that you are no longer "temporarily away from home" (see §301-11.601 for more information on the meaning of "temporarily away from home"). Your agency will pay that amount to the IRS, and then will begin paying WTA to the IRS until your extended TDY assignment ends.
For your ETTRA, your agency will use the same one-year or two-year process that it has chosen to use for the relocation income tax allowance (RITA).
See part 302-17 of this subtitle for additional information on the WTA and RITA processes.
§301-11.605 When should I file my "Statement of Income and Tax Filing Status" for my taxable extended TDY assignment?
You should file your "Statement of Income and Tax Filing Status" for your taxable extended TDY assignment at the beginning of your extended TDY assignment, or as soon as you or your agency realizes that your TDY assignment will incur taxes. You should provide the same information as the sample "Statements of Income and Tax Filing Status" shown in part 302-17, subpart F (one-year process) or subpart G (two-year process) of this subtitle.