The IRS permits taxpayers to use general predefined rates known as per diem rates to substantiate business expenses under Internal Revenue Code Sec. 274(d) for lodging, meals, and incidental expenses incurred while traveling away from home for business purposes.
The General Services Administration (GSA) released the federal domestic per diem rates for periods effective from 10/1/17 through 9/30/18 (aka fiscal year 2018).
The maximum standard per diem rate has increased from $142 to $144 and is generally made up of $93 for lodging and $51 for meals and incidental expenses.
Per diem rates for localities without standard rates range from $144 to $498 so be sure to download rates here in excel format.
Be sure to save all receipts! Also based on the new tax code changes specifically with regards to the elimination of un-reimbursed employee business expenses, be sure to address with your employer the significance of an accountable expense plan.
Having defended countless claims against taxpayers with regards to travel expenses it has become clear to me that using a tracking device downloaded as a smart phone application produces evidence seemingly without reproach that can be used to substantiate one;s whereabouts. There are several good free applications available on the market today. I suggest check a few out and figuring out how to incorporate them into your daily routine.
That way when the IRS does decide to target, you can pull out a third party source identifying just how active you are in pursuit of a profit motive.