The IRS has released the 2021-2022 special per diem rates. Taxpayers use the per diem rates to substantiate certain expenses incurred while traveling away from home. These special per diem rates include:

  1. the special transportation industry meal and incidental expenses (M&IE) rates;
  2. the rate for the incidental expenses only deduction; and
  3. the rates and list of high-cost localities for purposes of the high-low substantiation method.

Transportation Industry Special Per Diem Rates
The special M&IE rates for taxpayers in the transportation industry are:

  • $69 for any locality of travel in the continental United States (CONUS); and
  • $74 for any locality of travel outside the continental United States (OCONUS).

Incidental Expenses Only Rate
The rate is $5 per day for any CONUS or OCONUS travel for the incidental expenses only deduction.

High-Low Substantiation Method
For purposes of the high-low substantiation method, the 2021-2022 special per diem rates are:

  • $296 for travel to any high-cost locality; and
  • $202 for travel to any other locality within CONUS.

The amount treated as paid for meals is:

  • $74 for travel to any high-cost locality; and
  • $64 for travel to any other locality within CONUS.

Instead of the meal and incidental expenses only substantiation method, taxpayers may use:

  • $74 for travel to any high-cost locality; and
  • $64 for travel to any other locality within CONUS.

Taxpayers using the high-low method must comply with Rev. Proc. 2019-48, I.R.B. 2019-51, 1390. That procedure provides the rules for using a per diem rate to substantiate the amount of ordinary and necessary business expenses paid or incurred while traveling away from home.