The IRS has set the special per diem rates starting Oct. 1, 2015, which taxpayers can use to substantiate the amount of expenses for lodging, meals, and incidental expenses when traveling away from home.
Notice 2015-63 includes the special transportation industry meal and incidental expenses, or MI&E, rates, the rate for the incidental expenses only deduction, and the rates and list of high-cost localities for purposes of the high-low substantiation method. The rate for any locality of travel inside or outside the continental United States for the incidental expenses only deduction is $5 per day.
The special M&IE rates for taxpayers in the transportation industry are $63 for any locality of travel in the continental United States and $68 for any locality of travel outside the continental United States.
For purposes of the high-low substantiation method, the per diem rates in lieu of the rates described in Notice 2014-57 (the per diem substantiation method) are $275 for travel to any high-cost locality and $185 for travel to any other locality within the continental U.S. The amount of the $275 high rate and $185 low rate that is treated as paid for meals for purposes of Section 274(n) is $68 for travel to any high-cost locality and $57 for travel to any other locality within the continental United States.