When reimbursing business travel meals using the Federal high-low method, what costs other than meals would be covered by the meals & incidental per diem rate? What is meant by by "incidental"?


According to IRS Publication 463, Travel, Entertainment, Gift, and Car Expenses, Chapter 1- Travel, "incidental expenses" are defined as:

  • Fees and tips given to porters, baggage carriers, bellhops, hotel maids, stewards or stewardesses and others on ships, and hotel servants in foreign countries,

  • Transportation between places of lodging or business and places where meals are taken, if suitable meals can be obtained at the temporary duty site, and

  • Mailing costs associated with filing travel vouchers and payment of employer-sponsored charge card billings.

Incidental expenses do not include expenses for laundry, cleaning and pressing of clothing, lodging taxes, or the costs of telegrams or telephone calls.

Have more questions? Submit a request