Per Diem Rates

» Posted by on Jan 31, 2013 in Hotels | 0 comments

Per diem rates are set each year for various CONUS, non-foreign and overseas locations.  Although most per diem rates stay constant throughout the year, there are some locations where the rates may change several times during the year.  This may be to account for certain “peak” travel times or seasons, such as summer or any other time of the year when a lodging facility may see an increased demand for lodging.  Travelers staying in CONUS and non-foreign locations are required to claim lodging taxes as a separate expense under “miscellaneous expenses” in GovTrip, the ETS system used by the Department of the Treasury and its customers.  If the traveler is staying in an overseas location, lodging taxes are not claimed separately, but are included in the per diem cost of that specific location.  This is because the State Department, which sets the per diem rates for overseas locations, takes the taxes into consideration when determining the per diem rates each year.

There are situations where the traveler may actually be able to stay at a hotel that has a rate below per diem, in which case they manually adjust the reimbursement amounts in GovTrip to reflect the actual expense.  Conversely, there may be some locations (especially overseas) where there are no rooms available at or below per diem, or there may be an event such as a major festival, conference, or sporting event that precludes the traveler from reserving a room at the preferred lodging facility.  In this case, the traveler may claim actual expense for lodging, but at no more the 300% of the per diem rate for that location.  Also, they must enter a justification which clearly states the reason that they were unable to obtain a room at the per diem rate.

By Mark Hartshorn

The contents of this message are mine personally and do not reflect any position of the Government or my agency.

Submit a Comment