Understanding GSA Per Diem Rates
Per Diem is the amount of money given to an employee or an individual by an organization to use in order to cover travel and living expenses that are incurred due to work. The General Services Administration (GSA) establishes the GSA per diem rates for travel policy for federal employees, although this does not include federal contractors. These travel policies and GSA per diem rates only apply only when a federal employee is unable to speak for any other city, state, or travel policy.
In the United States, continental per diem rates are set by the U.S. General Services Administration for areas within the Continental United States. These rates are set by the fiscal year and become effective on October 1. The General Service Administration sets the allowance for food, lodging, and certain expenses within the U.S. while the State Department establishes foreign per diem rates. Meanwhile, the Department of Defense creates the rates for non-foreign areas of the U.S., such as Alaska or Guam.
Finding GSA Per Diem Rates based on Location
GSA Per Diem rates can be found through the General Services Administration’s website. While most cities are listed for convenience, not all will be immediately available so it is often necessary to look up the county through the National Association of Counties. The rates of non-standard areas of the U.S., are reviewed on an annual basis. Areas in the Continental United States are not listed but are subject to the standard rate of $77 for lodging and $46 for food and expenses, or a total of $123
What expenses will GSA Per Diem Cover?
GSA Per Diem will cover food, lodging, and certain expenses due to travel from a location over 50 miles from home. The trip must have at least one night of overnight stay. Receipts are necessary as evidence for any claimed travel expense including lodging and expenses when the value exceeds $75. Exceptions can be made depending on the reason that a receipt is not available.
Meal reimbursement rates can be found online. The first and last day will only be eligible for 75% of the total rate.
GSA Per Diem allowances include incidental expenses. Receipts are necessary as evidence for any claimed travel expense including lodging and expenses when the value exceeds $75. Exceptions can be made depending on the reason that a receipt is not available.
This can include transportation between lodging, business, and meal locations, fees and tips given to hotel maids, bellhops, stewards, and baggage carriers, and mailing costs required for filling travel vouchers and payment of certain billings, such as a Government charge card.