IRS & Per Diem Rates

Every year IRS releases a Revenue Procedure outlining the rules for paying Meal & Lodging Per Diems or claiming a deduction for these.  The Revenue Procedure also provides us with the special Meal Per Diem allowed for the Transportation Industry.  Part of the Revenue Procedure also gives us a High/Low option that can be used by employers as an alternative to using the tables based on actual cities.

During the summer of 2010 IRS asked for comments from taxpayers and tax practitioners regarding the High/Low option.  After receiving NO COMMENTS at all, IRS has decided to no longer accept the High/Low option, presumably as of October 1, 2011, since October 1st is the day the amounts have changed each year.  IRS further announced it would issue a Revenue Procedure this year with the rules for Meals and Lodging per Diems and future Revenue Procedures would not be issued unless the rules change.  IRS will continue publishing an annual notice for the special transportation rate.

We expect IRS to release the Revenue Procedure for 2011 sometime within the next two months and we will produce a summary at that point. Please contact us if you need any assistance today.

IRS Withholding Calculator Can Help Figure Your Tax

If you have too little federal tax withheld from your pay, you could end up owing a lot of money when you file your taxes. If you withhold too much, you will get a large refund next year, but that means you gave up the use of your money for several months during the year.
You may want to adjust your federal tax withholding with your employer.  You should also evaluate your withholding if you have recently married or divorced, added a dependent, purchased a home, changed jobs or retired. 
The withholding calculator at can help you figure the correct amount of federal withholding and provide information you can use to complete a new Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate.
Before you begin, have these items:
  • Your most recent pay stubs.
  • Your most recent federal income tax return.
  • Here are some tips for using the withholding calculator:
  • Fill in all information that applies to your situation.
  • Estimate when necessary. But remember, the results are only as accurate as the information you provide.
  • Check the information links embedded in the program whenever you have a question.
  • Print out the final screen that summarizes your entries and the results. Use it to complete a new Form W-4 (if necessary) and give the completed W-4 to your employer. Keep the print of the final screen and a copy of your new W-4 with your tax records.
For many people, the withholding calculator is a great tool that can simplify the process of determining your withholding.
However, if you are subject to the alternative minimum tax or self-employment tax or if your current job will end before the end of the year, you will probably achieve more accurate withholding by having us run an analysis for you. Please let us know.