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Home » Employee Benefits: Library » Newsbriefs

IRS Sets 2011 Blended M&IE Rates for Transportation Industry

Date Posted: October 8, 2010

The IRS has issued the rates it will apply to the reimbursement of employees in the transportation industry in 2011 -- the "blended" rates. These rates apply to the reimbursement of meals and incidental expenses (M&IE) for transportation industry workers who travel within the continental United States (CONUS) and to U.S. locations outside the mainland (OCONUS), including Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands and U.S. possessions.

The blended M&IE rates that will apply for travel during the federal government’s 2011 fiscal year, from Oct. 1, 2010 to Sept. 30, 2011 are as follows:

  • for CONUS travel, the 2011 M&IE rate is $59; and
  • for OCONUS travel, the 2011 M&IE rate is $65.

The blended M&IE rates are available to employers directly involved in moving people or goods (see Box 1 for full definition). They provide a level at which employers in the transportation industry may reimburse their employees for expenses. Employers whose employees travel frequently also may use the rates. They are intended to simplify recordkeeping for such employers, since their employees may travel during a single payroll period to many locations with different M&IE rates.

Transportation industry employers that use the blended rates must apply them to all amounts subject to the rules governing per diem allowances for M&IE incurred during an employee’s travel. However, the rates need not apply to all employees who travel for the company.

Employers must compute the amounts deemed substantiated under those rules at least monthly, but need not do so daily. To compute the figures, employers compare the total per diem allowance paid for the period, to the sum of the amounts computed at the federal M&IE rates for the places to which an employee traveled. The amount deemed substantiated will be equal to the lesser of the total per diem allowance paid or the number of days traveled multiplied by the blended CONUS or OCONUS rates.

Finding out More

The 2011 blended M&IE rates are published in Revenue Procedure (Rev. Proc.) 2010-39. Employers and plan administrators can find out more about the 2011 rates by calling the principal author of Rev. Proc. 2009-47, Karla M. Meola of the Office of Associate Chief Counsel (Income Tax and Accounting) at (202) 622-4930.

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