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December 28, 2015

How Does Per Diem Plus Determine An Overnight?

Mark Sullivan- Per Diem Plus
Mark is our transportation industry expert and has nearly two decades of experience advising clients on IRS accountable per diem programs. 

We recently communicated with a 27-year ex-trucker turned IRS Revenue Agent who was interested in how Per Diem Plus calculates overnights for Per Diem. 

Per Diem Plus’ tax logic is based on a decade of experience advising motor carriers on IRS-compliant per diem programs. The app software applies the Treasury Regulations and GSA federal travel rules to establish “overnight” travel where the app pings the mobile device throughout a 24-hour day (12:01 am – Midnight) and determines GPS location relative to specific times of the day, most notably noon and midnight, to establish the required “time, date and place” substantiation required by Treasury Regulation 1.274-5A and IRS Revenue Procedure 2011-47 (superseded most recently by 2015-63).


  • The app  establishes a 50 mile tax halo around the tax home (where they park their truck) defined by a user in their profile.
    • The 50 mile radius was derived from the GSA federal travel rules.
  • The app auto-activates once a user drives 50 straight line miles from their tax home.
  • A user must confirm the onscreen trip notification to activate trip tracking and the affirmative act of confirming a truck driving trip notification establishes substantiation by the taxpayer pursuant to Tres. Reg. 1.274-5A(b)1).
  • The app requires a user to meet a number of requirements, some of which cannot be disclosed, to earn either full or three-fourths per diem:
    • Overnight trip
    • Travel at least 150 miles each day
    • Is away from their tax home for a minimum of 12 hours
    • Is outside of the tax halo at midnight and stopped for no less than 4 hours (a total of 16 hour day)
  • The software conforms to the proration rules of  Rev. Proc 2011-47 6.04(2) (most recently superseded by 2015-63).
  • The apps tax halo was specifically designed to block local / regional drivers who return home everyday from using the app to claiming per diem.

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