By July 30, 2015 2 Comments

Ask a Travel Nurse: Can a company legally pay for my housing and also give me the approved GSA rate for per diem?

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Ask a Travel Nurse: Can a company legally pay for my housing and also give me the approved GSA rate for per diem?

Ask a Travel Nurse: Can a company legally pay for my housing and also give me the approved GSA rate for per diem?

Ask a Travel Nurse Question:

Hi David, Can a company legally pay for my housing and also give me the approved GSA rate for per diem? Thank you!

Ask a Travel Nurse Answer:

I believe what you are talking about are two separate categories. There is a GSA rate for both per diem housing and meals and incidentals (M&IE). I am assuming that your company is saying that they will provide your housing for you, tax-free, and then also provide you with a reimbursement for the credit that would be allowed to you by the IRS, for the meals and incidentals per diem. If this is a correct assumption, then it is the same thing that every travel company does as part of their “tax advantage” programs.

If you did not have a “tax home”, that allowed you to participate in their tax advantage program, then they could still provide your housing, but it would be taxed. And obviously, you would not be offered any reimbursement for meals and incidentals.

If my assumption is wrong, or you have other questions, please feel free to email me back.

David
David@travelnursesbible.com

First time bonus!

About the Author:

Hello everyone. I’m a travel nurse originally from Ohio who graduated in 1993 from Mount Carmel School of Nursing in Columbus. I completed a critical care fellowship at Riverside Methodist Hospital in 1994 and started traveling in that specialty a year later. My first travel assignment was in Maui and since that time I have completed close to 40 different contracts in various states with multiple travel companies. I am the author of Travel Nurse’s Bible (A Guide to Everything on Travel Nursing), in addition to my writings here and in the pages of Travel Nursing publications such as Healthcare Traveler Magazine and American Nurse Today. I am presently on assignment in Phoenix, AZ and travel anywhere from six to eleven months of the year.

2 Comments on "Ask a Travel Nurse: Can a company legally pay for my housing and also give me the approved GSA rate for per diem?"

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  1. Teri says:

    Hello,
    I’m a seasoned travel RN, but think my knowledge to protect me from being taken financially is not adequate. I signed with a new company who is giving a lower tax stipend for housing then the max allowable rate & no meals
    & incidentals. Only 40 cents for travel reimbursement & no other incentives.
    What is your thought on this?
    Thank You,
    Teri

  2. David says:

    Hey Teri. There is simply no way to tell without a full understanding of all the specifics.

    However, your query would best be directed to the guys over at traveltax.com

    In their off season, they used to offer to evaluate travel companies and their tax offering to advise travelers if they should be concerned. I do not know if they still offer to do this or if there is a charge to do so.

    They do also offer to do traveler’s returns for a fair charge for the complexities of travel and I’m sure they could help you navigate the issues with any new companies with which you choose to travel.

    I hope this helps.

    David

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