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Local governments must carefully consider whether reimbursements for employee meals are taxable. For example, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) code and regulations generally require withholding of taxes when an employee is reimbursed for meals but does not stay overnight.

For more information, see the following publications available from the IRS (a pdf document will download when you click on the link): IRS Publication 463, “Travel, Entertainment, Gift and Car Expenses”; IRS Publication 15-B, “Employer’s Tax Guide to Fringe Benefits”; and IRS Publication 15, “(Circular E) Employer’s Tax Guide”.

Additional information is available from a page on the IRS website, “FAQs for government entities regarding meal and vehicle expenses”.


Date this Avoiding Pitfall was most recently published: 07/03/2014

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