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Programs & Services > Allowances > Frequently Asked Questions > Lodging Taxes

Lodging Taxes
Frequently Asked Questions
Updated: 10/21/10

Separate Reimbursement is Authorized for Lodging Taxes when Traveling in the United States (U.S.) and U.S. Territories & Possessions.

  1. Is lodging (room) tax included in the lodging ceiling in the Government locality per diem rate?
  2. If lodging tax is excluded from the U.S. and U.S. territory and possessions per diem rate lodging allowances, will I be reimbursed for the room tax I paid? How?
  3. Does this mean there will be different reimbursable travel expenses for travel in the U.S. and U.S. territories and possessions, and travel in foreign countries?
  4. Why the difference between lodging tax in the U.S. and U.S. territories and possessions and lodging tax in foreign countries?

1. Is lodging (room) tax included in the lodging ceiling in the Government locality per diem rate?

Yes, in foreign countries, and no, in the U.S. and its territories and possessions.

2. If lodging tax is excluded from the U.S. and U.S. territory and possessions per diem rate lodging allowances, will I be reimbursed for the room tax I paid? How?

Yes, you'll be reimbursed. To be reimbursed for the room tax for U.S. and U.S. territory & possessions TDY and (when lodgings plus per diem is involved) U.S. and U.S. territory and possessions PCS travel for civilian employees, you must include the total tax amount paid (as indicated on your lodging statement) as a "Reimbursable Expense" item when you submit your travel voucher for payment. This pertains to lodging (room) tax only. Also note that, if you stay in U.S. lodgings that have a higher cost than the locality per diem lodging ceiling, you'll be responsible for the excess lodging cost AND the tax on that excess cost. If you get an Actual Expense Allowance (AEA) using the guidance in JFTR, Chapter 4, Part C (uniformed personnel) or JTR, Chapter 4, Part C (civilian employee), then the tax on the amount of lodging cost covered by the AEA is reimbursable.

3. Does this mean there will be different reimbursable travel expenses for travel in the U.S. and U.S. territories and possessions, and travel in foreign countries?

Yes, the bottom line is that room tax is separated from the room rates for the per diem rates for the U.S. and U.S. territories and possessions only; not so for foreign countries. The traveler must be aware of this change to submit a correct travel voucher. TDY vouchers must list the room tax separately as a reimbursable expense for U.S. and U.S. territory and possessions TDY sites but include the tax as part of the room cost for foreign locations.

4. Why the difference between lodging tax in the U.S. and U.S. territories and possessions and lodging tax in foreign countries?

Prior to this difference being created, each year when the rates were announced, several hotels/motels in the U.S./U.S. territories and possessions increased their �Government room rate' (before tax) to match the lodgings per diem rate (that supposedly included the tax), burdening the traveler with excess costs (primarily for tax) or requesting an AEA to cover the increase. As a result, tax was removed from the per diem rates in the U.S./U.S. territories and possessions. This issue does not exist in foreign countries, thus, lodging tax continues to be included in the foreign per diem rates.

Note: At this time, separate reimbursement is not permitted for lodging tax for (1) TLE and TLA for uniformed members, (2) safe haven/designated place per diem allowances for dependents of uniformed members, (3) TQSE allowances for civilian employees, or (4) safe haven allowances for civilian employees and their dependents. When computing those allowances, lodging tax should be treated as part of the lodging cost.

 

 

     
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