Publication 1542 - Introductory Material

What's New

Future developments. The IRS has created a page on for information about Publication 1542, at Information about any future developments affecting Publication 1542 (such as legislation enacted after we release it) will be posted on that page.


This publication is for employers who pay a per diem allowance to employees for business travel away from home within the continental United States (CONUS) (the 48 contiguous states), on or after October 1, 2010, and before January 1, 2011. It gives the maximum per diem rate you can use without treating part of the per diem allowance as wages for tax purposes. For a detailed discussion on the tax treatment of a per diem allowance, see chapter 11 of Publication 535, Business Expenses, or Revenue Procedure 2011-47, 2011-42 I.R.B. 520, which can be found on the Internet at

Per diem rates on the Internet.   You will find links to per diem rates at, including links to:
  • CONUS per diem rates;

  • Per diem rates for areas outside the continental United States (OCONUS), such as Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and U.S. possessions; and

  • Foreign per diem rates.

Publication 1542 revisions.   Publication 1542 is available only on the Internet at Print copies can no longer be ordered.

  During the year, as changes to the federal per diem rates (updates) are announced by the General Services Administration (GSA), we will incorporate the changes into Publication 1542. An article on will alert you to which locations have updated rates. To reach these articles, go to and click on “Changes to Current Tax Products,” under Important Changes. You will find the new rates in Table 4.

  We will also incorporate mid-year changes to the high-low rates into Publication 1542. You will be alerted to these changes by a similar article on and can find the changes in Table 2 of the revised publication.

  The annual changes, both federal per diem and high-low rates, will be incorporated into the publication as soon as possible after being announced by GSA and the IRS. The annual issue of the publication should be available each year in mid- to late-October.

Comments and suggestions.   We welcome your comments about this publication and your suggestions for future editions.

  You can write to us at the following address:

Internal Revenue Service 
Individual Forms and Publications Branch 
1111 Constitution Ave. NW, IR-6526 
Washington, DC 20224

  We respond to many letters by telephone. Therefore, it would be helpful if you would include your daytime phone number, including the area code, in your correspondence.

  You can email us at Please put “Publications Comment” on the subject line. You can also send us comments from, select “Comment on Tax Forms and Publications” under “Information about.

  Although we cannot respond individually to each comment received, we do appreciate your feedback and will consider your comments as we revise our tax products.

Ordering forms and publications.   Visit to download forms and publications, call 1-800-829-3676, or write to the address below and receive a response within 10 days after your request is received.

Internal Revenue Service 
1201 N. Mitsubishi Motorway 
Bloomington, IL 61705-6613

Tax questions.   If you have a tax question, check the information available on or call 1-800-829-1040. We cannot answer tax questions sent to either of the above addresses.

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