RE: Hourly Rate & Per Diem??

Subject: RE: Hourly Rate & Per Diem??
From: "Anthony Markatos" <tonymar -at- hotmail -dot- com>
To: lenx -dot- humbird -at- intel -dot- com, techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Thu, 16 Mar 2000 07:13:35 PST

Tony Markatos responds to Len Humbird's (below) comments that per diem is typically dollars above and beyond hourly pay:

Thanks Len, this is valuable information. If so (and I have no reason to doubt), then agencies have been trying to "snooker" me. I have been talking with several agencies about remote contract positions. To be honest, all have told me that per diem is a subtraction from posted (or negotiated) hourly rate - not separate dollars above and beyond the hourly pay.

As you can well imagine, this is a significant chunk of change!

Many agencies (W2) act surprised if I ask if the per diem is dollars above and beyond posted (or negotiated) hourly rate - like such is unheard of.

Any other experiences would be greatly appreciated.

Tony Markatos
(tonymar -at- hotmail -dot- com)

Len Humbird (originally) said:

You could make assumptions like these, but it's not how all companies do this. A per diem could be negotiated as completely unrelated to your paycheck rate or wage.

I posted about this two years ago (check the archives for "per diem"). With one agency, They took the per diem out of my wages, to the tune of about $10/hr. I got a weekly "tax-free" per diem check as well as a regular (puny)paycheck. No receipts were involved. Some on the list thought it was absurd to consider that per diem was subtracted from the wage/rate. Others questioned the validity of the so-called non-taxable nature of that per diem check. (The per diem amount was not included in my annual wage statement,
thus reducing my taxable income.) Still others considered the per diem
amount that I quoted to be unreasonably low.

This link is a little out of date, but it shows GSA per diem rates for 1997. Use it as a guide to what's reasonable and customary:

My best suggestion is that you check with a business tax accountant to see what's reasonable and customary, and what you can actually get away with that's legal.

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