Re: A Per Diem story, does this sound right?

Subject: Re: A Per Diem story, does this sound right?
From: Marilynne Smith <marilyns -at- QUALCOMM -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 9 Mar 1998 10:51:07 -0800

No, I've never heard of this arrangement. Per diem expenses are expenses
reimbursed directly to you based on receipts, or a daily amount, or a daily
amount broken down into lodging, meals, and miscellaneous.

Normally actual expenses paid would be discussed with you at the time of
employment. Was this amount compensation for travel, motel, what?

If the amount you received was only what you would have received anyway
(with allowance made for taxes not taken from your check), you were not
compensated in any way I can see, except perhaps for a visit from your tax
man. I do suspect your tax man will not see it your way.

At 10:00 AM -0800 3/9/98, Len Humbird wrote:
>I'm curious how per diem is paid to workers living and working away from
>home. The first time I was paid per diem worked like this.
>I was offered a contract position more than 100 miles away from home. The
>offer was that they (the agency) could pay as much as $400 per week,
>depending on what my estimated expenses were. That was subtracted from my
>weekly gross pay and then issued as a separate, non-taxed paycheck.
>The way this was ultimately worked out was that my calculated hourly rate
>was reduced by about $10/hr to compensate for the per diem. This was
>explained to me as, "that's how the industry does it", "we couldn't afford
>to pay you $400/wk in addition to your normal hourly rate", and "this puts
>you in a lower tax bracket because it's non-taxible income". The bizarre
>part is that I later found out that the agency's written policy regarding
>per diem payments is completely the opposite of the way it was actually done.
>About the same time, I moved to the city where the contract was taking
>place, and shut off the per diem arrangement. I haven't yet talked to an
>accountant about all this. Is this the way it's supposed to work? What are
>your experiences on this?

~!~ ~!~ ~!~ ~!~ ~!~ ~!~ ~!~ ~!~ ~!~ ~!~ ~!~ ~!~ ~!~
Marilynne Smith marilyns -at- qualcomm -dot- com
Sr. Technical Writer (619) 651-6664
"We're building the wireless world"

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