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Per Diem

 
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Old 10-30-2014, 08:57 AM   #1
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Per Diem


Is this reasonable: 60 miles from home base .15 cents per mile round trip. 100 miles from home base 75$ per night for two employees motel room and 15$ per person per day food. Pay is $15 an hr for a small family owned country business. Starting pay is $10 (dropped it because people didn't want to work when it was too hot, too cold, too early, or get their feet dirty...have to earn it now)
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Old 10-30-2014, 09:13 AM   #2
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Re: Per Diem


Reasonable will be different with different people, but standard mileage reimbursement rates are around 50 cents/mile. Hotel/food seems about right, but area dependent.

Pay is something else and too many inputs to say if it's reasonable. Only way to tell is have the market tell you if the pay scale is too low--no one to only illegals will show up and high turnover, theft, etc.

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Old 10-30-2014, 11:25 AM   #3
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Re: Per Diem


No not reasonable... $15 is too low for food, a big mac meal is 7 bucks now. Hotel seems ok- though not sure about making people share rooms (not sure it's legal). The federal minimum for mileage is 40 cents a mile capped at 56 cents.
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Old 10-30-2014, 11:35 AM   #4
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Re: Per Diem


Be careful you do not run a foul of FLSA regs.

$15/day for food? Have you eaten out lately?

Don't see how you will keep decent help on with out good out of town perks.

For what you are trying to do you may be better off hiring local labor and skip the per diem & mileage altogether.
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Old 10-30-2014, 11:36 AM   #5
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Re: Per Diem


Food needs to be tripled.
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Old 10-30-2014, 11:41 AM   #6
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Re: Per Diem


I don't think there is a min mileage rate. In fact you don't even have to reimburse mileage. The rate is figured by the IRS for deduction purposes. If you reimburse less than the IRS rate you can deduct the difference.

Currently it's at 56.5 cents per mile.

$50 a day for meals and $84 for lodging.

And there is no law regulating room sharing. You are just required to ensure separate sleeping accomodations.
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Old 10-30-2014, 12:10 PM   #7
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Re: Per Diem


We pay for EVERYTHING, including company truck, food, hotel, bar tab usually once, beer or sodas or whatever for the hotel and they get $40.00 a day for working out of town.

I should qualify that we rarely work more than 30 minutes from the shop, so I dont really care if I get the out of town bids. If I do I want it to be worth it, im sure so do the crew.
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Old 10-30-2014, 12:15 PM   #8
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Re: Per Diem


2 guys to a room, by the way. I dont know if it is legal either, never considered it wouldnt be. No one has ever brought it up.
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Old 10-30-2014, 12:24 PM   #9
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Re: Per Diem


Everyone does it a little different.

This is what I figure

Hotel $ doesn't matter, the company pays for it in advanced with the credit card. Some places I've heard of that is what they do for their per diem, is basically pay for the room.



Food, this is where it can be kind of tricky. Basically the money provided is to cover items they would normally have access to. So the last job had the motel we stayed at had free breakfast so I knocked $5 off the per diem right there. It also had mini fridges so I figured that would help out with lunches. Basically I bought dinner and part of lunch. $20 a day per person. I would have given $30 a day had the hotel not had breakfast and fridges. They could have chose to stay in the crap hole down the street with dirty rooms, bed bugs and no cable.

Other people don't give any extra for meals, I mean you eat at home and that costs money right?


Traveling, I payed normal wage both ways.

I know people that pay normal pay one way to all the employees except the drivers and that makes since why should the others get paid to take a nap?

Others get to drive their own truck/car out of town and get no pay.

There is so many different ways of doing it that there is no set way of doing it.
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Old 10-30-2014, 01:31 PM   #10
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Re: Per Diem


I love the out of town gigs. This is for our company/union agreement, and it will obviously be unbreakable high for anything other than the large industrial/commercial jobs we do. Generally, anything over 50km from the office, is ~$0.50 per km or a ride in the crew truck from a common meeting point.

Anything considered overnight, ~$0.50 per km, and/or travel day stipend. Our live out allowance is usually $150 per day, covers your food and accommodations. If you want to share a hotel room with 2 others guys and save some extra dough, that's on you. Eat in, rent a place, hotel, restaurants every night, bring your travel trailer.
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Old 10-30-2014, 02:53 PM   #11
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Re: Per Diem


I don't know what part of the country you're in (there's lot's of 'Shelbyvilles' in the US), but your rates are way too low around here, IMO. I used to do a lot of out-of-town work, in the mid 2000's, and my compensation was -

You drive my truck - Hourly wage both ways
You drive your personal vehicle - $.50/mile + hourly wage
Motel room (Efficiency with full kitchen, weekly rental, 2 to a room) - I pay in advance
Food/Misc - $50/day. You can eat for $10 on some days and splurge other days.

You have to give an incentive to work out of town, but not go broke in the process.
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Old 10-30-2014, 02:53 PM   #12
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Re: Per Diem


We pay everything plus $0.50 a mile for personal cars/trucks. Commercial tradesmen that travel in our area are making very good money and expect to make close to double what they make sleeping in their own beds. When traveling, we pay a weekly salary instead of hourly. It's very normal for our guys to have 70 hr work weeks. Instead of 7am to 3:30pm it's 8 to 8.

Reasonable perdiem really depends on where you work. We travel VA, MD & DE. Even though we pay all travel expenses, when I estimate I figure:
A hotel in Northern VA is $150 a night.
Breakfast is usually included at the hotel. Even if it's not, the guys pay that one meal.
Lunch is $15
Dinner is $25

We don't pay bar bills. (I'm not even sure it's legal to do so)

The IRS only allows us to "write-off" 50% of meal expenses.

To add; we don't stay in crack house hotels. But choose more mid level hotels such as Hampton, Holiday Inn, Best Western, Sleep or Comfort Inns.

Last edited by GCTony; 10-30-2014 at 02:56 PM.
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Old 10-30-2014, 03:36 PM   #13
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Re: Per Diem


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Originally Posted by GCTony View Post
We pay everything plus $0.50 a mile for personal cars/trucks. Commercial tradesmen that travel in our area are making very good money and expect to make close to double what they make sleeping in their own beds. When traveling, we pay a weekly salary instead of hourly. It's very normal for our guys to have 70 hr work weeks. Instead of 7am to 3:30pm it's 8 to 8.

Reasonable perdiem really depends on where you work. We travel VA, MD & DE. Even though we pay all travel expenses, when I estimate I figure:
A hotel in Northern VA is $150 a night.
Breakfast is usually included at the hotel. Even if it's not, the guys pay that one meal.
Lunch is $15
Dinner is $25

We don't pay bar bills. (I'm not even sure it's legal to do so)

The IRS only allows us to "write-off" 50% of meal expenses.

To add; we don't stay in crack house hotels. But choose more mid level hotels such as Hampton, Holiday Inn, Best Western, Sleep or Comfort Inns.
Definitely legal to pay bar bills for business reasons. Ever gone to a convention in Vegas?

The only bar bill our CPA has ever tripped about was one when I went with my dad to visit my brother at college

My buddy owns a oil field service company, his tax attorney wrote off a 7k titty bar bill not long ago, he took the drilling supers ( his clients) out.
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Old 10-30-2014, 04:38 PM   #14
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Re: Per Diem


I wouldn't work ten minutes for those cheap bastards.
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Old 10-30-2014, 06:44 PM   #15
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Re: Per Diem


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Originally Posted by mrcharles View Post
$15 is too low for food, a big mac meal is 7 bucks now.
How it was explained to me is they aren't responsible for three meals/day, just one as they figure breakfast and supper you'd eat anyway, so the money they give you is for lunch.
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Old 10-30-2014, 07:01 PM   #16
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Re: Per Diem


Pay your people like they are important to you.
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Old 10-30-2014, 07:26 PM   #17
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Re: Per Diem


Wowsers... I worked last year for a year for a small commercial co. that had an exclusive account (relationship) with a national retailer. I worked in almost every continental US city with a decent size shopping mall.

This cheap mofo didn't pay per diem because he found out it wasn't mandated to pay. Furthermore, he only paid us one way travel. From shop to job paid. Job in X city to X city, paid for drive time, even if I wasn't driving.

But the 3x we finished a job in CA, FL and ME and me and one other guy had to drive either a 26' Penske or truck and box trailer back to IN, we did not get paid for the drive home. Phuckin' bullchit. We were representatives of the company, handling co vehicles and equipment, many times customer store fixtures, and didn't get paid to SAFELY and efficiently get not that chit back to the shop. Anyone whose drove cross country, much less truck/trailer or box truck, knows it's an endeavor.

Ultimately, I told my former employer to pound sand after my last IN>Denver>Vegas>LA>SD>Tucson>Phoenix trip. Went back to work for a former employer making more and doing more of what I love. Braced to launch my own show Spring of next year.

Although I got paid to see the country and my former boss was a good guy, myself and 2 other coworkers were greatly under appreciated.

And this was the best, most skilled, multi-faceted crew I have EVER worked with. All our different backgrounds and personalities meshed like no other group of guys I ever worked with. Old boss had a phucking dream team, the A-team we called ourselves. Corporate CM loved us, said we were only contractors he didn't have to baby sit.

If you have a good crew/guy. Compensate them! Don't skimp. They are in demand and will 1000% find someone better who will see this. I did.
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Old 10-30-2014, 07:29 PM   #18
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Re: Per Diem


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How it was explained to me is they aren't responsible for three meals/day, just one as they figure breakfast and supper you'd eat anyway, so the money they give you is for lunch.
opposite. you have to eat lunch at work no matter where you are, but breakfast and dinner you would normaly eat at home but cant, so now you have to eat out.

The company i worked for before if we worked out of town we had lodging paid for, and we just put meals on the company CC as long as we didnt get carried away with it. it was figured at 50 a day for food and 75 for lodging, but we always had a place to stay (it was always at the beach here)
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Old 10-30-2014, 07:53 PM   #19
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Re: Per Diem


we are such a small company that we couldn't compete with larger ones paying more. We did agree to up the food, removed the mileage and replaced with with wages for driver only for jobs over 60 miles from home office.
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Old 10-30-2014, 08:02 PM   #20
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Re: Per Diem


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Pay your people like they are important to you.
We pay quite well for middle TN. These two employees kept our bigger power tools and were able to use them on side jobs at our expense. We supplied a cell phone and gave them smaller jobs that we knew we couldn't bid low enough to be able to help the customer. So our guys could work on down days and on their own time. My husband and I own and fund this company out of our pocket and barely make ends meet, drive 10-15 yr old vehicles with almost 300k miles on them. We cannot afford to pay more. My husband stays on the phone all day and into evening working estimates, travels for estimates, etc. plus works the company during the day and only charges 20$ an hr for himself. We don't own any and can't afford to buy heavy machinery or even a bobcat so we rent. There is no way we could stay in business by almost doubling our rates to cover for those added expenses. People around here aren't going to pay for it. This is a poor area. We have nothing but our tools and old vehicles. We are in our 50s and this work is killing us physically, but his EDS and my Masters isn't worth a crap these days. So construction it is. Oh, and we let them work the hours they can. If they are tired and ready to go by 3 pm, they leave. We are very lenient with them because we do appreciate the hard work they put in during the day.

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