Please be aware that this resource is informational only, and many external factors, unique to your company might apply.
Each company must make their own decisions about how they meet their tax obligations.

Employees in Germany are entitled to per diems as compensation for the increased costs of meals and lodging when on a business trip. Per diems are not considered part of an employee’s pay and are thus tax-free up to a certain allowed amount.

Domestic business trips – per diem rates (2022)

Duration Rate Rate (amount)
Business trip under 8 hours No allowance /
Business trip between 8 and 24 hours Reduced allowance rate 14 euros
Business trip longer than 24 hours Standard allowance rate 28 euros

Business trips abroad - per diem rates (2022)

When employees embark on an international trip, different rules apply. The per diem allowance varies per destination country.

There are three different rates per destination:

  • The rate for 24-hour absence from home and primary workplace (“Verpflegungsmehraufwand“)
  • The rate for the day of arrival or departure and in case of an absence that lasts for more than 8 hours per calendar day
  • The rate for the cost of an overnight stay (“Übernachtungspauschale“).

      The rates are defined in a regulation based on the German Income Tax Act (EStG).

      For example, this is what a German employee traveling to London can claim:

      • 62 euros per full 24 hours
      • 41 euros for the day of arrival and departure
      • 224 euros per overnight stay

          Overnight stay allowance

          The standard rate for an overnight stay during a business trip is 20 euros.

          Deductions

          If the employee gets a meal for free (for example, if a free breakfast is supplied by the hotel), this needs to be deducted from the per diem allowance.

          For 2022, the deductible percentages are:

          • Breakfast: 20%
          • Lunch: 40%
          • Dinner: 40%

              Additional notes on the per diem allowances

              • If the employee goes on multiple day trips during the same day, all hours can be added together;
              • Employers can only offer tax-free reimbursement to employees for three months of continuous business travel. This period can be restarted after a four-week break. This is known as the three-month rule;
              • Professional drivers can claim a per diem of 8 euros for every night they spend sleeping in their vehicles on a multi-day trip in Germany.
              • When activity begins after 4 PM and ends before 8 AM the next day, the total time can be attributed to one entire calendar day;
              • All expense invoices should be addressed to the company’s corporate address;
              • If invoices are over 150 euros they’re required to note the employer’s name, address and VAT amount;
              • All original expense documents, like receipts and invoices, need to be physically or digitally backed up in the EU.

                          Last changed