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

For domestic business trips, the per diem rates are based on the duration of the business trip. The duration of the business trip is equal to the length of absence. It is irrelevant whether the employee starts the business trip from his home, the first place of work or another place of work.

One-day business trip

For business trips that last less than 8 hours, there is no daily allowance covering the expenses of meals. For business trips with a duration between 8 and 24 hours, the reduced meal allowance rate applies.

Rate category Rate
Business trip under 8 hours / (no allowance)
Business trip between 8 and 24 hours €14 per day

 

Multi-day business trip with overnight stay (longer than 24 hours)

For business trips that last longer than 24 hours, the standard meal allowance rate applies for a full day and a reduced meal allowance applies for the day of arrival and departure. The duration of absence of the day of arrival and departure is irrelevant. For multi-day business trip, there is an allowance for overnight stay as well, covering the accommodation expenses. However, in reality the accommodation will often be provided and full covered by the employer. In that case the lump sum for overnight stay cannot be claimed.

Duration Rate (applicable since 2020)
Full day €28 per day
Day of arrival/departure €14 per day
Overnight stay €20

 

Example: Rika goes to a business conference in Düsseldorf. She arrives on Monday Oct. 10th at 6 pm and departs again on Thursday Oct. 13th at 5 pm. Her accommodation and meals are not covered by her employer. Therefore she receives the following allowances (total of €144):

  • Monday (arrival day): €14
  • Tuesday (full day): €28
  • Wednesday (full day): €28
  • Thursday (departure day): €14
  • 3 overnight stays: €60 (= €20 x 3)

 

⚠️ The Growth Opportunities Act provided for an increase in domestic per diems from 28 to 32 EUR (24 hours) and from 14 to 16 EUR (8-24h; day of arrival or departure), as of 1 Jan. 2024 (Wachstumschancengesetz (§ 9 Abs. 4a EStG). This law is however not yet passed, which means that the change in domestic allowances is not yet confirmed.

Business trips abroad - per diem rates

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). Find the rates below at the end of this article.

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

      • €66 per full 24 hours
      • €44 for the day of arrival and departure
      • €163 per overnight stay

          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.

          • If breakfast is provided, 20% of the per diem needs to be deducted.
          • If lunch is provided, 40% of the per diem needs to be deducted.
          • If dinner is provided, 40% of the per diem needs to be deducted.

              Additional notes on the per diem allowances

              • If the employee goes on multiple business trips during the same calendar day, all hours can be added together;
                • Example: Mark goes on a business trip, starting at 8.30 am and ending at 2.30 pm. Later that day Mark goes on a second business trip, starting at 3.15 pm and ending at 7.15 pm. The duration of the first business trip was 6 hours and for the second business trip 4 hours. Neither of the two business trips would separately qualify for a per diem allowance, however combined (10 hours) an allowance of 14 euros applies.
              • If the employee has a domestic business trip and a business trip abroad on the same day, the employee should get a per diem abroad rate for the entire duration of both business trips, even if the business trip abroad does not last more than 8 hours;
              • When a business trip begins after 4 pm and ends before 8 am the next day (without an overnight stay), the total time can be attributed to one entire calendar day;
                • Example: Erika starts her business trip at 5 pm on Oct. 1st and ends at 1.30 am on Oct. 2nd. The duration of the business trip in total is 8,5 hours, which means a daily allowance of 14 euros applies.
              • 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. You can find more information on the German three-month rule and how Rydoo can help you be compliant in our help center article;
              • 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;
              • 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.
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                          You can easily download the per diem list for Germany in Rydoo. Learn more.


                          Business trips abroad: list of per diem rates (2024)

                          Lump sums for additional subsistence allowances for a duration of absence from at least 24 hours per calendar day (in €) Lump sums for additional subsistence expenses for the arrival and departure day day of departure and for a duration of absence of more than 8 hours per calendar day (in €) Lump sum for accommodation costs (in €)
                          Afghanistan 30 20 95
                          Egypt 50 33 112
                          Ethiopia 39 26 130
                          Equatorial Guinea 42 28 166
                          Albania 27 18 112
                          Algeria 47 32 120
                          Andorra 41 28 91
                          Angola 52 35 299
                          Argentina 35 24 113
                          Armenia 24 16 59
                          Azerbaijan 44 29 88
                          Australia
                          – Canberra 74 49 186
                          – Sydney 57 38 173
                          – Rest of Australia 57 38 173
                          Bahrain 48 32 153
                          Bangladesh 50 33 165
                          Barbados 52 35 165
                          Belgium 59 40 141
                          Benin 52 35 115
                          Bolivia 46 31 108
                          Bosnia and Herzegovina 23 16 74
                          Botswana 46 31 176
                          Brasil
                          – Brasilia 51 34 88
                          – Rio de Janeiro 69 46 140
                          – Sao Paulo 46 31 151
                          – Rest of Brasil 46 31 88
                          Brunei 52 35 106
                          Bulgaria 22 15 115
                          Burkina Faso 38 25 174
                          Burundi 36 24 138
                          Chile 44 29 154
                          China
                          – Chengdu 41 28 131
                          – Hong Kong 71 48 169
                          – Kanton 36 24 150
                          – Peking 30 20 185
                          – Shanghai 58 39 217
                          – Rest of China 48 32 112
                          Costa Rica 47 32 93
                          Côte d’Ivoire 59 40 166
                          Denmark 75 50 183
                          Dominican Republic 50 33 167
                          Djibuti 77 52 255
                          Ecuador 27 18 103
                          El Salvador 65 44 161
                          Eritrea 50 33 91
                          Estonia 29 20 85
                          Fiji 32 21 183
                          Finland 54 36 171
                          France
                          – Paris, and the departments 77, 78, 91 to 95 58 39 159
                          – Rest of France 53 36 105
                          Gabon 52 35 183
                          Gambia 40 27 161
                          Georgia 45 30 87
                          Ghana 46 31 148
                          Greece
                          – Athens 40 27 139
                          – Rest of Greece 36 24 150
                          Guatemala 34 23 90
                          Guinea 59 40 140
                          Guinea-Bissau 32 21 113
                          Haiti 58 39 130
                          Honduras 57 38 198
                          India
                          – Bangalore 42 28 155
                          – Chennai 32 21 85
                          – Kalkutta 35 24 145
                          – Mumbai 50 33 146
                          – New Delhi 38 25 185
                          – Rest of India 32 21 85
                          Indonesia 36 24 134
                          Iran 33 22 196
                          Ireland 58 39 129
                          Iceland 62 41 187
                          Israel 66 44 190
                          Italy
                          – Milan 42 28 191
                          – Rome 48 32 150
                          – Rest of Italy 42 28 150
                          Jamaica 39 26 171
                          Japan
                          – Tokyo 50 33 285
                          – Rest of Japan 52 35 190
                          Yemen 24 16 95
                          Jordan 57 38 134
                          Cambodia 38 25 94
                          Cameroon 56 37 275
                          Canada
                          – Ottowa 62 41 214
                          – Toronto 54 36 392
                          – Vancouver 63 42 304
                          – Rest of Canada 54 36 214
                          Cape Verde 38 25 90
                          Kazakhstan 45 30 111
                          Qatar 56 37 149
                          Kenya 51 34 219
                          Kyrgyzstan 27 18 74
                          Columbia 46 31 115
                          Congo, Republic 62 41 215
                          Congo, Democratic Republic 70 47 190
                          Korea, Democratic People’s Republic 28 19 92
                          Korea, Republic 48 32 108
                          Kosovo 24 16 71
                          Croatia 35 24 107
                          Cuba 51 34 170
                          Kuwait 56 37 241
                          Laos 35 24 71
                          Lesotho 28 19 104
                          Latvia 35 24 76
                          Libanon 69 46 146
                          Libya 63 42 135
                          Liechtenstein 56 37 190
                          Lithuania 26 17 109
                          Luxembourg 63 42 139
                          Madagaskar 33 22 116
                          Malawi 41 28 109
                          Malaysia 36 24 86
                          Maldives 52 35 170
                          Mali 38 25 120
                          Malta 46 31 114
                          Morocco 41 28 87
                          Marshall Islands 63 42 102
                          Mauritania 35 24 86
                          Mauritius 44 29 172
                          Mexico 48 32 177
                          Moldova, Republic 26 17 73
                          Monaco 52 35 187
                          Mongolia 23 16 92
                          Montenegro 32 21 85
                          Mozambique 51 34 208
                          Myanmar 35 24 155
                          Namibia 30 20 112
                          Nepal 36 24 126
                          New Zealand 58 39 148
                          Nicaragua 46 31 105
                          The Netherlands 47 32 122
                          Niger 42 28 131
                          Nigeria 46 31 182
                          North Macedonia 27 18 89
                          Norway 75 50 139
                          Austria 50 33 117
                          Oman 64 43 141
                          Pakistan
                          – Islamabad 23 16 238
                          – Rest of Pakistan 34 23 122
                          Palau 51 34 179
                          Panama 41 28 82
                          Papua New Guinea 59 40 159
                          Paraguay 39 26 124
                          Peru 34 23 143
                          Philippines 41 28 140
                          Poland
                          – Wrocław 33 22 117
                          – Danzig 30 20 84
                          – Kraków 27 18 86
                          – Warsaw 29 20 109
                          – Rest of Poland 29 20 60
                          Portugal 32 21 111
                          Rwanda 44 29 117
                          Romania
                          – Bucharest 32 21 92
                          – Rest of Romania 27 18 89
                          Russia
                          – Yekaterinburg 28 19 84
                          – Moscow 30 20 110
                          – St. Petersburg 26 17 114
                          – Rest of Russia 24 16 58
                          Zambia 38 25 105
                          Samoa 39 26 105
                          San Marino 34 23 79
                          Sao Tome – Principe 47 32 80
                          Saudi Arabia
                          – Djidda 57 38 181
                          – Riad 56 37 186
                          – Rest of South Arabia 56 37 181
                          Sweden 66 44 140
                          Switzerland
                          – Geneva 66 44 186
                          – Rest of Switzerland 64 43 180
                          Senegal 42 28 190
                          Serbia 27 18 97
                          Sierra Leone 57 38 145
                          Zimbabwe 45 30 140
                          Singapore 54 36 197
                          Slovak Republic 33 22 121
                          Slovenia 38 25 126
                          Spain
                          – Barcelona 34 23 144
                          – Canary Islands 36 24 103
                          – Madrid 42 28 131
                          – Palma de Mallorca 44 29 142
                          – Rest of Spain 34 23 115
                          Sri Lanka 36 24 112
                          Sudan 33 22 195
                          South Africa
                          – Cape town 33 33 130
                          – Johannesburg 36 36 129
                          – Rest of South Africa 29 29 109
                          South Sudan 51 34 159
                          Syria 38 38 140
                          Tajikistan 27 27 118
                          Taiwan 46 46 143
                          Tanzania 44 29 97
                          Thailand 38 25 110
                          Togo 39 26 118
                          Tonga 39 26 94
                          Trinidad and Tobago 66 44 203
                          Chad 42 28 155
                          Czech Republic 32 21 77
                          Turkey
                          – Istanbul 26 17 120
                          – Izmir 29 20 55
                          – Rest of Turkey 17 12 95
                          Tunisia 40 27 144
                          Turkmenistan 33 22 108
                          Uganda 41 28 143
                          Ukraine 26 17 98
                          Hungary 32 21 85
                          Uruguay 48 32 90
                          Uzbekistan 34 23 104
                          Vatican City 48 32 150
                          Venezuela 45 30 127
                          United Arab Emirates 65 44 156
                          United States of America
                          – Atlanta 77 52 182
                          – Boston 63 42 333
                          – Chicago 65 44 233
                          – Houston 62 41 204
                          – Los Angeles 64 43 262
                          – Miami 65 44 256
                          – New York city 66 44 308
                          – San Francisco 59 40 327
                          – Washington, D. C. 66 44 203
                          – Rest of USA 59 40 182
                          United Kingdom
                          – London 66 44 163
                          – Rest of UK 52 35 99
                          Vietnam 41 28 86
                          Belarus 20 13 98
                          Central African Republic 53 36 210
                          Cyprus 42 28 125

                           

                          Source: Steuerliche Behandlung von Reisekosten und Reisekostenvergütungen bei betrieblich und beruflich veranlassten Auslandsreisen ab 1. Januar 2024

                          For Micronesia, the Philippines rates applies. The rate for Trinidad and Tobago also applies for Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and Grenadines and Suriname.

                          You can find the rates that applied for 2023 here.

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