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EMPLOYERS' MILEAGE RATES HAVE NOT KEPT UP WITH IRS, BNA SURVEY FINDS

EMPLOYERS' MILEAGE RATES HAVE NOT KEPT UP WITH IRS, BNA SURVEY FINDS
 WASHINGTON, Feb. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Over the past four years, many employers' mileage reimbursement rates have lost pace with the Internal Revenue Service standard mileage rate for business use of a personal vehicle, according to the latest survey of expense reimbursement practices conducted by The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. Only 38 percent of the surveyed firms match or exceed the 1991 IRS deductible, compared with 47 percent in 1989 and 58 percent in 1987. BNA is a leading publisher of information services covering employee relations, business and economics, law, taxation, the environment and other public policy issues.
 Survey respondents were asked about their organizations' expense reimbursement practices for business use of a personal car, lodging and meal expenses on travel and meal costs incurred during extended work hours. The survey finds that:
 -- The median mileage reimbursement rate among respondents to the 1991 survey is 26 cents per mile, up from 23 cents in 1989 and 21 cents in 1987.
 -- Both employers' mileage rages and the standard IRS deductible have risen over the past four years. However, the current median reimbursement rate is one-and-a-half cents below the IRS allowance for 1991 (27.5 cents per mile) while four years ago the median rate and the effective IRS standard were identical -- 21 cents per mile.
 -- Mileage reimbursement rates are likely to increase at about one out of five firms (21 percent) this year. Many other respondents were uncertain about their 1992 mileage rates.
 -- Actual or "reasonable" costs of out-of-town meal expenses are reimbursed by about four out of five organizations (81 percent).
 -- Per diem allowances for travel meals are maintained by 14 percent of firms. The median daily allowance is $30 among the responding companies, with most (74 percent) reporting limits of $25 to $35 per day.
 -- Separate reimbursement limits for each meal are specified by 9 percent of firms. A few organizations maintain both per diem and per meal limits on meals purchased during business travel.
 -- Reimbursements for lodging expenses are restricted by only 6 percent of employers.
 -- Employees who work extra hours are reimbursed for meal expenses at 28 percent of the companies. Limits on overtime meal reimbursements are more likely to be specified for hourly staff than salaried employees.
 The 1991 study is the eighth BNA survey of employers' expense reimbursement policies since 1981. This year's report is based on responses from 545 human resource and employee relations executives representing a cross-section of U.S. employers, both public and private.
 -0- 2/7/92
 /CONTACT: Emily Pilk of The Bureau of National Affairs, 202-452-4985/ CO: The Bureau of National Affairs ST: District of Columbia IN: SU:


MH-DC -- DC005 -- 7692 02/07/92 10:49 EST
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Date:Feb 7, 1992
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