26 CFR § 1.274-5 - Substantiation requirements.
(a)-(b) [Reserved]. For further guidance, see § 1.274-5T(a) and (b).
(c) Rules of substantiation - (1) [Reserved]. For further guidance, see § 1.274-5T(c)(1).
(iii) Documentary evidence - (A) Except as provided in paragraph (c)(2)(iii)(B), documentary evidence, such as receipts, paid bills, or similar evidence sufficient to support an expenditure, is required for -
(1) Any expenditure for lodging while traveling away from home, and
(B) The Commissioner, in his or her discretion, may prescribe rules waiving the documentary evidence requirements in circumstances where it is impracticable for such documentary evidence to be required. Ordinarily, documentary evidence will be considered adequate to support an expenditure if it includes sufficient information to establish the amount, date, place, and the essential character of the expenditure. For example, a hotel receipt is sufficient to support expenditures for business travel if it contains the following: name, location, date, and separate amounts for charges such as for lodging, meals, and telephone. Similarly, a restaurant receipt is sufficient to support an expenditure for a business meal if it contains the following: name and location of the restaurant, the date and amount of the expenditure, the number of people served, and, if a charge is made for an item other than meals and beverages, an indication that such is the case. A document may be indicative of only one (or part of one) element of an expenditure. Thus, a cancelled check, together with a bill from the payee, ordinarily would establish the element of cost. In contrast, a cancelled check drawn payable to a named payee would not by itself support a business expenditure without other evidence showing that the check was used for a certain business purpose.
(iv)-(v) [Reserved]. For further guidance, see § 1.274-5T(c)(2)(iv) and (v).
(3)-(7) [Reserved]. For further guidance, see § 1.274-5T(c)(3) through (7).
(d)-(e) [Reserved]. For further guidance, see § 1.274-5T(d) and (e).
(f) Reporting and substantiation of expenses of certain employees for travel, entertainment, gifts, and with respect to listed property - (1) through (3) [Reserved]. For further guidance, see § 1.274-5T(f)(1) through (3).
(4) Definition of an adequate accounting to the employer -
(i) In general. For purposes of this paragraph (f) an adequate accounting means the submission to the employer of an account book, diary, log, statement of expense, trip sheet, or similar record maintained by the employee in which the information as to each element of an expenditure or use (described in paragraph (b) of this section) is recorded at or near the time of the expenditure or use, together with supporting documentary evidence, in a manner that conforms to all the adequate records requirements of paragraph (c)(2) of this section. An adequate accounting requires that the employee account for all amounts received from the employer during the taxable year as advances, reimbursements, or allowances (including those charged directly or indirectly to the employer through credit cards or otherwise) for travel, entertainment, gifts, and the use of listed property. The methods of substantiation allowed under paragraph (c)(4) or (c)(5) of this section also will be considered to be an adequate accounting if the employer accepts an employee's substantiation and establishes that such substantiation meets the requirements of paragraph (c)(4) or (c)(5). For purposes of an adequate accounting, the method of substantiation allowed under paragraph (c)(3) of this section will not be permitted.
(ii) Procedures for adequate accounting without documentary evidence. The Commissioner may, in his or her discretion, prescribe rules under which an employee may make an adequate accounting to an employer by submitting an account book, log, diary, etc., alone, without submitting documentary evidence.
(iii) Employer. For purposes of this section, the term employer includes an agent of the employer or a third party payor who pays amounts to an employee under a reimbursement or other expense allowance arrangement.
(5) [Reserved]. For further guidance, see § 1.274-5T(f)(5).
(g) Substantiation by reimbursement arrangements or per diem, mileage, and other traveling allowances -
(1) In general. The Commissioner may, in his or her discretion, prescribe rules in pronouncements of general applicability under which allowances for expenses described in paragraph (g)(2) of this section will, if in accordance with reasonable business practice, be regarded as equivalent to substantiation by adequate records or other sufficient evidence, for purposes of paragraph (c) of this section, of the amount of the expenses and as satisfying, with respect to the amount of the expenses, the requirements of an adequate accounting to the employer for purposes of paragraph (f)(4) of this section. If the total allowance received exceeds the deductible expenses paid or incurred by the employee, such excess must be reported as income on the employee's return. See paragraph (j)(1) of this section relating to the substantiation of meal expenses while traveling away from home, and paragraph (j)(2) of this section relating to the substantiation of expenses for the business use of a vehicle.
(2) Allowances for expenses described. An allowance for expenses is described in this paragraph (g)(2) if it is a -
(i) Reimbursement arrangement covering ordinary and necessary expenses of traveling away from home (exclusive of transportation expenses to and from destination);
(h) [Reserved]. For further guidance, see § 1.274-5T(h).
(j) Authority for optional methods of computing certain expenses -
(1) Meal expenses while traveling away from home. The Commissioner may establish a method under which a taxpayer may use a specified amount or amounts for meals while traveling away from home in lieu of substantiating the actual cost of meals. The taxpayer will not be relieved of the requirement to substantiate the actual cost of other travel expenses as well as the time, place, and business purpose of the travel. See paragraphs (b)(2) and (c) of this section.
(2) Use of mileage rates for vehicle expenses. The Commissioner may establish a method under which a taxpayer may use mileage rates to determine the amount of the ordinary and necessary expenses of using a vehicle for local transportation and transportation to, from, and at the destination while traveling away from home in lieu of substantiating the actual costs. The method may include appropriate limitations and conditions in order to reflect more accurately vehicle expenses over the entire period of usage. The taxpayer will not be relieved of the requirement to substantiate the amount of each business use (i.e., the business mileage), or the time and business purpose of each use. See paragraphs (b)(2) and (c) of this section.
(3) Incidental expenses while traveling away from home. The Commissioner may establish a method under which a taxpayer may use a specified amount or amounts for incidental expenses paid or incurred while traveling away from home in lieu of substantiating the actual cost of incidental expenses. The taxpayer will not be relieved of the requirement to substantiate the actual cost of other travel expenses as well as the time, place, and business purpose of the travel.
(k) Exceptions for qualified nonpersonal use vehicles -
(2) Qualified nonpersonal use vehicle -
(i) In general. For purposes of section 274(d) and this section, the term qualified nonpersonal use vehicle means any vehicle which, by reason of its nature (that is, design), is not likely to be used more than a de minimis amount for personal purposes.
(ii) List of vehicles. Vehicles which are qualified nonpersonal use vehicles include the following:
(B) Ambulances used as such or hearses used as such.
(C) Any vehicle designed to carry cargo with a loaded gross vehicle weight over 14,000 pounds.
(D) Bucket trucks (cherry pickers).
(E) Cement mixers.
(G) Cranes and derricks.
(H) Delivery trucks with seating only for the driver, or only for the driver plus a folding jump seat.
(I) Dump trucks (including garbage trucks).
(J) Flatbed trucks.
(L) Passenger buses used as such with a capacity of at least 20 passengers.
(O) Refrigerated trucks.
(P) School buses (as defined in section 4221(d)(7)(c)).
(S) Such other vehicles as the Commissioner may designate.
(3) Clearly marked police, fire, or public safety officer vehicles. A police, fire, or public safety officer vehicle is a vehicle, owned or leased by a governmental unit, or any agency or instrumentality thereof, that is required to be used for commuting by a police officer, fire fighter, or public safety officer (as defined in section 402(l)(4)(C) of this chapter) who, when not on a regular shift, is on call at all times, provided that any personal use (other than commuting) of the vehicle outside the limit of the police officer's arrest powers or the fire fighter's or public safety officer's obligation to respond to an emergency is prohibited by such governmental unit. A police, fire, or public safety officer vehicle is clearly marked if, through painted insignia or words, it is readily apparent that the vehicle is a police, fire, or public safety officer vehicle. A marking on a license plate is not a clear marking for purposes of this paragraph (k).
(ii) Personal use for travel to and from a move site is an irregular practice (that is, not more than five times a month on average); and
(iii) Personal use is limited to situations in which it is more convenient to the employer, because of the location of the employee's residence in relation to the location of the move site, for the van not to be returned to the employer's business location.
(5) Qualified specialized utility repair truck. The term qualified specialized utility repair truck means any truck (not including a van or pickup truck) specifically designed and used to carry heavy tools, testing equipment, or parts if -
(i) The shelves, racks, or other permanent interior construction which has been installed to carry and store such heavy items is such that it is unlikely that the truck will be used more than a de minimis amount for personal purposes; and
(ii) The employer requires the employee to drive the truck home in order to be able to respond in emergency situations for purposes of restoring or maintaining electricity, gas, telephone, water, sewer, or steam utility services.
(6) Unmarked law enforcement vehicles -
(i) In general. The substantiation requirements of section 274(d) and this section do not apply to officially authorized uses of an unmarked vehicle by a “law enforcement officer”. To qualify for this exception, any personal use must be authorized by the Federal, State, county, or local governmental agency or department that owns or leases the vehicle and employs the officer, and must be incident to law-enforcement functions, such as being able to report directly from home to a stakeout or surveillance site, or to an emergency situation. Use of an unmarked vehicle for vacation or recreation trips cannot qualify as an authorized use.
(ii) Law enforcement officer. The term law enforcement officer means an individual who is employed on a full-time basis by a governmental unit that is responsible for the prevention or investigation of crime involving injury to persons or property (including apprehension or detention of persons for such crimes), who is authorized by law to carry firearms, execute search warrants, and to make arrests (other than merely a citizen's arrest), and who regularly carries firearms (except when it is not possible to do so because of the requirements of undercover work). The term “law enforcement officer” may include an arson investigator if the investigator otherwise meets the requirements of this paragraph (k)(6)(ii), but does not include Internal Revenue Service special agents.
(7) Trucks and vans. The substantiation requirements of section 274(d) and this section apply generally to any pickup truck or van, unless the truck or van has been specially modified with the result that it is not likely to be used more than a de minimis amount for personal purposes. For example, a van that has only a front bench for seating, in which permanent shelving that fills most of the cargo area has been installed, that constantly carries merchandise or equipment, and that has been specially painted with advertising or the company's name, is a vehicle not likely to be used more than a de minimis amount for personal purposes.
(8) Examples. The following examples illustrate the provisions of paragraph (k)(3) and (6) of this section:
(l) Definitions. For purposes of section 274(d) and this section, the terms automobile and vehicle have the same meanings as prescribed in § 1.61-21(d)(1)(ii) and (e)(2), respectively. Also, for purposes of section 274(d) and this section, the terms employer, employee and personal use have the same meanings as prescribed in § 1.274-6T(e).
(m) Effective date. This section applies to expenses paid or incurred after December 31, 1997. However, paragraph (j)(3) of this section applies to expenses paid or incurred after September 30, 2002, and paragraph (k) applies to clearly marked public safety officer vehicles, as defined in § 1.274-5(k)(3), only with respect to uses occurring after May 19, 2010.