HRSINGAPORE Community Discussions

Per Diem vs Hosted Meal


Dear Fellow HR Practitioners,

Would like to get some inputs regarding the treatment of per diem when some meals were hosted by business associates/overseas colleagues.

Current practice - we pay per diem according to the IRAS per diem.

However, there are now some questions on whether staff should claim the full daily per diem if breakfast is provided in the hotel accommodation and when lunch or dinner is hosted by colleagues in the host country. Should they still claim the full or should deduct out the hosted meal e.g. China per diem is S$84/3 = S$28 and this amount deducted out if breakfast is provided by the hotel or a meal is hosted. So in the worst case scenario, all meals were paid for then there is no per diem allowance given to the staff for the day.

Greatly appreciate your comments and company practice.

Thank you.




Reply 1

If a meal is provided by hotel/ flight than it should be deductible based on a token sum.

Example: split over 3 meals-15%, 25%, 60% for dinner or breakfast /lunch could be the same with dinner at 50% (assuming is for meals only & personal expenses only).




Reply 2

Is it a bit cumbersome or time consuming to manage it this way? Do the staff have to proof with receipts? If a per diem allowance was actually utilised? What is the tax situation when you would pay them a per diem allowance anyway because they were overseas and are entitled to this?

A silly example is yes they went out for a meal with the client or customer but they did not eat and felt unwell and have to buy themselves a meal again, they would use their per diem…maybe, not to the full allowance but would this entitle them to the per diem despite having a meal out already ?




Reply 3

Our per diem works if stay in a hotel with breakfast the per diem given daily is lower but if w/o breakfast the per diem is higher. As for hosted lunch/dinner no claiming is done in the current host country, our staff will not claim. Unless it is a Company Event held there.




Reply 4

For us, as a form of staff business travel benefits as well as ease of administration, we pay daily per diem without deducting those situations you mentioned.