GSA Per Diem Calculator
October 4, 2014 2:19 PM   Subscribe

GSA Per Diem Calculator
Just a calculator for the US Federal Per Diem. I wrote one for Virginia, and was asked to do one for the GSA rates, so I did some rethinking and put it on this site. Business Offices loved the Virginia one to the extent that some require a printout from my site for travel reimbursements. The About page tells you a bit more and links to my personal site where I've written about it in even more detail.
Role: Programmer
posted by idb (7 comments total)

(I'm from the UK). Am I right in inferring from this that the US government has published a big table of what hotels are allowed to charge civil servants in each city (county? state?) in the entire country?

That's bizarre.

...and I thought Americans [pretended to] like the free market.
posted by richb at 2:04 AM on October 7, 2014

This is pretty handy, but what's the 150% multiplier on hotel rates for?
posted by Runes at 12:01 PM on October 7, 2014

richb: Hotels are welcome to charge whatever rates they want. The federal government is only willing to pay a certain amount per day for traveling employees' hotels, food, etc... The big table reflects the fact that a hotel in San Francisco tends to cost more than one in Bismarck, so the feds are willing to pay more there.
posted by zachlipton at 12:39 PM on October 7, 2014

Richb, yes, sort of. Like zachlipton says, it's the rate that travelers on the government dime are allowed to be compensated, so you can go over, but only if your boss approves and you'd be responsible for the difference. Often regular business hotels do have a Government Rate which "coincidentally" is the same as the allowed rate. Note that it doesn't include taxes or resort fees (which in Vegas are justifiable for the internet access).

The 150% is typically what you're allowed to go up to with supervisor approval, i.e. if my boss (or boss's boss) says it's okay, then I can do that. If I go over the 150% AND want to be compensated, then the business office has to get involved or even some other regulatory agency.

There are pages and pages of regulations and travelers get it wrong all the time, particularly the calculations because it changes depending on whether it's a travel day and which meals you're provided.
posted by idb at 5:18 PM on October 7, 2014

Oh, and aside from the hotel cost, you don't have to have receipts for every expenditure. It's just the set per diem amount (with appropriate adjustments). As I said in my write-up, business offices and auditors love this tool.
posted by idb at 5:20 PM on October 7, 2014

I tried it from home a really liked it. But boy, the VA can sure be a pain:
Access to the URL has been denied.

The request was denied due to a content categorization unknown.

The VA Trusted Internet Connections are for official VA use only. Misuse violates VA policy. If you believe that this site is categorized incorrectly, and that you have a business reason for access to this site please contact your local Information Security Officer.
Please use the Web Access Request Form and include a business justification. The ISO will need to forward the Web access Request form to for processing. Only e-mails that originate from valid VA e-mail addresses will be processed. Please forward any questions concerning this process to

Generated in gww for user re.da.ct.ed

posted by klarck at 4:34 AM on October 14, 2014

Glad you liked it, and I hope that's a surmountable problem.
posted by idb at 2:09 PM on October 14, 2014

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