Business travel diets - what does their amount depend on?


An employer sending an employee on a business trip must take into account that he will be obliged to cover the expenses that the employee makes during the trip. Among other things, business travel allowances are covered by the employer's funds.

They will be able to include these expenses as tax deductible costs, provided that the trip was closely related to the business.

How do I count the duration of the trip?

Travel dietsbusiness is calculated on the basis of the actual duration of the trip, i.e. from its start to its end. Time counted continuously.

Both in a domestic and foreign trip, its duration should be counted continuously. The only difference will be the moment when the journey begins and ends, and this is due to the type of means of transport the employee will take it.

Trip abroad

In a situation where an employee travels on a business trip abroad by land means of transport (i.e. a car, train or bus), the moment of commencement of this trip will be counted from the time of crossing the Polish border on the way to the destination country. The end of the foreign trip will take place at the moment of crossing the border of our country on the way back.

If the trip is made by ship, ferry or plane, then the trip abroad begins when the vessel leaves the last port or the plane takes off from the last airport in the country. The termination will take place, respectively, at the moment of entering the first port or landing at the first airport in Poland on the way back.

The time of a business trip should be counted continuously, which means it does not take into account the day or night time or the time of changing the date, etc., and a day is 24 hours regardless of the time when this period begins. When settling a business trip, remember that the day of the business trip is detached from astronomical days and is counted separately for the purposes of calculating benefits under it. This position was taken by the Supreme Administrative Court in Lublin in its judgment of March 22, 2000 (file reference number I SA / Lu 1747/98)

Start a free 30-day trial period with no strings attached!

Diets during a business trip

The method of calculating the allowance for a domestic business trip is as follows:

  • when the journey lasts no longer than one day and amounts to:
  • less than 8 hours - no dietary allowance;
  • from 8 to 12 hours - half of the allowance is due;
  • more than 12 hours - full allowance;
  • in a situation where the journey lasts longer than one day, the full amount should be counted for each day, and for the incomplete but started diet:
  • up to 8 hours - 50% of the diet;
  • over 8 hours - the full amount of the diet is paid.

From 2013, a higher rate of the national allowance in the amount of PLN 30 has been in force. The amount of the diet is reduced if the employee receives food free of charge, taking:

1) breakfast - 25% of the diet;
2) lunch - 50% of the diet;
3) dinner - 25% of the diet.

If the employee goes on a business trip abroad, the full amount of the daily allowance should be settled for each day, and for the incomplete day:

  • up to 8 hours - 1/3 of the diet;
  • from 8 to 12 hours - 50% of the diet;
  • more than 12 hours - full diet.

The amount of the allowance for a business trip abroad depends on the destination country.

Example 1.

On March 24, 2021, the employer sent two employees from Wrocław to Warsaw on a business trip. The employees left the company at 9.00 am. One of them returned to Wrocław the next day, at 12.00 he was in the company. The second one had to stay in Warsaw until March 26, and he returned to the company that day at 4 p.m. The employees were provided with food.

The first employee - the full allowance is settled, food costs have been settled on the basis of an invoice for hotel and catering services.

The second employee - two and a half per diems are settled (two full days plus 7 hours).

In summary, the employer who sends the employee on a business trip is required to pay the allowance. However, its amount depends on the time that the employee will spend on the delegation.