Skip to main content
Skip table of contents

Per diem allowances in Germany

In Germany, employers must pay per diem allowances to employees to cover meals during business travel.

Domestic and Foreign Per Diem

For a one-day trip the following rates apply:

Timeframe

Domestic Per Diem

Foreign Per Diem

Business trip under 8 hours

€0

€0

Business trip between 8 and 24 hours

€14 per day

Partial per diem

For a multi-day trip the following rates apply:

Timeframe

Domestic Per Diem

Foreign Per Diem

Full day

€28 per day

Full country rate

Day of arrival/departure

€14 per day

Partial country rate

Overnight stay

€20

Rate depending on the country

Where no rate is listed in the official list published by BMF, the Luxembourg rate applies.

In transit - airplane

Where employees embark on a long flight, they should receive the daily rate applicable for Austria.

In transit - boat

For days travelled without embarkation or disembarkation, the daily allowances applicable in Luxembourg are to be applied if the ship is owned by a foreign shipping company.

  • In the case of ships flying under the German flag (German Federal Navy ships), domestic lump sums are to be applied for days at sea.

  • For the days of embarkation and disembarkation, the daily allowance applicable for the port location is applied.

Without overnight

If an employee begins a business trip on one day and ends it the following day without an overnight stay, the times are added together. If the absence is longer than 8 hours, the employee receives a meal allowance for the day on which they were mostly absent.

Rate of the last location

During a multi-day trip if an employee spends the night in one country but travels to a different country to work and then returns, they should receive the per diem applicable to the country they last worked in.

Professional Drivers

Professional drivers receive an additional €9 for sleeping in their vehicle in the course of a multi-day trip.

Meal deductions

Meal deductions are always calculated from the full per diem amount, even in the case of half-day compensations.

Meal

Domestic deduction

Foreign deduction

Breakfast

20%

20%

Lunch

40%

40%

Dinner

40%

40%

Three-month rule (“Dreimonatsfrist”)

The three-month rule (“Dreimonatsfrist” in German) begins once an employee has worked in the same place for at least three days in any given week and according to the following conditions:

  • if the employee returns at least 1 day within the 28 days, the three-month rule continues;

  • if there is an interruption of at least 28 days or four weeks, a new three month period will begin.

Once the three-month rule comes to an end, the per diem becomes taxable.

The three-month rule does not apply to professional activities on mobile, non-stationary facilities, e.g.:

  • vehicles

  • airplanes

  • ships

Benefit in kind

Certain meals provided by the company are considered a “benefit in kind” as follows:

  • a meal supplied as part of a training course, seminar, or conference arranged and paid for by the company;

  • any meal arranged in advance by the company and paid for by the company or a third-party on behalf of the company.

If the meal exceeds €60 (incl. VAT) per attendee and no third-party is involved, then the value becomes taxable per employee in the following conditions:

  • meals received during trips lasting fewer than 8 hours (or when no allowance is paid);

  • meals received after the three-month period has ended.

Meal

2024 Taxable benefit deduction

Breakfast

€2,17

Lunch

€4,13

Dinner

€4,13

Source: https://www.bundesfinanzministerium.de/Content/DE/Downloads/BMF_Schreiben/Steuerarten/Lohnsteuer/2023-11-21-steuerliche-behandlung-reisekosten-reisekostenverguetungen-2024.pdf?__blob=publicationFile&v=1

https://lsth.bundesfinanzministerium.de/lsth/2022/A-Einkommensteuergesetz/II-Einkommen/4-Ueberschuss-der-Einnahmen-ueber-die-Werbungskosten/Paragraf-9/inhalt.html

JavaScript errors detected

Please note, these errors can depend on your browser setup.

If this problem persists, please contact our support.