It is common for flight crew members to have trips that start very late in the evening on the first day of a trip and finish very early in the morning on the last day of a trip. Red-eyes and international trips that go overseas are typical of this scenario. Often these trips span through multiple time zones and can confuse you when attempting to enter them into EZPerDiem.
Things to consider when entering these types of trips
There are three key concepts to keep in mind while entering any trip, including these.
The only time zone that matters is the time-zone of your base
For example, if you are based in ATL, the only time zone that will matter is Eastern Standard Time. If you are based in ORD, the only time zone that will matter is Central Time. If you are based in LAX, the only the time zone you need to consider for any trip would be Pacific Time. In other words, if you fly across the ocean and end up in Tokyo for example, the time zone in Tokyo is irrelevant. The only time zone that matters at all is that of your domicile (tax home).
Only calendar days matter - not times
In addition, the actual start and end times do not matter. All that matters is what calendar day (based off your domicile's timezone) that you started and ended. The first and last day of any trip are considered partial days, and EZPerDiem handles the prorating of partial days automatically according to the guidance in IRS Publication 463. You do not need to worry about that part. You simply need to know what days you started the trip and ended, as well as where you had the layovers.
How do I prorate partial days?
While you don't need to worry about prorating partial days yourself since EZPerDiem does it automatically, it is helpful to know what is happening, so when you see the Final Tax Report you understand the calculations. It defaults to the most conservative prorating method explained in IRS Publication 463 automatically. That is 75% for partial days. For example, if you had a four day trip, the first and last day will automatically get calculated based on 75% of their per diem rate for those days.
It should be noted that because IRS Publication 463 is a bit ambiguous on this is issue, you can change the first and last day to 100% on the Tools & Settings page if you wish. Some tax preparers take the stance that 100% is allowed based on the verbiage in IRS Publication 463.
Only the number of days you are gone according to the time zone of your domicile get considered
This means if you were actually gone from your tax home for three calendar days, it should look like three calendar days when you enter the trip into EZPerDiem. Here are some examples.
EZPerDiem helps pilots and flight attendants with their flight crew taxes by:
If you do not benefit, we will provide a 100% refund!