When the holidays straddle the weekends into Monday, regular routines can be a little choppy. Feels like a blur between December 24th and January 1st.

Here at Team Roberts CPA Group, we’re finalizing a lot of year-end moves for various Louisville clients (as I write this) knowing that EVERYTHING changes next week.

And this is a good moment to remind you, if you fall in the 73 and older crowd — don’t forget to take your 2023 RMDs for IRAs and retirement plans. Time’s almost up. 

Beyond that, these upcoming weeks are crucial to how the rest of your year goes. 

Why? Because intentions backed up by ACTIONS are what matters. How we act out what we intend to do sets a subconscious belief system in place which can have an impact for months — and even years — at a time. 

In other words — do what you *intend* to do this week, and it’ll be much easier to carry that forward into the rest of 2024. 

What about you? Do you find the beginning of the year to be full of opportunity? Or is it full of discouragement? I’d like to hear your thoughts.

As I mentioned, for my staff and me … it’s certainly full of preparation. Like most years, there’s a lot of groundwork for tax season that we have to cover, simply because the government continues to make changes to the tax code.

Even the start of actual tax filing doesn’t begin until late January for most returns, that does NOT mean we can’t begin the preparation process earlier (we can, if you really have your paperwork in order), but it does mean that the IRS won’t be issuing refunds or otherwise officially accepting returns until that day.

Get an appointment set now if you want first priority:


And because I want to keep you ready for filing, let’s talk about the IRS’s updated Per Diem rates which started in October of this year.

Updated Per Diem Rates for Louisville Business Travelers
“Jet lag is for amateurs.” – Dick Clark

Right now, you’ve probably hit pause on a lot of your business travel. But if you’re planning to travel for work in 2024, there are some updates to the IRS Per Diem Rates you’ll want to consider. Whether it’s conferences, client meetings, or site visits, knowing these rates can really simplify planning your business trips.

Before we jump in, keep in mind that this is general info that’s useful for most, but your specific situation might need a bit more tailoring. 

What’s changed for 2023-2024? These updates are especially key for anyone dipping into their own pocket for work travel. The IRS sets these rates as a guide for tax-free reimbursement on travel expenses. And this year, they’ve tweaked a few things to better match the reality of travel costs, especially in more expensive areas.

Meals and other incidentals. Whether you’re trucking through Texas or flying out to France, the per diem rates for meals and incidental expenses (M&IE) in the transportation sector have been updated. They’re now up to $69 within the continental U.S. and $74 for international travel. 

Incidental expenses hold at $5 per day. This covers those little things like tips and fees.

Per diem in high-cost areas. In high-cost areas, the per diem rates have been bumped up to $309. Some newcomers on this list include Yosemite National Park and Tampa/St. Petersburg, though Los Angeles and Portland are no longer in the high-cost lineup.

Now, as long as you stick to the per diem rates and keep a decent expense report, these reimbursements won’t add to your tax bill. But, remember, the per diem rate is not a hard limit. You can spend under or over it, but keep in mind that any extra spending becomes taxable.

If you’re self-employed, these rates are super handy for meal expenses and can be really helpful when it’s time to file Schedule C.

Some other tips when it comes to business expenses:

1. Keep a log of your travels. After each trip, take a few minutes to update your records.

2. Receipts are still your friends. Even with per diems, it’s smart to hang onto lodging receipts (especially if you’re only claiming meals). And, to make things simpler, most accounting softwares now let you upload them digitally so you aren’t searching for lost receipts down the road.


Remember, these updated per diem rates are all about making your business trips financially smoother. Less stress over keeping every receipt, more focus on your actual work. And if you need a hand understanding how these changes impact you, I’m here for you and all my Jefferson county clients. 


Happy New Year

Kevin Roberts