What to Know About Travel Pay
The federal government outlines the criteria you must meet in order to be compensated as a “traveler,” i.e., receive a daily meal and lodging allowance (MLA). In order to be eligible, you must duplicate living expenses during your assignment with AMS.
You are eligible for up to one year without changing your temporary tax home (defined as the entire city or general area where your work is located). Once you change temporary living locations to a different tax home, the one year resets.
Based on government guidelines, we calculate your MLA by determining the number of days per week you duplicate living expenses and the location of your temporary work assignment. Here is a link to the government website that outlines these rates: www.gsa.gov
Compensation varies by facility and unit, and you will know your compensation package (both hourly pay rate and MLA) prior to AMS presenting you as a candidate for any assignment. Note that AMS has the flexibility to adjust your hourly pay rate and MLA (within IRS guidelines) to come up with a customized package that works for you.
We recommend comparing gross pay packages across agencies, as tax exemptions and benefits costs can vary greatly. There are online tools you can use to estimate your “take-home pay” based on your specific tax exemptions and deductions.
We can recommend and help facilitate housing options on your behalf. Most travelers find the best fit for housing when they secure it directly, including deciding personal trade-offs that enable them to maximize their take home pay. We can also offer assistance for travel relocation or other arrangements – just ask your recruiting manager.
Prior to starting your assignment, you will sign a Staffing Agreement (which outlines all of the parameters of your assignment, including compensation) and a Declaration of Permanent Tax Home. We also provide you with a Tax Home Determination Worksheet to help you determine if you meet the IRS criteria to be compensated as a “traveler” if you are not sure.