Option 2: assuming the actual costs
A simple option is for the company to pay all of the actual accommodation costs incurred. To do this, it goes without saying that an invoice must be submitted. This variant is typically particularly straightforward for employees. The company can of course state the costs as an operating expense.
Option 3: No assumption of costs
Companies are not obliged to bear accommodation costs. If an employee has to pay this himself, the hotel’s bill should still be kept safe, because these costs can subsequently be deducted as advertising costs, provided that the advertising fee has already been exhausted. This variant should only be an emergency solution and not become the rule, because after all, nobody likes to pay the costs of a business trip themselves.
Advantages of the overnight flat rate
The overnight flat rate has various advantages. For the company that agrees to pay the amount, the fixed amount means a simpler accounting process than if you had to post with original receipts. In addition, there is no internal discussion about who is staying in which hotel and how much money is being spent. This ideally prevents disputes and envy. Furthermore, the flat rate overnight stay is a motivating factor, because after all, the company would not have to bear the costs, but could shift them to employees.
From the employees’ point of view, the flat rate offers the advantage of cost savings. In addition, all those who spend the night in cheap accommodation secure a small additional amount with the lump sum – and even tax-free. The keeping of original receipts can also be omitted, unless the company wants to know the exact costs. Thus, the flat rate simplifies the entire process for both sides, provides motivation and possibly even a small tax-free additional income.
Overnight flat rate as part of travel expenses
Settlement of travel expenses is generally complex in many companies and is often a dreaded topic for employees. In all honesty, nobody likes to make an accurate travel expense report. But all those who frequently go on business trips have to cope with this bureaucracy. Fortunately, there are countless travel expense report templates that you can download for free.
The overnight flat rate is only one of the components of the travel expense report. In addition, many other details are regulated and processes can vary from company to company. It is therefore important that you take enough time to settle travel expenses, always keep all receipts to be on the safe side and prepare the travel expense report promptly, because trying to reconstruct travel expenses months later is the biggest time and nerve eater that can only be found in this area somehow there.
Creating your travel expense report doesn’t have to be that complicated. Simply travel expenses ensures that your travel expense reports are child’s play and that you have more time for the really important things!
Overnight flat rate for the self-employed
Unfortunately, there is no flat rate overnight stay for all those who are self-employed. This means that entrepreneurs absolutely have to keep the original receipts from hotels. These can then be posted as business expenses. Unfortunately, there is a disadvantage in this area, because staying in a cheap hotel and enjoying such a small tax advantage is unfortunately not possible for this professional group.
The tax peculiarities have already been touched on briefly. If a company pays the entire accommodation costs, this amount is regarded as a business expense. The profit is thus reduced and the tax burden is reduced accordingly. Those who are self-employed have no choice, but simply have to state the actual costs and keep the corresponding receipt. These are considered business expenses.
It looks better for employees whose company is willing to pay the flat rate. In this case there is a fixed lump sum, whereby you can stay in a cheaper hotel. The difference is tax-free. For all those who are on business trips for longer and have no problem staying overnight in inexpensive accommodation, there is a clear financial advantage here.
Subsequently, care must be taken to prepare the entire travel expense report correctly, to keep receipts and to deduct breakfast costs from the amounts that have been billed.
Anyone who has to bear their own travel expenses as an employee should also keep the receipts, because if the flat- rate income allowance has been exhausted, these costs can also be claimed against income tax .
The overnight flat rate is a practical tool for all those who are often on business trips. If you do not use the full amount for hotel bookings, you can earn one or two additional euros in this way with tax deductions. However, companies are not obliged to pay the flat rate – so it takes some negotiating skills to get them.
Alternatively, the real costs can also be assumed or the assumption of the costs can be rejected entirely.
The flat rate cannot be used by the self-employed; they always have to include the actual accrued accommodation costs as a business expense. Unfortunately, the self-employed cannot achieve a tax advantage by staying in cheap hotels.