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Offline steelbeam

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Re: Savannah River Site Per Diem
« Reply #25 on: Oct 14, 2010, 11:49 »
Any future hires coming to SRS, may want to read the GOA report link below. Depending on the findings and the political situation, extended funding will be questionable. Per Diem could be the least of all worries.

Enough throwing money at needless "job creating, austerity preserving" taxpayer funded projects.

(http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-10-816)

Nuclear Waste: Actions Needed to Address Persistent Concerns with Efforts to Close Underground Radioactive Waste Tanks at DOE's Savannah River Site
 GAO-10-816 September 14, 2010

"Emptying, cleaning, and permanently closing the 22 underground liquid radioactive waste tanks at the Savannah River Site is likely to cost significantly more and take longer than estimated............more than $600 million of this increase is due to increased funding needed to make up for significant losses suffered by Savannah River Site workers' pension plans as a result of the recent economic crisis"

Offline RP Instructor

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Re: Savannah River Site Per Diem
« Reply #26 on: Oct 14, 2010, 12:45 »
And no matter how you move the audio switch the light won't come on!  

see you round....

Touche! I've learned to laugh at myself! I'm happy were I am, and (as you pointed out) grateful to have a job in this crappy economy.

I'll see you in class!
« Last Edit: Oct 14, 2010, 12:46 by RP Instructor »

Raleighwood

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Re: Savannah River Site Per Diem
« Reply #27 on: Oct 19, 2010, 09:16 »
I'm "Staff Augmentation" at SRS on month 3 of a 12 month contract.  Still reeling over how per diem rules were changed mid-contract.  I can accept changes being applied to new hires and re-up's but hitting folks who signed employment contracts based (in no small part) on per diem as it was prior to Oct 1...not fair. 

I can see everyone rubbing thumb and index finger together, playing those tiny violins.

My employer claims utilities are not considered part of lodging expense and are classified as an incidental expense.  There's nothing "incidental" about utilities...that implies one could get by w/o having them.  Coworkers with different employers are getting utilities covered under lodging.  Does anyone have a good link outlining what is/isn't covered by DOE on short term stays?

Thanks

Offline Already Gone

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Re: Savannah River Site Per Diem
« Reply #28 on: Oct 19, 2010, 11:40 »
http://www.irs.gov/publications/p463/ch01.html#en_US_publink100033764

These are the federal government rules for travel expenses.

Whenever they refer to something as being deductible, it is equally true that the employer may reimburse it tax-free (in which case it would not be deductible from income, but you wouldn't have to report the reimbursements as long as they follow the same rules.)

This is a quote from that publication.

"Incidental expenses.    The term “incidental expenses” means:

      Fees and tips given to porters, baggage carriers, bellhops, hotel maids, stewards or stewardesses and others on ships, and hotel servants in foreign countries,

      Transportation between places of lodging or business and places where meals are taken, if suitable meals can be obtained at the temporary duty site, and

      Mailing costs associated with filing travel vouchers and payment of employer-sponsored charge card billings.

Incidental expenses do not include expenses for laundry, cleaning and pressing of clothing, lodging taxes, or the costs of telegrams or telephone calls. "

It MUST be noted, however, that an employer is not under any obligation whatsoever to reimburse anything.  If they do, they are not required to reimburse them in full, or to pay the maximum per diem amounts.  They can also decide to reimburse some expenses and not others.  They are only bound by their agreement with you (contract) and the law.  It doesn't matter even a little tiny bit what other employers have agreed with their employees to reimburse.  You don't work for those employers.  If you think your contract is unfair, you should not have signed it.  You can ask to renegotiate.  Failing that, you take what they give, and don't sign the next contract unless you agree to it.

You are walking on the edge right now anyway.  If you have leased a house or apartment, and don't have a paying job back home where your other house is, then your tax home is probably right where you are at this minute - meaning that you aren't entitled to any tax-free reimbursements for any meals, lodging, or incidental expenses at all.

Duplicating living expenses is not enough to determine eligibility.  Lots of people have two residences.  Only one of them is their tax home.  Maybe neither of them is their tax home.  If you make money in one place and not at another, guess which one of the two is your tax home.

If I were in your position, I wouldn't cry too loud -- especially to the Federal Government of all places -- for fear that they might actually listen.  It won't take much for them to get an IRS determination that you aren't entitled to what you have been getting, that you owe back taxes and penalties, that you need to repay the allowances that you have received, basically that you have been working for nothing.  Take this as an expensive lesson and move on.
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Offline steelbeam

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Re: Savannah River Site Per Diem
« Reply #29 on: Oct 19, 2010, 12:48 »
One more point on per diem. Per diem becomes taxable at the point at which it is determined the assignment will last one year or more. (A contract that states "12 months" has been determined to be "one year or more".)

If an assignment to a location is expected to last more than one year, or actually
lasts longer than one year, then any per diem paid at this "temporary" location is considered
compensation. (Compensation is taxed at a much higher rate than earned income) The one-year rule applies beginning with the date the "employer" determines the assignment will exceed one year. (In your case, when you accepted, the contract stated "12 months")

Be prepared for a delayed tax liability determination even after your augmentation assignment is over. Or maybe even more "rule changes".

Offline Already Gone

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Re: Savannah River Site Per Diem
« Reply #30 on: Oct 19, 2010, 07:22 »
First.  One year is not more than one year.  A temporary assignment is one that is expected to last, and in fact does last, one year or less.  A 12 month contract is still a temporary assignment.

Where the trouble comes in is that, temporary or not, it has to be away from your tax home.  Tax home is the place where you make the most money.  If you have established residence in one place, then establish a second residence where you have a job, the place with the job would be considered your tax home.

Repeated assignments to one place that are each one year or less, could be used to determine that it is your tax home.  (The practice of working 11 months in one place and taking a month off to "reset the clock" is total bulls#!t!)  If you READ the IRS regs that I posted above, you will see that this is true.

Second.  Compensation and earned income are two terms that mean exactly the same thing.  They are taxed at the same rate (because they are the same thing).

Third.  The determination of greater than one year duration can happen at any time.  However, if a contract expires at the end of one year, the assignment is a one year assignment.  On the date you are offered a new contract or an extension, that is the day that your per diem becomes either non-payable or taxable.  The actual date that tax-free per diem ends is at any time the assignment is "expected" to last longer than a year or at any time the length of the assignment is indefinite.  If the employer tells you that you will be there for over a year, but lays you off after a week, your per diem was taxable for that week.

The addiction to per diem is worse than crystal meth for nukes.  It has led to an entitlement mentality that simply does not reflect the real world.  The fact that you have a job, and that job is not in your hometown, does not automatically mean that you should get per diem.  Check in with the rest of the world for a taste of reality.  When you live in Arkansas, and the only job is in Utah, you move to Utah or you stay unemployed.

Rules of thumb:  If you own the bed you are sleeping on, and there is no trailer hitch or tent poles attached to the room it is in, you don't get per diem.  If you pay the gas and electric bill where you are spending the night tonight, you don't deserve per diem.  If your wife and kids are using the same toaster and microwave as you, and they aren't your co-workers, no diem for you.
« Last Edit: Oct 19, 2010, 07:28 by BeerCourt »
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Offline uRiaL

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Re: Savannah River Site Per Diem
« Reply #31 on: Oct 28, 2010, 03:52 »
 Hang on folks more changes are  8) coming,they just don't know what changes are coming yet :D :D
I thank  GOD for you with every remembrance of you.

jzones

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Re: Savannah River Site Per Diem
« Reply #32 on: Nov 05, 2010, 09:22 »
Actually things at SRNS (really Fluor) as in the winner’s of Portsmouth. Considering their rad problems a SRS they must have made a major political contribution to get that award, but I digress.

Currently married couples can’t both collect perdiem for doing the same work at SRNS. Also though they pay lip service to alternative life styles, a marriage license is required to get paid there if your wife wants to stay in your actual residence, so much for the life partners they claim to support through GLOBE. Check out their procedure:

The document is SRNS-MS-2008-00024, Rev. 2, October 1, 2010, SAVANNAH RIVER NUCLEAR SOLUTIONS, LLC, TRAVEL COMPENSATION SCHEDULE FOR SUBCONTRACTS

For Example
Only one member of a married couple, where both are employed on a temporary assignment at SRS, is eligible for per diem.

Subcontractor employees must work a minimum of five (5) hours each workday to be eligible for per diem for that day.

Now here’s the best part. None of this applies to Fluor’s people on temporary assignment or to any temporary’s working for DOE.

Top this with the fact the SRNS intends massive layoffs of current permanent site personnel so they can subcontract the work to their teaming partners. The Layoff request has already been submitted to DOE. You’ll hear static about it involving recovery act funds but that's a smoke screen.

Stay away from SRS!! Plenty of other work available.

Offline Rennhack

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Re: Savannah River Site Per Diem
« Reply #33 on: Nov 05, 2010, 03:15 »
Please re-write so I have a chance of understanding what it is you are trying to say.  Do you work at SRS?
writes like mostlyharmless, huh?

Offline uRiaL

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Re: Savannah River Site Per Diem
« Reply #34 on: Nov 09, 2010, 03:28 »
Another point,SRS won't even give the married partner meals,the thought process is they can both eat off the 20 dollars a day for meals and incidentals.I know ,I HEAR YOU just find another job,lots of work available.  I guess I 'll need to keep my receipts for income tax time. Reap what you sow though.   And boy oh boy,do they have radiological problems,nuff said.   
« Last Edit: Nov 09, 2010, 03:33 by uR.ieL. »
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Offline Rennhack

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Re: Savannah River Site Per Diem
« Reply #35 on: Nov 09, 2010, 03:49 »
SRS won't even give the married partner meals,the thought process is they can both eat off the 20 dollars a day for meals and incidentals.

That is a good point.  The concept of NOT giving double per Diem to couples is to not pay for the lodging twice.

Offline Already Gone

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Re: Savannah River Site Per Diem
« Reply #36 on: Nov 09, 2010, 08:56 »
Of course, I am of several diverse opinions on this.

An employee is an employee.  There isn't usually a requirement to tell who your spouse is and where he/she works when applying for a job.

Many companies will not allow the employment of two members of the same family in the same department.  Therefore, many companies do not hire "package deals".  That is, you  don't automatically both get hired just because one of you does.  The luxury of being able to arrange employment for a husband and wife together seems to come at a price sometimes.

It is much cheaper for a married couple to live and eat than it would be for two other employees who have no relationship.

This is also true for an un-married couple who are apparently both eligible to draw per diem at SRS.  Seems unfair.  Refer to three paragraphs up.

All of this would probably never come to pass as it has if people hadn't been working the system for so many years by drawing per diem at a place where they live and work for most of every year.  An apparent raw deal is nearly always the inevitable reaction (or over reaction) to somebody ripping off the system and ruining it for the honest majority.

Like the man said:  if you don't like it, work somewhere else.
"To be content with little is hard; to be content with much, impossible." - Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach

Offline OldHP

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Re: Savannah River Site Per Diem
« Reply #37 on: Nov 09, 2010, 10:09 »
BeerCourt is correct on the several direrse opinions!

The problem comes in (for the folks that are trying to minimize pay-out and maximize pay-in - Gov Sites) when you hire more than one person with the same last name.  How do you justify paying 'John Smith' and 'Joe Smith' and then deny 'Pete Smith' and 'Pam Smith".  Because you also get into TITO, etc.

It was so much easier when you hired a Sr Tech and then hired (his/her spouce) as a Jr/Dosimetry Tech for a flat rate.
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fabshop64

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Re: Savannah River Site Per Diem
« Reply #38 on: Nov 10, 2010, 11:36 »
Truth is SRS does not want to pay perdiem here and could care less if they kept the folks who where currently collecting per diem. As of October they cut perdiem and changed everybody to subsistence, you could make up to 74.00 /day max if you qualified by showing receipts. Other than that you take what you can get. Also they have not paid any subsistence out since the first of October until they (SRS) do an evaluation to prove you are even qualified to get it. There are a lot of frustrated RCT'S down here. Some of the project's suggested upping the hourly rate to make up the difference, We are waiting to see if that flies..

Offline redline

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Re: Savannah River Site Per Diem
« Reply #39 on: Nov 11, 2010, 07:44 »
Truth is SRS does not want to pay perdiem here and could care less if they kept the folks who where currently collecting per diem. As of October they cut perdiem and changed everybody to subsistence, you could make up to 74.00 /day max if you qualified by showing receipts. Other than that you take what you can get. Also they have not paid any subsistence out since the first of October until they (SRS) do an evaluation to prove you are even qualified to get it. There are a lot of frustrated RCT'S down here. Some of the project's suggested upping the hourly rate to make up the difference, We are waiting to see if that flies..

Truth is per diem IS subsistance. per diem = per day or other wise put $74 subsistence per day = $74 per diem, not $74 per diem per day. So the change is they want proof you have additional living expenses, nothing new just a way to cut your overall compensation for working there.

Regardless of what anyone has stated over the years. Per diem has never been considered living expense by roadies. If that were the case they would use it for that and get a hotel room versus an apartment etc. Roadies look at perdiem as compensation and do whatever necessary to bring that money home. Therefore per diem, in reality not perception, is cost of a tech pay. You either accept it for what it is or go somewhere else...where you haveto use it for living expense. Learn the new rules and you should know how to play the game.

 

Offline roadhp

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Re: Savannah River Site Per Diem
« Reply #40 on: Nov 11, 2010, 05:05 »
No Diem, no see-um.  So far, my wife and I haven't had a problem with getting per Diem at any site we wanted to work at, and the ones that didn't offer any Diem were summarily dismissed.  As far as paying per Diem for only one spouse, that is a game stopper.  Do they also do as Rocky Flats did back in 1999 when the techs that were working there couldn't even get an apartment together?  Back then, they each had to have a rental agreement with a different address.  It is the same with married couples who both work at a site.  If they decide to live in the same house, THAT IS THEIR BUSINESS!!  The pay should be the same, One Tech, One Check.  If they decided to enforce the real rules at the IRS, then everyone would have to submit expenses and return every cent of per Diem that wasn't used.  But then they would have anyone left that would be willing to work the short jobs.  As far as Beercourt's idea that we should move to Utah (or anywhere) if there is a job there, if I wanted a permanent job, I would move, but for temporary jobs moving is not an option.
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Offline RP Instructor

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Re: Savannah River Site Per Diem
« Reply #41 on: Nov 15, 2010, 02:50 »
It's all beginning to come together. DOE is reducing operating expenses at SRS, period, by reducing SRNS employee staffing levels, and scaling back on living expenses for contract employees.

Offline uRiaL

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Re: Savannah River Site Per Diem
« Reply #42 on: Nov 15, 2010, 04:35 »
What's so sad about SRS is the lack of compassion for even the permanent personell who are about to be hit with a (layoff) hurricane.The surrounding communities can bury there heads in the sand if they want too,but its a ever spreading effect. Everything I had heard and hoped to be false about SRS seems to be true.I guess ACTS was just playing the game according to the rules too. :-X Being mindful of this topic,the idea that married couples eat less has me wondering.I  need the study,documentation that backs that. Most of the time with married couples you don't run into the fraternization issues,less sick time with spouses,more likely to be at work,besides I'm a big guy 6' 225 lbs,I NEED MY MEAT :D
« Last Edit: Nov 15, 2010, 04:52 by uR.ieL. »
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CATCH22

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Re: Savannah River Site Per Diem
« Reply #43 on: Nov 15, 2010, 05:09 »
  Beer Court, if you look futher into your link you will find this quote
If you do not have a regular or a main place of business because of the nature of your work, then your tax home may be the place where you regularly live. See No main place of business or work , later.

Publication 463(2009)http://www.irs.gov/publications/p463/ch01.html#en_US_publink100033757

Offline Camella Black

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Re: Savannah River Site Per Diem
« Reply #44 on: Nov 15, 2010, 08:18 »
What's so sad about SRS is the lack of compassion for even the permanent personell who are about to be hit with a (layoff) hurricane.The surrounding communities can bury there heads in the sand if they want too,but its a ever spreading effect. Everything I had heard and hoped to be false about SRS seems to be true.I guess ACTS was just playing the game according to the rules too. :-X Being mindful of this topic,the idea that married couples eat less has me wondering.I  need the study,documentation that backs that. Most of the time with married couples you don't run into the fraternization issues,less sick time with spouses,more likely to be at work,besides I'm a big guy 6' 225 lbs,I NEED MY MEAT :D


What is this suppose to mean? I am from a major surrounding community and we are well aware of what happens at SRS; not only do many of us have family or friends that work permanently at the site or as rent a techs but we (local economy) depends upon the site and its workers. We are all too aware of what is happening or can happen such as the closing of the local burial ground (Chem Nuclear) which devastated our schools, community budgets and those that lost jobs.

SRS is not the only site that does not allow per diem to be paid to both spouses, this has been a problem in various areas for decades... at least you can both work the same site... when I began in this business back in the seventies I could not work at the same site as my father as he was a supervisor, then in the eighties I had some objecting to my working with my spouse.

And finally as far as running into problems with spouses working together; you have them they are just different ones.

Offline Already Gone

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Re: Savannah River Site Per Diem
« Reply #45 on: Nov 15, 2010, 09:18 »
  Beer Court, if you look futher into your link you will find this quote
If you do not have a regular or a main place of business because of the nature of your work, then your tax home may be the place where you regularly live. See No main place of business or work , later.

Publication 463(2009)http://www.irs.gov/publications/p463/ch01.html#en_US_publink100033757

No need to point me to that link, but you might try reading it over a couple of times (good advice for reading any tax regulation).  The key word in that sentence is "may".  It is also noteworthy that the phrase "regularly live" means that you actually live there.  So, if you have a house in Fiji (which is where I hope to retire) but spend 11 months a year at Savannah river, you actually "regularly" live in the local area of SRS.  Really, go read pub 463 twice, paying special attention to the examples, and you'll see what I mean.
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CATCH22

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Re: Savannah River Site Per Diem
« Reply #46 on: Nov 16, 2010, 11:29 »
Thanks Beer Court. I think that you are probably right in the example that you gave. If you are a commercial plant worker you probably would be able to prove that your permanent residence was your tax home. You should read how most of our Congressmen treat per diem.

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Re: Savannah River Site Per Diem
« Reply #47 on: Nov 16, 2010, 08:53 »
We would be prosecuted if we treated per diem the same way that they do.
"To be content with little is hard; to be content with much, impossible." - Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach

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Re: Savannah River Site Per Diem
« Reply #48 on: Nov 16, 2010, 10:31 »
Camella,don't misunderstand me,the timing,(THANKSGIVING,Christmas) leaves a lot to be desired.Being at SRNS  and seeing people that I have come to call friend stress out about an impending layoff leaves me a little sad. Me,I's a SUBconTRACTOR,I expect a layoff,the House techs don't. You are right, same things from 70's,80's,even into the nineties exist in this business. As a minority In this nuclear world the DISCREPANCIES are oh so easily recognized. I have worked  INEEL,NTS,Sandia labs and have never ran into the issues that are going on here.  ???   
« Last Edit: Nov 16, 2010, 10:39 by uR.ieL. »
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Content1

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Re: Savannah River Site Per Diem
« Reply #49 on: Nov 16, 2010, 10:57 »
What I can't understand is why all the arguing here.  The first rule of being a traveling tech is to calculate what you have left after expenses, the adjusted gross.   If a site is not doing it for you, go to where you are paid better.   The contractor or employer has no love for you, just your services.   Be the same way back, go to the higher bidder factoring in job satisfaction and working conditions.  That is the life of a traveling tech.   If someone is cutting diem down by 40%, the good will vote with their feet and the dregs will remain, as always.   Or become a house tech and get real benefits, not the measly $3/hour on a 40 hours week.  You life and future is in your own hands.

 


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