"Regarding M&IE rates (per diem rates), IRS Publication #1542 does in fact only mention employers and employees, but that does not mean that per-diem rates cannot be used by self-employed people. Some IRS laws use the word "employer" to include self-employed individuals. It is obviously confusing to people.
This is excerpted from the 2015 U.S. Master Tax Guide, paragraph 954(b): "Self-employed individuals may use the "M&IE-only" rate [meals and incidental expenses only] to substantiate meals and incidental expenses while traveling away from home...[however] the amount of lodging costs must be proven by documentary evidence."
Thank you so much, D. Broughton for your help. I try to do my best, but no one knows all the ins and outs, much less the conflicting areas in our tax code. If ever you find a problem area, please don't be shy about, but let me know. We are all in this together trying to help each other out!