Jackson Hewitt® is
here to help you understand complex tax laws so you can be better informed and
take full advantage of tax law provisions.
These topics explore some of
the more important aspects of complicated tax laws, in a manner that is
understandable and concise.
Job-Related Travel Expenses
be able to deduct travel expenses if you are an employee who temporarily travels
away from your tax home for business purposes. You are traveling away from home
if both of the following apply:
- Your duties require you to be away
from the general area of your tax home substantially longer than an ordinary
- You need to sleep or rest to meet the demands of your work
while away from home.
For tax purposes,
travel expenses are the ordinary and necessary expenses of traveling away from
home for a business, a profession, or a job. The following chart lists common
deductible expenses you might have when traveling away from home for business
If you have
Then, you can
deduct the cost of
airplane, train, bus, or other vehicle between your home and your business
destination. If you are given a free ticket or are riding free as a result of
a frequent traveler or similar program, your cost is zero.
bus, and airport limousine
these and other types of transportation that take you between one of the
The airport or station and your hotel
The hotel and the work location of your customers or
clients, your business meeting place, or your temporary work location
baggage and sample or display material between your regular and temporary
maintaining your vehicle when traveling away from home on business. You can
deduct actual expenses or the standard mileage rate, as well as
business-related tolls and parking. If you rent a vehicle while away from
home on business, you can deduct only the business-use portion of the
and meals if your business trip is overnight or long enough that you need to
stop for sleep or rest to properly perform your duties. Meals include amounts
spent for food, beverages, taxes, and related tips.
calls while on your business trip. This includes business communication by
fax machine or other communication devices.
Tips you pay
for any expenses in this table.
ordinary and necessary expenses related to your business travel. These expenses
might include the cost of transportation to or from a business meal, fees for
public stenographer services, rent for computer equipment, and the cost of operating
and maintaining a house trailer.
For job-related travel expenses, you must be traveling away from
your tax home. The following guidelines clarify where your tax home is
considered to be:
- Generally, your tax home is your regular place of
business or post of duty, regardless of where you maintain your family home. The
tax home includes the entire city or general area of your place of
- If you have more than one regular place of business, your tax
home refers to your main place of business.
- If you have no main place of
business because of the nature of your work or the circumstances, your tax home
may be the place where you regularly live or where your main home is located.
Use the following to determine whether your main home can be considered your tax
- You perform part of your business close to your main home and you
use that home for lodging while doing business in the area.
duplicate the living expenses you already have at your main home that you
duplicate because your business requires you to be away from that
- You have not abandoned the home in which have historically lived
and considered your main home, you have members of your family living at your
main home, or you often use that home for lodging.
- If there is no place
where you regularly live, your tax home is wherever you work. In this case, you
cannot claim a travel expense deduction because you are never considered to be
traveling away from home.
To have qualified
job-related travel expenses, you can either be temporarily away from home or on
a temporary assignment. You are considered to be temporarily away from home if
your duties require you to be away from the general area of your tax home
substantially longer than an ordinary day's work and you need to sleep or rest
to meet the demands of your work while away from home.
You will generally
be considered on a temporary assignment if you realistically expect it to last
(and it does last) for one year or less. Note: If you are a federal employee
participating in a federal crime investigation or prosecution, you are not
subject to the one-year rule.
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