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TaxRobin
TaxRobin, Senior Advisor
Category: Finance
Satisfied Customers: 14496
Experience:  15 years of experience in financial advising with emphasis on tax issues.
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Are expenses like travel and solo meals deductible while in

Customer Question

Are expenses like travel and solo meals deductible while in states other than where my employer is headquartered, and cities other than my tax home? (my tax home is my principal place of work? The fact that office rent is paid year round makes it my principal, or I have to be there x number of days per year?)
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Finance
Expert:  TaxRobin replied 10 months ago.

Hello

Meals are deductible when you are traveling for business purposes. You are traveling away from your tax home if your duties require you to be away from the general area of your tax home for a period substantially longer than an ordinary day's work, and you need to get sleep or rest to meet the demands of your work while away.

Generally, your tax home is the entire city or general area where your main place of business or work is located, regardless of where you maintain your family home. In determining your main place of business, take into account the length of time you normally need to spend at each location for business purposes, the degree of business activity in each area, and the relative significance of the financial return from each area. However, the most important consideration is the length of time you spend at each location.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I already read that same website too.
can you give a try at my question now?
Expert:  TaxRobin replied 10 months ago.

The IRS information (above) defines your tax home, If you have to travel from your regular place of work and that travel is for more than a work day you can use the meal as a deduction.

Perhaps if you explain more about your actual place of business I could be more specific.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
can company pay me rent for space in my home as a home office? If yes, then is that my tax home, regardless of how many days a year I'm there?
Expert:  TaxRobin replied 10 months ago.

Is this company your company or are you an employee of a company that you do not personally own?

Expert:  TaxRobin replied 10 months ago.

regardless of how many days a year I'm there That part of your question is a no. Just because you pay rent for a space does not make it your place of business.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I own and I'm an employee. Then what makes it my place of business? If I have a server there?
Expert:  TaxRobin replied 10 months ago.

It is your place of business if you actually go there and conduct business there.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
can I go there digitally, or does it have to be physically? If physical, how many days?
Expert:  TaxRobin replied 10 months ago.

Physically present.

How many days, more than anywhere else. I know that is an open ended answer but there is no rule on X amount of days except more than anywhere else.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
can it just be more days than in any other of the cities?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
for example..
Expert:  TaxRobin replied 10 months ago.

Yes as long as you conduct business there

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
30 days in FL, then 20 days each in 100 other cities. So my tax home is FL
Expert:  TaxRobin replied 10 months ago.

That is a big part but also you have to look now to the relative significance of the financial return from each area.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I don't know what that means. Now it's not days, but instead how much I make in each city?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
How can I make sure IRS doesn't classify me as considered an itinerant?
Expert:  TaxRobin replied 10 months ago.

Not INSTEAD but also.

It sounds like most of your business is on the road.

Taxpayers who, because of the nature of their work, work at multiple temporary assignments in various locations are entitled to deduct related travel expenses, assuming they passed the two threshold tests discussed previously. First, the taxpayer must have a tax home even though the taxpayer does not have a regular place of business, and second, the assignments must be temporary rather than indefinite in nature.

Your tax home then would be where your main home is. Rev. Rul. 71-247

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
my city of "main home" is determined by where I pay rent, and not related to number of days?
Expert:  TaxRobin replied 10 months ago.

It falls under your need to pay duplicate expenses.

Expert:  TaxRobin replied 10 months ago.

You would need to have expenses for your home that you actually return to after each trip and then the expenses for travel as well.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
what you are saying is I pay rent for my home, and company pays for my travel, and it doesn't matter how much time I am away from home, because I've decided to define my tax home as where my main home is? And I have the right to change the rules like that?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
because before you said it was defined by where I physically work. This is a very important issue that I need to be sure I get right.
Expert:  TaxRobin replied 10 months ago.

If your company pays for the travel you have no expense to claim personally.

You have not decided to define your tax home, the situation defines your tax home.

No you cannot change rules. What I explained are the rules.

Just paying rent for your home is not the reason. The tax home is still defined by all the rules it is not just one or the other. They all must be looked.

You are correct you do need to get it right. Where do you actually work? If you have no true place of business that you go to on a regular basis then the situation is what makes you travel? Do you have a home that you must keep up and pay expenses?

It is not a one or other answer.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
ok, so if I have a home in FL, and I pay rent and utilities year round, and do work while I'm there, then it's my tax home even though I'm only there a total of 60 days a year, because I don't spend more than 60 days in any one other city?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
or you're saying it's my tax home because I don't have a regular place of work, but I have a main home there?
Expert:  TaxRobin replied 10 months ago.

If you have no other office then your main home could be your tax home as long as you return there after these trips and do have an office in your home that you use.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
does this mean when I travel and work in a tax state, then don't need to file income tax to that state?
Expert:  TaxRobin replied 10 months ago.

No, and that is a different subject.

Nonresidents that work in a state may still have a tax obligation depending on the state specific rules. That is a different subject and has nothing to do with the original post here.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I can close the question now if you want. The original question I was asking is my state income tax obligation based on my tax home, so that is what I'm asking above. We first had to determine what what my tax home.
Expert:  TaxRobin replied 10 months ago.

If by close you mean a positive rating, yes, that would be appreciated.

I am confident I addressed your question:

Are expenses like travel and solo meals deductible while in states other than where my employer is headquartered, and cities other than my tax home? (my tax home is my principal place of work? The fact that office rent is paid year round makes it my principal, or I have to be there x number of days per year?)

Expert:  TaxRobin replied 10 months ago.

Checking to see if you responded