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Merlo
Merlo, Accountant
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 9783
Experience:  25+ years tax consulting. Specializing in returns for US citizens living abroad
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I am a union construction worker. I travel daily to work in

Resolved Question:

I am a union construction worker. I travel daily to work in the Philadelphia area. Yearly I average atleast 6 different contractors and up to as many as 12 different job sites. What are the guide lines for claiming mileage on taxes?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  Merlo replied 5 years ago.
HelloCustomer

If you work in Philadelphia on a regular basis, then the Philadelphia area is considered to be your "tax home". You may not take any deductions for travel unless you are traveling away from the area of your "tax home" for a period longer than a normal days work.

If you live in an area which is 50 or 60 or even 100 miles away from Philadelphia, you cannot claim a mileage deduction for your travel between your residence and Philadelphia. That is strictly a commuting expense and is not allowed as a tax deduction.

The IRS considers your "tax home" to be the general area of where you normally work and make your income. Travel between your residence and your tax home is not deductible.

Please refer to the following IRS webpage with more details on this topic.

http://74.125.95.132/search?q=cache:bsf8U5epnRwJ:www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc511.html+irs+tax+home&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us

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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I must add some info to my question. My union hall covers the eastern 37 counties in Pennsylvania. It just so happens that the jobs that I was able to work that year were all in the Philadelphia area. I have the the option to work as far east as Johnstown,PA. Would this make any difference?
Expert:  Merlo replied 5 years ago.
Hello againCustomer

Here again, regardless of where you actually work, the IRS will consider your "tax home" to be the main place where you normally work. Obviously you can only have one "tax home" at a time.

If the company you work for started sending you to Johnstown, PA on a regular basis, or for most of the jobs throughout the year, then Johnstown would be considered to be your "tax home". You could then not deduct the cost of travel to and from Johnstown.

However, if your main place of work is for instance the Philadelphia area, and your employer sends you to a temporary job in Johnstown where you work for a couple of months for the year, then you could deduct your travel between your home and Johnstown, because Johnstown is then considered a temporary work location and is not your tax home.

If this was helpful please press the Accept button.

Thank you.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I have been told in the past that if I transport tools and equipment required for my job, that I will be able to claim the mileage.
Expert:  Merlo replied 5 years ago.
Hello againCustomer

That is simply not the case. Transporting tools and equipment has nothing to do with whether or not you can claim a mileage allowance for your travel.

In order to claim credit for your mileage, you must be traveling away from the area where you normally work, to a temporary work location, and the temporary work location must be outside of the normal area where you work. So if you normally work on the east side of Philadelphia, and then they send you to a job on the west side of the city, that is not considered a new work location, as you are still in the Philadelphia area which is your tax home.

You must actually be traveling away from the general area that is considered to be your tax home before mileage can be claimed.

If during the course of your work day, your employer would ask you to use your personal truck to take supplies or equipment to another jobsite, then you could deduct the cost of the miles you traveled from one job site to another, but you cannot deduct the miles traveled between your residence and your first job site location of the day, assuming that job site is in your tax home area.


Transporting tools and equipment has no affect on whether or not you may claim the mileage that you commute between your home and your regular place of work.

Merlo, Accountant
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 9783
Experience: 25+ years tax consulting. Specializing in returns for US citizens living abroad
Merlo and 3 other Tax Specialists are ready to help you

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