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This question seems to be just hanging in the IN box.
Meals & Incidentals Expenses (M&IE) is not the same as Meals & Entertainment (M&E), yes.
I am a firm believer that all expenses that you can justify you should deduct as long as you have more than a 50% chance of success in an audit. M&IE expenses taken in a resort area are just as legitimate as M&IE expenses in the middle of Nebraska.
Never fear the IRS because they *might* disallow an otherwise allowable deduction.
As long as your purpose was *primarily* (not solely) to turn the rental unit around for a new tenant, you are perfectly safe in deducting your travel and M&IE expenses, even if you stopped to see Grandma for a few days. Your trip obviously coincided with the end of the rental of the prior tenant and you did cleaning jobs and improvements to the property.
You would indicate that the property was a rental property for the entire period of the year.
M&IE can be deducted using the per diem rate in effect for that area. You are not required to have meal receipts for meals under $75 each. Meals eaten with Grandma are not deductible (just as an example--not to imply you are visiting Grandma).
Your travel to and from AZ is deductible, as are travel trips to the store to buy materials, etc. in the local rental city. Mileage to visit Grandma is not deductible.
Expenses, to be deductible, must meet the "gold standard" of "Reasonable and Necessary". Are the expenses reasonable for the work done? Are the expenses necessary to get the job done? If it meets both tests, you are good.
Taxwise, you may still be limited in any losses on your rental activity if your income is over a certain threshold, nut that rule applies to everyone.