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R. Klein, EA
R. Klein, EA, Enrolled Agent
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 3374
Experience:  Over 20 Years experience
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I live in CA but worked 35 weeks last year (2012) in AZ (Scottsdale).

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I live in CA but worked 35 weeks last year (2012) in AZ (Scottsdale). Part of my wage was split off as per diem. That came to $20K. I spent about $23K living there. I worked most weekends (about 22 out of the 35.) If I use the GSA per diem rates for 7 days a week for the time I was actually in AZ it comes out to $41K. So the $23K I actually paid is well below that but it is above the employer's reported per diem. How do I deduct that extra $3,000 off my income?

R. Klein, EA :

Thank you for contacting me about your Tax issue. I will work hard to help you understand the issue clearly.

R. Klein, EA :

If you are paid a wage and you have what is known as "Unreimbursed Employee Expenses" these amounts are deducted on Schedule A of your tax return.

R. Klein, EA :

Form 2106 is the actual form, which then feeds into Schedule A

R. Klein, EA :

However, you may not have anything to deduct in this case.

R. Klein, EA :

You will need to break out that expense between meals and other expenses, such as hotel or rent and vehicle expenses.

R. Klein, EA :

On Form 2106 you put the total of your expenses that you paid (or the per diem total). Then you SUBTRACT the amount you were actually reimbursed. The unreimbursed remainder is the deductible portion.

R. Klein, EA :

Keep in mind that you can only deduct 50% of the per diem amount for meals and incidentals (100% for everything else). So if that $41K represents only meals and incidentals, then the deductible portion is 50% or $21,500, and you have been fully reimbursed for your deductible expenses.

Customer:

Thank you. The $41K was based on the GSA per diem for Scottsdale, AZ. So I take that as an upper limit on possible deductible expenses. According to the last paragraph it's actually about $32.5K. Anyway, it's well above what I actually spent. I just want to get the deduction for my actual expense.

Customer:

I believe you have given me all the information I need at this time.

Customer:

Thank you.

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