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Lev, Tax Advisor
Category: Tax
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Experience:  Taxes, Immigration, Labor Relations
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My wife and I were on a Service Mission (October 2009 to September

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My wife and I were on a Service Mission (October 2009 to September 2010) in Illinois. Our legal residence in Texas and we kept that home (address, phone number, etc.). Can I deduct a "per diem" rate on my Federal Tax return? The church paid none of our expenses.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  Lev replied 6 years ago.


Hi and welcome to Just Answer!


Yes if received compensation for you work (wages or self-employment) and if that was a temporary job location.


See fro instance IRS publication 463 -


Temporary assignment vs. indefinite assignment. If your assignment or job away from your main place of work is temporary, your tax home does not change. You are considered to be away from home for the whole period you are away from your main place of work. You can deduct your travel expenses if they otherwise qualify for deduction. Generally, a temporary assignment in a single location is one that is realistically expected to last (and does in fact last) for 1 year or less.


However, if your assignment or job is indefinite, the location of the assignment or job becomes your new tax home and you cannot deduct your travel expenses while there. An assignment or job in a single location is considered indefinite if it is realistically expected to last for more than 1 year, whether or not it actually lasts for more than 1 year.


Not sure I understand. My wife and I were Missionaries for our church and received no compensation of any kind for the year we were in Illinois. ALL expenses were paid by me. Another couple who served prior to us was told by their accountant they could deduct a "per diem" for the time they served. Can I do that, or should I just deduct my apartment rent, utilities, etc.?


Ok - that is a different situation - it was not clear from your original post if that was a job assignment or not - your deduction in this case will be classified as charitable contribution.

Deductible travel expenses. – see for reference IRS publication 526 -

These include:

Air, rail, and bus transportation,

Out-of-pocket expenses for your car,

Taxi fares or other costs of transportation between the airport or station and your hotel,

Lodging costs, and

The cost of meals.

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