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winktax, Enrolled Agent
Category: Tax
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Experience:  18 years experience as an Enrolled Agent, insurance agent, stock broker and financial advisor.
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can I claim travel expenses (from LA to San Jose) during the

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can I claim travel expenses (from LA to San Jose) during the weekend to see my spouse and also the rent paid for the period of my stay when I work in Los Angels, CA while my spouse works and lives in San Jose, CA.

I have been working in LA, CA for more than 6 months at a client place through my employer.

winktax :

Possibility. It depends on where your tax home is and the status of the job. If your tax home is/was in San Jose (this is your permanent residence, if this was where you lived before the job in LA, and it is your intent to return after the job ends), and the job status. If the job in LA is considered temporary (ie. will last less than 12 months), job as is location of the job in LA, you can continue with the same employer but the location needs to be temporary. Then YES you can deduct travel, rent, food and incidental expenses as a Form 2106 - Unreimbursed Employee business expenses flowing to Sch A. misc deduction.

winktax :

If the job in LA will last longer than 12 months and/or is considered permanent. Then your tax home changes to LA from San Jose and the travel and living expenses are not deductible.

winktax :

Note, if the job location is temporary and you are going back to San Jose, the easiest method to deduct meals and incidental expenses is to use the IRS Per Diem Rate, this is daily amount the IRS allows one to claim without the need for actual receipts, you still need to document the actual location. The Per Diem rate for LA for 2012 was $71 per day.

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