Temporary Work Locations & Commuting Expenses Tax Deductions
“I’m an independent contractor and I use my personal car to travel to different work locations. At the end of the year, what commuting mileage is tax deductible and what isn’t?”
The IRS defines a temporary work location as a work location expected to last for less than a year. For example, an employee’s or contractor’s commute between their home and regular work location is not a deductible business expense. However, if the work location is temporary than the daily round-trip commute expenses are tax deductible, regardless of the distance.
Factors that Determine a Temporary Work Location
The employment isn’t temporary if the employment at the work location is expected to last more than one year. The employment is still not considered temporary even if it ends up lasting less than a year. Therefore, in this
What if I Have More than One Work Location?
If the employee works between two or more work locations the commuting expenses between the two work locations are deductible. This is true even if the employee is employed by two different empoyers. In the event that the commuter does not go directly from one location to the other, only the amount of the commuting expense
No Ordinary Place of Work
Many workers have no ordinary place to work. Meaning, they don’t have a regular office that they go to on a daily basis, Monday through Friday. Instead, these workers are traveling around to different work locations throughout the day and throughout the week.
What commuting expenses are tax deductible if you travel to different work locations for work?
Commuting expenses aren’t deductible if the job requires you to travel to different workplaces around the city where you live. However, if the commuting requires the taxpayer to travel outside of their metropolitan area, then these commuting expenses are deductible. For information about what qualifies as “Away From Home”, review the post, IRS Business Travel Definition for “Away From Home”.
Temporary Work Location vs Travel
If the temporary work location is outside of the area where the taxpayer lives and it involves overnight stay, it’s considered a travel expense.
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