Temporary Work Locations & Commuting Expenses Tax Deductions

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What does the IRS consider a temporary work location and how does this impact commuting expenses write offs? Read to find out.

Read this article to find out if your commuting expenses are tax-deductible.

Many people, particularly self-employed individuals, and independent contractors take jobs that last only a short period of time. These jobs could also be called temporary work.

In addition, for some of these temporary jobs, the worker is required to commute to a temporary work location. And the expenses of this work commute can add up. Therefore, many tempory workers wonder, are commuting expenses a tax write-off?

Read this article to learn how the IRS defines a temporary work location, and how to determine if your temporary work location commuting expenses are a tax write-off.


How does the IRS define a temporary work location?

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.


Daily round-trip commute expenses are tax-deductible, regardless of the distance, if the work location is temporary then the

Factors that Determine a Temporary Work Location

Temporary employment isn’t considered temporary for work locations if it’s expected to last longer than one year. Also, temporary employment is not considered temporary if it was initially planned to last less than a year but ended up lasting longer than a year. Therefore, in this case, the commuting expenses are not deductible.

For example, an individual accepts an offer for a new full-time job but resigns within the first year of employment.

Also, a work location is not considered temporary if the employment was initially expected to last less than a year and at a later date was expected to last more than a year. Further, once it is realized that the employment will last longer than a year the work location is no longer considered temporary.

What does the IRS consider commuting expenses?

The IRS defines a commute as ‘transportation between your home and your regular place of work’. Please review this article for more detailed information on commuting expenses, How Does the IRS Define Commuting?.

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. Also true for someone employed by two different employers. In the event that the commuter does not go directly from one location to the other, only the amount of the commuting expense is deductible.

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

Transportation is a travel expense if the temporary work location is outside of the area where the taxpayer lives and it involves overnight stay. A travel expense is not a temporary work location commuting expense.

Therefore, expenses, in this case, deductible business travel expenses instead of commute expenses. For more information on business travel expenses please review the following post, What Qualifies as Tax Deductible Business Travel Expenses.

How do I track of mileage expense write offs?

  1. Odometer Log
    Enter the start and end odometer readings of your business transportation, Falcon Expenses calculates miles driven and expense reimbursement amount using the custom reimbursement rate set in the app.

    Check out this article for more information, Falcon Expenses Odometer Log Feature.
  2. Start and End Trip Addresses
    Enter start and end address for a tax deductible commute or transportation, Falcon Expenses calculates the number of miles driven and the expense reimbursement amount.

    Check out this article for more information, Falcon Expenses Addresses Feature.
  3. GPS Mileage Tracker
    Use an integrated GPS tracker to track tax deductible business transportation miles while you are driving. Falcon Expenses will calculate the deductible mileage expense amount for your when the trip is complete.

    Check out this article for more information, Falcon Expenses GPS Tracker.

About Falcon Expenses

Falcon Expenses is a top-rated mobile application for self-employed and small businesses to track expenses and tax deductions. Falcon customers record $6,600, on average, in annual tax deductions. Start today. The longer you wait the more tax deductions you miss out on.

Automatically track mileage expenses and expenses, keep an odometer log, receipt vault and log billable hours. Quickly organize expenses by time period, project, or client. Easily prepare reports to email to anyone in PDF or spreadsheet formats, all from your phone. Use for keeping track of tax deductions, reimbursements, taxes, record keeping, and more. Falcon Expenses is great for self-employed, freelancers, realtors, business travelers, truckers, and more.

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1 Response

  1. Interviewer says:

    Generally, the cost of a car, plus sales tax and improvements, is a capital expense. Because the benefits last longer than 1 year, you generally can’t deduct a capital expense. However, you can recover this cost through the section 179 deduction (the deduction allowed by section 179 of the Internal Revenue Code), special depreciation allowance, and depreciation deductions. Depreciation allows you to recover the cost over more than 1 year by deducting part of it each year. The section 179 deduction, special depreciation allowance, and depreciation deductions are discussed later.

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