Income Taxes

Just starting out as a traveler? Traveling questions or experiences to share? Here's the place.
KtVi
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Nov 13, 2009 7:59 pm
Location: USA

Income Taxes

Unread post by KtVi » Thu Apr 01, 2010 9:26 pm

Oh, the joy of tax season!

Taxes for a traveling health care professional can be daunting. Filing in multiple states, incurring moving costs, owning/renting out a home, determining 'tax home', and all the tax deductions can make that time of the year stressful and less than pleasurable. In this thread, let's discuss some of the issues you've had as a traveler or any questions you might have that someone can answer. After doing this for about 3 years now, I feel like I've figured out a lot, but I still am learning!

One of the more interesting things is that I've received at least 3 definitions of 'tax home'. I own a condo in Maine that I rent out most of the time, but lived in it for 2 months last year. Because I was within 60 miles of my contract position at that time, I received no tax breaks on housing or per diem. Another company told me that your 'tax home' is where you make the most money each year. Frustrating!

Jimebob
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat Mar 08, 2008 7:54 pm

Re: Income Taxes

Unread post by Jimebob » Sat Jun 19, 2010 12:07 am

Kate and I used a service this year called "Travel Tax." It's run by a guy who used to be a traveler, but went into taxes and does them for just traveling PTs, nurses, and everything. It went smoothly and I felt like he really knew his stuff about how taxes apply to our unique situations. "Traveltax.com" is the website.... in my opinion, definitely worth it if you have a few different states to file in!

KtVi wrote:Oh, the joy of tax season!

Taxes for a traveling health care professional can be daunting. Filing in multiple states, incurring moving costs, owning/renting out a home, determining 'tax home', and all the tax deductions can make that time of the year stressful and less than pleasurable. In this thread, let's discuss some of the issues you've had as a traveler or any questions you might have that someone can answer. After doing this for about 3 years now, I feel like I've figured out a lot, but I still am learning!

One of the more interesting things is that I've received at least 3 definitions of 'tax home'. I own a condo in Maine that I rent out most of the time, but lived in it for 2 months last year. Because I was within 60 miles of my contract position at that time, I received no tax breaks on housing or per diem. Another company told me that your 'tax home' is where you make the most money each year. Frustrating!
James R Spencer, PT, DPT, OCS, CSCS
Current location: Kona, HI

traveltax
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2011 9:11 pm
Contact:

Re: Income Taxes

Unread post by traveltax » Tue Jan 04, 2011 10:07 pm

KtVi wrote:
> Oh, the joy of tax season!
>
> Taxes for a traveling health care professional can be daunting. Filing in
> multiple states, incurring moving costs, owning/renting out a home,
> determining 'tax home', and all the tax deductions can make that time of
> the year stressful and less than pleasurable. In this thread, let's discuss
> some of the issues you've had as a traveler or any questions you might have
> that someone can answer. After doing this for about 3 years now, I feel
> like I've figured out a lot, but I still am learning!
>
> One of the more interesting things is that I've received at least 3
> definitions of 'tax home'. I own a condo in Maine that I rent out most of
> the time, but lived in it for 2 months last year. Because I was within 60
> miles of my contract position at that time, I received no tax breaks on
> housing or per diem. Another company told me that your 'tax home' is where
> you make the most money each year. Frustrating!

I posted a comprehensive explanation of a "tax home" in a thread entitled "Tax Home" just a bit ago. You mentioned the mileage benchmark of 60 miles. One of the confusion surrounding tax homes is that many agencies like to use mileage benchmarks is the determination of whether an individual is considered "away from home" to qualify for tax-free allowances/reimbursements for lodging, meals, and travel. The raw truth is that there is no such thing as a 50 mile, 60 mile or even 100 mile rule- the tried and true measure of whether an assignment or engagement is considered to be "away from home" is whether or not the individual incurs an overnight stay at the assignment location. In other words, it would be unreasonable for an individual to commute to the assignment location return home, sleep, awake, and do the commute all over again. This definition of "away from home" also has to be lined up with whether or not that home is also individuals tax home. A tax home and a permanent residents are two entirely separate things which I also explained in the other thread.
Joseph Smith EA
Enrolled Agent, Admitted to Practice Before the IRS
TravelTax LLC
www.traveltax.com
jsmith@traveltax.com

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