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Itemized Deductions Schedule-A


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Old 01-15-2009, 10:27 PM
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Eligibility to Claim Travel/Meal/Laundry Expense on H1

Hi,

I get different answers from people on whether or not people on H1 can claim the amount spent on commute to work, meals and laundry in itemized deduction.

As per IRS website , you can claim these only if you are away from home. I am a Indian citizen and working in USA.

I was in India for 3.5 months last year and worked in different states in USA. Can you please clarify on the criteria for itemized deductions.

Also, I made two India trips for vacation . Can these be claimed as any kind of deductions along with the amount i spent on taking gifts for friends in India? I do have the receipts for everything.

I have been coming at different times on H1. My last assignment started in April 2007 and Ended on June 28,2008. I was in India for a month in between on vacation. My current assignment started from Sept 24,2008 and will be valid till August 2009. In this scenario, can I claim the daily living expenses. I have been on H1 in USA in 2005 also for 11 months.

For my case, it entirely depends on project requirements. I keep visiting US for some time and mostly works from INdia only.

Thanks,
Mayank



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Old 01-18-2009, 06:27 PM
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Laundry Expenses? Yeah right! No way man!

IRS will not allow deduction for laundry, not in the US!!!



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Old 01-19-2009, 01:23 AM
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Can you please clarify on the criteria for itemized deductions?
Itemized deductions are an election taken by the taxpayer as an alternative to claiming the standard deduction. Under your circumstances, it may not be beneficial to elect to itemize as perhaps you may not have enough expenses to justify this election.

Usually, taxpayers are able to itemize due to the fact they claiming a home mortgage deduction along with the applicable property taxes on their prinicipal residence, and you have not mentioned that you own a personal residence in the USA.

Thus, you cannot really claim substantial expenses under the itemization method and the alternative standard deduction method would seem to perhaps provide a larger tax deduction for you in the tax year 2008. The following are the 2008 standard deductions for both the Single taxpayer and the Married persons filing jointly tax returns

Married persons filing jointly $10,900.
Single taxpayers $5,450

Also, I made two India trips for vacation . Can these be claimed as any kind of deductions along with the amount i spent on taking gifts for friends in India? I do have the receipts for everything.
No! These are considered personal expenses.

In this scenario, can I claim the daily living expenses. I have been on H1 in USA in 2005 also for 11 months.
No, you cannot claim living expenses, as again, these are considered personal expenses.

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