Originally Posted by Big Ed
#1;I live in California and travel annually to Maryland where I own and rent a house. When I travel, I purchase a roundtrip airline ticket, fly to Baltimore (BWI), rent a car and drive down to St. Mary's county (90 miles) where the house is located. I usually stay at a local hotel and drive back and forth to the house and local hardware store for supplies. When my business is done, I check out of my hotel, drive back to BWI and fly to California where I reside. The total miles I drove are conveniently listed on the completed receipt for my rental car. Can anyone tell me what I can claim as business miles?
#2;What are considered commuting miles here? This is the ls last question I must answer to finally complete a return from 2010...help!
#1; Biz travel is a specific term determined by the IRS to describe travel away from your tax home home in CA, that is "substantially longer than an ordinary day's work" and that requires you to sleep or rest while away from home. You must also sleep away from home to be able to deduct these costs. The travel must also be "temporary" (lasting less than a year). You can deduct costs to travel by train, bus, or airplane between your tax home and your business destination,MD state. You can deduct costs to take you from an airport to your hotel or to a business location. Costs for baggage delivery or for shipping business materials between your regular work location or tax home and a temporary work location are deductible. You can deduct expenses for lodging and meals(50% of them) while away from home on a businessassignment. You can submit actual expenses or use per diem rates, as determined by the IRS. If you need to rent a car to conduct business while away on travel, the rental costs are deductible on your income taxes. If you use the car for personal purposes while renting, you can deduct only the business-related portion of use on your taxes. Related car rental expenses such as gasoline, washing, parking and toll fees may also be deductible if they were incurred as a business expense. Car rental and related costs are deductible as a business expense only if they are not reimbursed by an employer or client.
#2;The IRS allows businesses to deduct expenses for business travel by owners and employees, but no deductions are allowed for commuting expenses. The rationale is that everyone commutes (travels to work), so commuting is not a business but a personal expense. On the other hand, expenses for business travel are a business expense and therefore are deductible. The IRS makes a distinction between commuting and business travel; commuting expenses are allowed only in specific cases, while business travel expenses are usually allowed, within limits. The distance between your home/hotel and your place of work is your commute, and the time you spend driving between home/hotel and work, no matter how far, is your commuting distance. The IRS does not generally allow deductions for commuting expenses. Think of it this way - everyone needs to get to work, employees and business owners alike, so this expense is not part of your business. In one Tax Court case, a self-employed individual who traveled each day from home to temporary work sites up to 96 miles away, and back home each night. That's a long commute, but it's still commuting, not traveling. The Tax Court said that the the worker's home and the temporary work sites were all within the general metropolitan area of a large Midwestern city, so the trips were commuting.