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File your taxes for free Publication 947 - Introductory Material Table of Contents What's New Practitioners' Hotline IntroductionOrdering forms and publications. File your taxes for free Tax questions. File your taxes for free Useful Items - You may want to see: What's New Registered tax return preparers. File your taxes for free  Registered tax return preparers may prepare and sign as the preparer tax returns and claims for refund and other documents for submission to the IRS. File your taxes for free They may also represent taxpayers before revenue agents, customer service representatives, and similar IRS employees during an examination if they signed the return or claim for refund for the tax year or period under examination. File your taxes for free Future developments. File your taxes for free  The IRS has created a page on IRS. File your taxes for free gov for information about Publication 947 at www. File your taxes for free irs. File your taxes for free gov/pub947. File your taxes for free Information about any future developments (such as legislation enacted after we release it) will be posted on that page. File your taxes for free Practitioners' Hotline The Practitioner Priority Service® is a nationwide, toll-free hotline that provides professional support to practitioners with account-related questions. File your taxes for free The toll-free number for this service is 1-866-860-4259. File your taxes for free Introduction This publication discusses who can represent a taxpayer before the IRS and what forms or documents are used to authorize a person to represent a taxpayer. File your taxes for free Usually, attorneys, certified public accountants (CPAs), enrolled agents, enrolled retirement plan agents, and enrolled actuaries can represent taxpayers before the IRS. File your taxes for free Under special circumstances, other individuals, including registered tax return preparers, unenrolled return preparers, and students can represent taxpayers before the IRS. File your taxes for free For details regarding taxpayer representation, see Who Can Practice Before the IRS, later. File your taxes for free Definitions. File your taxes for free   Many of the terms used in this publication, such as “enrolled agent” and “practitioner” are defined in the Glossary at the back of this publication. File your taxes for free Comments and suggestions. File your taxes for free   We welcome your comments about this publication and your suggestions for future editions. File your taxes for free   You can write to us at the following address: Internal Revenue Service Individual Forms and Publications Branch SE:W:CAR:MP:T:I 1111 Constitution Ave. File your taxes for free NW, IR-6526 Washington, DC 20224   We respond to many letters by telephone. File your taxes for free Therefore, it would be helpful if you would include your daytime phone number, including the area code, in your correspondence. File your taxes for free   You can email us at taxforms@irs. File your taxes for free gov . File your taxes for free Please put “Publications Comment” on the subject line. File your taxes for free You can also send us comments from www. File your taxes for free irs. File your taxes for free gov/formspubs/, select “Comment on Tax Forms and Publications” under “Information About. File your taxes for free ” Ordering forms and publications. File your taxes for free   Visit www. File your taxes for free irs. File your taxes for free gov/formspubs/ to download forms and publications, call 1-800-829-3676, or write to the address below and receive a response within 10 days after your request is received. File your taxes for free Internal Revenue Service 1201 N. File your taxes for free Mitsubishi Motorway Bloomington, IL 61705-6613 Tax questions. File your taxes for free   If you have a tax question, check the information available on IRS. File your taxes for free gov or call 1-800-829-1040. File your taxes for free We cannot answer tax questions sent to either of the above addresses. File your taxes for free Useful Items - You may want to see: Publications 1 Your Rights as a Taxpayer 470 Limited Practice Without Enrollment Circular No. File your taxes for free 230 Regulations Governing Practice before the Internal Revenue Service Forms and Instructions 2848 Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative 8821 Tax Information Authorization Prev  Up  Next   Home   More Online Publications
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File your taxes for free 26. File your taxes for free   Car Expenses and Other Employee Business Expenses Table of Contents What's New Introduction Useful Items - You may want to see: Travel ExpensesTraveling Away From Home Tax Home Temporary Assignment or Job What Travel Expenses Are Deductible? Travel in the United States Travel Outside the United States Conventions Entertainment Expenses50% Limit What Entertainment Expenses Are Deductible? What Entertainment Expenses Are Not Deductible? Gift Expenses Transportation ExpensesArmed Forces reservists. File your taxes for free Parking fees. File your taxes for free Advertising display on car. File your taxes for free Car pools. File your taxes for free Hauling tools or instruments. File your taxes for free Union members' trips from a union hall. File your taxes for free Car Expenses RecordkeepingHow To Prove Expenses How Long To Keep Records and Receipts How To ReportGifts. File your taxes for free Statutory employees. File your taxes for free Reimbursements Completing Forms 2106 and 2106-EZ Special Rules What's New Standard mileage rate. File your taxes for free  For 2013, the standard mileage rate for the cost of operating your car for business use is 56½ cents per mile. File your taxes for free Car expenses and use of the standard mileage rate are explained under Transportation Expenses , later. File your taxes for free Depreciation limits on cars, trucks, and vans. File your taxes for free  For 2013, the first-year limit on the total section 179 deduction, special depreciation allowance, and depreciation deduction for cars remains at $11,160 ($3,160 if you elect not to claim the special depreciation allowance). File your taxes for free For trucks and vans the first-year limit remains at $11,360 ($3,360 if you elect not to claim the special depreciation allowance). File your taxes for free For more information, see Depreciation limits in Publication 463. File your taxes for free Introduction You may be able to deduct the ordinary and necessary business-related expenses you have for: Travel, Entertainment, Gifts, or Transportation. File your taxes for free An ordinary expense is one that is common and accepted in your trade or business. File your taxes for free A necessary expense is one that is helpful and appropriate for your business. File your taxes for free An expense does not have to be required to be considered necessary. File your taxes for free This chapter explains the following. File your taxes for free What expenses are deductible. File your taxes for free How to report your expenses on your return. File your taxes for free What records you need to prove your expenses. File your taxes for free How to treat any expense reimbursements you may receive. File your taxes for free Who does not need to use this chapter. File your taxes for free   If you are an employee, you will not need to read this chapter if all of the following are true. File your taxes for free You fully accounted to your employer for your work-related expenses. File your taxes for free You received full reimbursement for your expenses. File your taxes for free Your employer required you to return any excess reimbursement and you did so. File your taxes for free There is no amount shown with a code “L” in box 12 of your Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement. File your taxes for free If you meet all of these conditions, there is no need to show the expenses or the reimbursements on your return. File your taxes for free See Reimbursements , later, if you would like more information on reimbursements and accounting to your employer. File your taxes for free    If you meet these conditions and your employer included reimbursements on your Form W-2 in error, ask your employer for a corrected Form W-2. File your taxes for free Useful Items - You may want to see: Publication 463 Travel, Entertainment, Gift, and Car Expenses 535 Business Expenses Form (and Instructions) Schedule A (Form 1040) Itemized Deductions Schedule C (Form 1040) Profit or Loss From Business Schedule C-EZ (Form 1040) Net Profit From Business Schedule F (Form 1040) Profit or Loss From Farming Form 2106 Employee Business Expenses Form 2106-EZ Unreimbursed Employee Business Expenses Travel Expenses If you temporarily travel away from your tax home, you can use this section to determine if you have deductible travel expenses. File your taxes for free This section discusses: Traveling away from home, Tax home, Temporary assignment or job, and What travel expenses are deductible. File your taxes for free It also discusses the standard meal allowance, rules for travel inside and outside the United States, and deductible convention expenses. File your taxes for free Travel expenses defined. File your taxes for free   For tax purposes, travel expenses are the ordinary and necessary expenses (defined earlier) of traveling away from home for your business, profession, or job. File your taxes for free   You will find examples of deductible travel expenses in Table 26-1 . File your taxes for free Traveling Away From Home You are traveling away from home if: Your duties require you to be away from the general area of your tax home (defined later) substantially longer than an ordinary day's work, and You need to sleep or rest to meet the demands of your work while away from home. File your taxes for free This rest requirement is not satisfied by merely napping in your car. File your taxes for free You do not have to be away from your tax home for a whole day or from dusk to dawn as long as your relief from duty is long enough to get necessary sleep or rest. File your taxes for free Example 1. File your taxes for free You are a railroad conductor. File your taxes for free You leave your home terminal on a regularly scheduled round-trip run between two cities and return home 16 hours later. File your taxes for free During the run, you have 6 hours off at your turnaround point where you eat two meals and rent a hotel room to get necessary sleep before starting the return trip. File your taxes for free You are considered to be away from home. File your taxes for free Example 2. File your taxes for free You are a truck driver. File your taxes for free You leave your terminal and return to it later the same day. File your taxes for free You get an hour off at your turnaround point to eat. File your taxes for free Because you are not off to get necessary sleep and the brief time off is not an adequate rest period, you are not traveling away from home. File your taxes for free Members of the Armed Forces. File your taxes for free   If you are a member of the U. File your taxes for free S. File your taxes for free Armed Forces on a permanent duty assignment overseas, you are not traveling away from home. File your taxes for free You cannot deduct your expenses for meals and lodging. File your taxes for free You cannot deduct these expenses even if you have to maintain a home in the United States for your family members who are not allowed to accompany you overseas. File your taxes for free If you are transferred from one permanent duty station to another, you may have deductible moving expenses, which are explained in Publication 521, Moving Expenses. File your taxes for free    A naval officer assigned to permanent duty aboard a ship that has regular eating and living facilities has a tax home aboard ship for travel expense purposes. File your taxes for free Tax Home To determine whether you are traveling away from home, you must first determine the location of your tax home. File your taxes for free Generally, your tax home is your regular place of business or post of duty, regardless of where you maintain your family home. File your taxes for free It includes the entire city or general area in which your business or work is located. File your taxes for free If you have more than one regular place of business, your tax home is your main place of business. File your taxes for free See Main place of business or work , later. File your taxes for free If you do not have a regular or a main place of business because of the nature of your work, then your tax home may be the place where you regularly live. File your taxes for free See No main place of business or work , later. File your taxes for free If you do not have a regular or a main place of business or post of duty and there is no place where you regularly live, you are considered an itinerant (a transient) and your tax home is wherever you work. File your taxes for free As an itinerant, you cannot claim a travel expense deduction because you are never considered to be traveling away from home. File your taxes for free Main place of business or work. File your taxes for free   If you have more than one place of business or work, consider the following when determining which one is your main place of business or work. File your taxes for free The total time you ordinarily spend in each place. File your taxes for free The level of your business activity in each place. File your taxes for free Whether your income from each place is significant or insignificant. File your taxes for free Example. File your taxes for free You live in Cincinnati where you have a seasonal job for 8 months each year and earn $40,000. File your taxes for free You work the other 4 months in Miami, also at a seasonal job, and earn $15,000. File your taxes for free Cincinnati is your main place of work because you spend most of your time there and earn most of your income there. File your taxes for free No main place of business or work. File your taxes for free   You may have a tax home even if you do not have a regular or main place of business or work. File your taxes for free Your tax home may be the home where you regularly live. File your taxes for free Factors used to determine tax home. File your taxes for free   If you do not have a regular or main place of business or work, use the following three factors to determine where your tax home is. File your taxes for free You perform part of your business in the area of your main home and use that home for lodging while doing business in the area. File your taxes for free You have living expenses at your main home that you duplicate because your business requires you to be away from that home. File your taxes for free You have not abandoned the area in which both your historical place of lodging and your claimed main home are located; you have a member or members of your family living at your main home; or you often use that home for lodging. File your taxes for free   If you satisfy all three factors, your tax home is the home where you regularly live. File your taxes for free If you satisfy only two factors, you may have a tax home depending on all the facts and circumstances. File your taxes for free If you satisfy only one factor, you are an itinerant; your tax home is wherever you work and you cannot deduct travel expenses. File your taxes for free Example. File your taxes for free You are single and live in Boston in an apartment you rent. File your taxes for free You have worked for your employer in Boston for a number of years. File your taxes for free Your employer enrolls you in a 12-month executive training program. File your taxes for free You do not expect to return to work in Boston after you complete your training. File your taxes for free During your training, you do not do any work in Boston. File your taxes for free Instead, you receive classroom and on-the-job training throughout the United States. File your taxes for free You keep your apartment in Boston and return to it frequently. File your taxes for free You use your apartment to conduct your personal business. File your taxes for free You also keep up your community contacts in Boston. File your taxes for free When you complete your training, you are transferred to Los Angeles. File your taxes for free You do not satisfy factor (1) because you did not work in Boston. File your taxes for free You satisfy factor (2) because you had duplicate living expenses. File your taxes for free You also satisfy factor (3) because you did not abandon your apartment in Boston as your main home, you kept your community contacts, and you frequently returned to live in your apartment. File your taxes for free Therefore, you have a tax home in Boston. File your taxes for free Tax home different from family home. File your taxes for free   If you (and your family) do not live at your tax home (defined earlier), you cannot deduct the cost of traveling between your tax home and your family home. File your taxes for free You also cannot deduct the cost of meals and lodging while at your tax home. File your taxes for free See Example 1 . File your taxes for free   If you are working temporarily in the same city where you and your family live, you may be considered as traveling away from home. File your taxes for free See Example 2 . File your taxes for free Example 1. File your taxes for free You are a truck driver and you and your family live in Tucson. File your taxes for free You are employed by a trucking firm that has its terminal in Phoenix. File your taxes for free At the end of your long runs, you return to your home terminal in Phoenix and spend one night there before returning home. File your taxes for free You cannot deduct any expenses you have for meals and lodging in Phoenix or the cost of traveling from Phoenix to Tucson. File your taxes for free This is because Phoenix is your tax home. File your taxes for free Example 2. File your taxes for free Your family home is in Pittsburgh, where you work 12 weeks a year. File your taxes for free The rest of the year you work for the same employer in Baltimore. File your taxes for free In Baltimore, you eat in restaurants and sleep in a rooming house. File your taxes for free Your salary is the same whether you are in Pittsburgh or Baltimore. File your taxes for free Because you spend most of your working time and earn most of your salary in Baltimore, that city is your tax home. File your taxes for free You cannot deduct any expenses you have for meals and lodging there. File your taxes for free However, when you return to work in Pittsburgh, you are away from your tax home even though you stay at your family home. File your taxes for free You can deduct the cost of your round trip between Baltimore and Pittsburgh. File your taxes for free You can also deduct your part of your family's living expenses for meals and lodging while you are living and working in Pittsburgh. File your taxes for free Temporary Assignment or Job You may regularly work at your tax home and also work at another location. File your taxes for free It may not be practical to return to your tax home from this other location at the end of each work day. File your taxes for free Temporary assignment vs. File your taxes for free indefinite assignment. File your taxes for free   If your assignment or job away from your main place of work is temporary, your tax home does not change. File your taxes for free You are considered to be away from home for the whole period you are away from your main place of work. File your taxes for free You can deduct your travel expenses if they otherwise qualify for deduction. File your taxes for free Generally, a temporary assignment in a single location is one that is realistically expected to last (and does in fact last) for 1 year or less. File your taxes for free   However, if your assignment or job is indefinite, the location of the assignment or job becomes your new tax home and you cannot deduct your travel expenses while there. File your taxes for free An assignment or job in a single location is considered indefinite if it is realistically expected to last for more than 1 year, whether or not it actually lasts for more than 1 year. File your taxes for free   If your assignment is indefinite, you must include in your income any amounts you receive from your employer for living expenses, even if they are called travel allowances and you account to your employer for them. File your taxes for free You may be able to deduct the cost of relocating to your new tax home as a moving expense. File your taxes for free See Publication 521 for more information. File your taxes for free Exception for federal crime investigations or prosecutions. File your taxes for free   If you are a federal employee participating in a federal crime investigation or prosecution, you are not subject to the 1-year rule. File your taxes for free This means you may be able to deduct travel expenses even if you are away from your tax home for more than 1 year, provided you meet the other requirements for deductibility. File your taxes for free   For you to qualify, the Attorney General (or his or her designee) must certify that you are traveling: For the federal government, In a temporary duty status, and To investigate or prosecute, or provide support services for the investigation or prosecution of a federal crime. File your taxes for free Determining temporary or indefinite. File your taxes for free   You must determine whether your assignment is temporary or indefinite when you start work. File your taxes for free If you expect an assignment or job to last for 1 year or less, it is temporary unless there are facts and circumstances that indicate otherwise. File your taxes for free An assignment or job that is initially temporary may become indefinite due to changed circumstances. File your taxes for free A series of assignments to the same location, all for short periods but that together cover a long period, may be considered an indefinite assignment. File your taxes for free Going home on days off. File your taxes for free   If you go back to your tax home from a temporary assignment on your days off, you are not considered away from home while you are in your hometown. File your taxes for free You cannot deduct the cost of your meals and lodging there. File your taxes for free However, you can deduct your travel expenses, including meals and lodging, while traveling between your temporary place of work and your tax home. File your taxes for free You can claim these expenses up to the amount it would have cost you to stay at your temporary place of work. File your taxes for free   If you keep your hotel room during your visit home, you can deduct the cost of your hotel room. File your taxes for free In addition, you can deduct your expenses of returning home up to the amount you would have spent for meals had you stayed at your temporary place of work. File your taxes for free Probationary work period. File your taxes for free   If you take a job that requires you to move, with the understanding that you will keep the job if your work is satisfactory during a probationary period, the job is indefinite. File your taxes for free You cannot deduct any of your expenses for meals and lodging during the probationary period. File your taxes for free What Travel Expenses Are Deductible? Once you have determined that you are traveling away from your tax home, you can determine what travel expenses are deductible. File your taxes for free You can deduct ordinary and necessary expenses you have when you travel away from home on business. File your taxes for free The type of expense you can deduct depends on the facts and your circumstances. File your taxes for free Table 26-1 summarizes travel expenses you may be able to deduct. File your taxes for free You may have other deductible travel expenses that are not covered there, depending on the facts and your circumstances. File your taxes for free When you travel away from home on business, you should keep records of all the expenses you have and any advances you receive from your employer. File your taxes for free You can use a log, diary, notebook, or any other written record to keep track of your expenses. File your taxes for free The types of expenses you need to record, along with supporting documentation, are described in Table 26-2 , later. File your taxes for free Separating costs. File your taxes for free   If you have one expense that includes the costs of meals, entertainment, and other services (such as lodging or transportation), you must allocate that expense between the cost of meals and entertainment and the cost of other services. File your taxes for free You must have a reasonable basis for making this allocation. File your taxes for free For example, you must allocate your expenses if a hotel includes one or more meals in its room charge. File your taxes for free Travel expenses for another individual. File your taxes for free   If a spouse, dependent, or other individual goes with you (or your employee) on a business trip or to a business convention, you generally cannot deduct his or her travel expenses. File your taxes for free Employee. File your taxes for free   You can deduct the travel expenses of someone who goes with you if that person: Is your employee, Has a bona fide business purpose for the travel, and Would otherwise be allowed to deduct the travel expenses. File your taxes for free Business associate. File your taxes for free   If a business associate travels with you and meets the conditions in (2) and (3) above, you can deduct the travel expenses you have for that person. File your taxes for free A business associate is someone with whom you could reasonably expect to engage or deal in the active conduct of your business. File your taxes for free A business associate can be a current or prospective (likely to become) customer, client, supplier, employee, agent, partner, or professional advisor. File your taxes for free Bona fide business purpose. File your taxes for free   A bona fide business purpose exists if you can prove a real business purpose for the individual's presence. File your taxes for free Incidental services, such as typing notes or assisting in entertaining customers, are not enough to make the expenses deductible. File your taxes for free Example. File your taxes for free Jerry drives to Chicago on business and takes his wife, Linda, with him. File your taxes for free Linda is not Jerry's employee. File your taxes for free Linda occasionally types notes, performs similar services, and accompanies Jerry to luncheons and dinners. File your taxes for free The performance of these services does not establish that her presence on the trip is necessary to the conduct of Jerry's business. File your taxes for free Her expenses are not deductible. File your taxes for free Jerry pays $199 a day for a double room. File your taxes for free A single room costs $149 a day. File your taxes for free He can deduct the total cost of driving his car to and from Chicago, but only $149 a day for his hotel room. File your taxes for free If he uses public transportation, he can deduct only his fare. File your taxes for free Table 26-1. File your taxes for free Travel Expenses You Can Deduct This chart summarizes expenses you can deduct when you travel away from home for business purposes. File your taxes for free IF you have expenses for. File your taxes for free . File your taxes for free . File your taxes for free THEN you can deduct the cost of. File your taxes for free . File your taxes for free . File your taxes for free transportation travel by airplane, train, bus, or car between your home and your business destination. File your taxes for free If you were provided with a ticket or you are riding free as a result of a frequent traveler or similar program, your cost is zero. File your taxes for free If you travel by ship, see Luxury Water Travel and Cruise ships (under Conventions) in Publication 463 for additional rules and limits. File your taxes for free taxi, commuter bus, and airport limousine fares for these and other types of transportation that take you between: The airport or station and your hotel, and The hotel and the work location of your customers or clients, your business meeting place, or your temporary work location. File your taxes for free baggage and shipping sending baggage and sample or display material between your regular and temporary work locations. File your taxes for free car operating and maintaining your car when traveling away from home on business. File your taxes for free You can deduct actual expenses or the standard mileage rate as well as business-related tolls and parking. File your taxes for free If you rent a car while away from home on business, you can deduct only the business-use portion of the expenses. File your taxes for free lodging and meals your lodging and meals if your business trip is overnight or long enough that you need to stop for sleep or rest to properly perform your duties. File your taxes for free Meals include amounts spent for food, beverages, taxes, and related tips. File your taxes for free See Meals and Incidental Expenses for additional rules and limits. File your taxes for free cleaning dry cleaning and laundry. File your taxes for free telephone business calls while on your business trip. File your taxes for free This includes business communication by fax machine or other communication devices. File your taxes for free tips tips you pay for any expenses in this chart. File your taxes for free other other similar ordinary and necessary expenses related to your business travel. File your taxes for free These expenses might include transportation to or from a business meal, public stenographer's fees, computer rental fees, and operating and maintaining a house trailer. File your taxes for free Meals and Incidental Expenses You can deduct the cost of meals in either of the following situations. File your taxes for free It is necessary for you to stop for substantial sleep or rest to properly perform your duties while traveling away from home on business. File your taxes for free The meal is business-related entertainment. File your taxes for free Business-related entertainment is discussed under Entertainment Expenses , later. File your taxes for free The following discussion deals only with meals (and incidental expenses) that are not business-related entertainment. File your taxes for free Lavish or extravagant. File your taxes for free   You cannot deduct expenses for meals that are lavish or extravagant. File your taxes for free An expense is not considered lavish or extravagant if it is reasonable based on the facts and circumstances. File your taxes for free Expenses will not be disallowed merely because they are more than a fixed dollar amount or take place at deluxe restaurants, hotels, nightclubs, or resorts. File your taxes for free 50% limit on meals. File your taxes for free   You can figure your meal expenses using either of the following methods. File your taxes for free Actual cost. File your taxes for free The standard meal allowance. File your taxes for free Both of these methods are explained below. File your taxes for free But, regardless of the method you use, you generally can deduct only 50% of the unreimbursed cost of your meals. File your taxes for free   If you are reimbursed for the cost of your meals, how you apply the 50% limit depends on whether your employer's reimbursement plan was accountable or nonaccountable. File your taxes for free If you are not reimbursed, the 50% limit applies whether the unreimbursed meal expense is for business travel or business entertainment. File your taxes for free The 50% limit is explained later under Entertainment Expenses . File your taxes for free Accountable and nonaccountable plans are discussed later under Reimbursements . File your taxes for free Actual cost. File your taxes for free   You can use the actual cost of your meals to figure the amount of your expense before reimbursement and application of the 50% deduction limit. File your taxes for free If you use this method, you must keep records of your actual cost. File your taxes for free Standard meal allowance. File your taxes for free   Generally, you can use the “standard meal allowance” method as an alternative to the actual cost method. File your taxes for free It allows you to use a set amount for your daily meals and incidental expenses (M&IE), instead of keeping records of your actual costs. File your taxes for free The set amount varies depending on where and when you travel. File your taxes for free In this chapter, “standard meal allowance” refers to the federal rate for M&IE, discussed later under Amount of standard meal allowance . File your taxes for free If you use the standard meal allowance, you still must keep records to prove the time, place, and business purpose of your travel. File your taxes for free See Recordkeeping , later. File your taxes for free Incidental expenses. File your taxes for free   The term “incidental expenses” means fees and tips given to porters, baggage carriers, hotel staff, and staff on ships. File your taxes for free Incidental expenses do not include expenses for laundry, cleaning and pressing of clothing, lodging taxes, costs of telegrams or telephone calls, transportation between places of lodging or business and places where meals are taken, or the mailing cost of filing travel vouchers and paying employer-sponsored charge card billings. File your taxes for free Incidental expenses only method. File your taxes for free   You can use an optional method (instead of actual cost) for deducting incidental expenses only. File your taxes for free The amount of the deduction is $5 a day. File your taxes for free You can use this method only if you did not pay or incur any meal expenses. File your taxes for free You cannot use this method on any day that you use the standard meal allowance. File your taxes for free    Federal employees should refer to the Federal Travel Regulations at  www. File your taxes for free gsa. File your taxes for free gov. File your taxes for free Find “What GSA Offers” and click on “Regulations: FMR, FTR, & FAR” for Federal Travel Regulation (FTR) for changes affecting claims for reimbursement. File your taxes for free 50% limit may apply. File your taxes for free   If you use the standard meal allowance method for meal expenses and you are not reimbursed or you are reimbursed under a nonaccountable plan, you can generally deduct only 50% of the standard meal allowance. File your taxes for free If you are reimbursed under an accountable plan and you are deducting amounts that are more than your reimbursements, you can deduct only 50% of the excess amount. File your taxes for free The 50% limit is explained later under Entertainment Expenses . File your taxes for free Accountable and nonaccountable plans are discussed later under Reimbursements . File your taxes for free There is no optional standard lodging amount similar to the standard meal allowance. File your taxes for free Your allowable lodging expense deduction is your actual cost. File your taxes for free Who can use the standard meal allowance. File your taxes for free   You can use the standard meal allowance whether you are an employee or self-employed, and whether or not you are reimbursed for your traveling expenses. File your taxes for free   Use of the standard meal allowance for other travel. File your taxes for free    You can use the standard meal allowance to figure your meal expenses when you travel in connection with investment and other income-producing property. File your taxes for free You can also use it to figure your meal expenses when you travel for qualifying educational purposes. File your taxes for free You cannot use the standard meal allowance to figure the cost of your meals when you travel for medical or charitable purposes. File your taxes for free Amount of standard meal allowance. File your taxes for free   The standard meal allowance is the federal M&IE rate. File your taxes for free For travel in 2013, the daily rate for most small localities in the United States is $46. File your taxes for free   Most major cities and many other localities in the United States are designated as high-cost areas, qualifying for higher standard meal allowances. File your taxes for free You can find this information (organized by state) on the Internet at www. File your taxes for free gsa. File your taxes for free gov. File your taxes for free Click on “Per Diem Rates,” then select “2013” for the period January 1, 2013 – September 30, 2013, and select “2014” for the period October 1, 2013 – December 31, 2013. File your taxes for free However, you can apply the rates in effect before October 1, 2013, for expenses of all travel within the United States for 2013 instead of the updated rates. File your taxes for free You must consistently use either the rates for the first 9 months for all of 2013 or the updated rates for the period of October 1, 2013, through December 31, 2013. File your taxes for free   If you travel to more than one location in one day, use the rate in effect for the area where you stop for sleep or rest. File your taxes for free If you work in the transportation industry, however, see Special rate for transportation workers , later. File your taxes for free Standard meal allowance for areas outside the continental United States. File your taxes for free    The standard meal allowance rates above do not apply to travel in Alaska, Hawaii, or any other location outside the continental United States. File your taxes for free The Department of Defense establishes per diem rates for Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, Midway, the Northern Mariana Islands, the U. File your taxes for free S. File your taxes for free Virgin Islands, Wake Island, and other non-foreign areas outside the continental United States. File your taxes for free The Department of State establishes per diem rates for all other foreign areas. File your taxes for free    You can access per diem rates for non-foreign areas outside the continental United States at: www. File your taxes for free defensetravel. File your taxes for free dod. File your taxes for free mil/site/perdiemCalc. File your taxes for free cfm. File your taxes for free You can access all other foreign per diem rates at www. File your taxes for free state. File your taxes for free gov/travel/. File your taxes for free Click on “Travel Per Diem Allowances for Foreign Areas” under “Foreign Per Diem Rates,” to obtain the latest foreign per diem rates. File your taxes for free Special rate for transportation workers. File your taxes for free   You can use a special standard meal allowance if you work in the transportation industry. File your taxes for free You are in the transportation industry if your work: Directly involves moving people or goods by airplane, barge, bus, ship, train, or truck, and Regularly requires you to travel away from home and, during any single trip, usually involves travel to areas eligible for different standard meal allowance rates. File your taxes for free If this applies to you, you can claim a standard daily meal allowance of $59 ($65 for travel outside the continental United States). File your taxes for free   Using the special rate for transportation workers eliminates the need for you to determine the standard meal allowance for every area where you stop for sleep or rest. File your taxes for free If you choose to use the special rate for any trip, you must use the special rate (and not use the regular standard meal allowance rates) for all trips you take that year. File your taxes for free Travel for days you depart and return. File your taxes for free   For both the day you depart for and the day you return from a business trip, you must prorate the standard meal allowance (figure a reduced amount for each day). File your taxes for free You can do so by one of two methods. File your taxes for free Method 1: You can claim 3/4 of the standard meal allowance. File your taxes for free Method 2: You can prorate using any method that you consistently apply and that is in accordance with reasonable business practice. File your taxes for free Example. File your taxes for free Jen is employed in New Orleans as a convention planner. File your taxes for free In March, her employer sent her on a 3-day trip to Washington, DC, to attend a planning seminar. File your taxes for free She left her home in New Orleans at 10 a. File your taxes for free m. File your taxes for free on Wednesday and arrived in Washington, DC, at 5:30 p. File your taxes for free m. File your taxes for free After spending two nights there, she flew back to New Orleans on Friday and arrived back home at 8:00 p. File your taxes for free m. File your taxes for free Jen's employer gave her a flat amount to cover her expenses and included it with her wages. File your taxes for free Under Method 1, Jen can claim 2½ days of the standard meal allowance for Washington, DC: 3/4 of the daily rate for Wednesday and Friday (the days she departed and returned), and the full daily rate for Thursday. File your taxes for free Under Method 2, Jen could also use any method that she applies consistently and that is in accordance with reasonable business practice. File your taxes for free For example, she could claim 3 days of the standard meal allowance even though a federal employee would have to use Method 1 and be limited to only 2½ days. File your taxes for free Travel in the United States The following discussion applies to travel in the United States. File your taxes for free For this purpose, the United States includes only the 50 states and the District of Columbia. File your taxes for free The treatment of your travel expenses depends on how much of your trip was business related and on how much of your trip occurred within the United States. File your taxes for free See Part of Trip Outside the United States , later. File your taxes for free Trip Primarily for Business You can deduct all your travel expenses if your trip was entirely business related. File your taxes for free If your trip was primarily for business and, while at your business destination, you extended your stay for a vacation, made a personal side trip, or had other personal activities, you can deduct your business-related travel expenses. File your taxes for free These expenses include the travel costs of getting to and from your business destination and any business-related expenses at your business destination. File your taxes for free Example. File your taxes for free You work in Atlanta and take a business trip to New Orleans in May. File your taxes for free On your way home, you stop in Mobile to visit your parents. File your taxes for free You spend $1,996 for the 9 days you are away from home for travel, meals, lodging, and other travel expenses. File your taxes for free If you had not stopped in Mobile, you would have been gone only 6 days, and your total cost would have been $1,696. File your taxes for free You can deduct $1,696 for your trip, including the cost of round-trip transportation to and from New Orleans. File your taxes for free The deduction for your meals is subject to the 50% limit on meals mentioned earlier. File your taxes for free Trip Primarily for Personal Reasons If your trip was primarily for personal reasons, such as a vacation, the entire cost of the trip is a nondeductible personal expense. File your taxes for free However, you can deduct any expenses you have while at your destination that are directly related to your business. File your taxes for free A trip to a resort or on a cruise ship may be a vacation even if the promoter advertises that it is primarily for business. File your taxes for free The scheduling of incidental business activities during a trip, such as viewing videotapes or attending lectures dealing with general subjects, will not change what is really a vacation into a business trip. File your taxes for free Part of Trip Outside the United States If part of your trip is outside the United States, use the rules described later under Travel Outside the United States for that part of the trip. File your taxes for free For the part of your trip that is inside the United States, use the rules for travel in the United States. File your taxes for free Travel outside the United States does not include travel from one point in the United States to another point in the United States. File your taxes for free The following discussion can help you determine whether your trip was entirely within the United States. File your taxes for free Public transportation. File your taxes for free   If you travel by public transportation, any place in the United States where that vehicle makes a scheduled stop is a point in the United States. File your taxes for free Once the vehicle leaves the last scheduled stop in the United States on its way to a point outside the United States, you apply the rules under Travel Outside the United States . File your taxes for free Example. File your taxes for free You fly from New York to Puerto Rico with a scheduled stop in Miami. File your taxes for free You return to New York nonstop. File your taxes for free The flight from New York to Miami is in the United States, so only the flight from Miami to Puerto Rico is outside the United States. File your taxes for free Because there are no scheduled stops between Puerto Rico and New York, all of the return trip is outside the United States. File your taxes for free Private car. File your taxes for free   Travel by private car in the United States is travel between points in the United States, even when you are on your way to a destination outside the United States. File your taxes for free Example. File your taxes for free You travel by car from Denver to Mexico City and return. File your taxes for free Your travel from Denver to the border and from the border back to Denver is travel in the United States, and the rules in this section apply. File your taxes for free The rules under Travel Outside the United States apply to your trip from the border to Mexico City and back to the border. File your taxes for free Travel Outside the United States If any part of your business travel is outside the United States, some of your deductions for the cost of getting to and from your destination may be limited. File your taxes for free For this purpose, the United States includes only the 50 states and the District of Columbia. File your taxes for free How much of your travel expenses you can deduct depends in part upon how much of your trip outside the United States was business related. File your taxes for free See chapter 1 of Publication 463 for information on luxury water travel. File your taxes for free Travel Entirely for Business or Considered Entirely for Business You can deduct all your travel expenses of getting to and from your business destination if your trip is entirely for business or considered entirely for business. File your taxes for free Travel entirely for business. File your taxes for free   If you travel outside the United States and you spend the entire time on business activities, you can deduct all of your travel expenses. File your taxes for free Travel considered entirely for business. File your taxes for free   Even if you did not spend your entire time on business activities, your trip is considered entirely for business if you meet at least one of the following four exceptions. File your taxes for free Exception 1 - No substantial control. File your taxes for free   Your trip is considered entirely for business if you did not have substantial control over arranging the trip. File your taxes for free The fact that you control the timing of your trip does not, by itself, mean that you have substantial control over arranging your trip. File your taxes for free   You do not have substantial control over your trip if you: Are an employee who was reimbursed or paid a travel expense allowance, Are not related to your employer, and Are not a managing executive. File your taxes for free    “Related to your employer” is defined later in this chapter under Per Diem and Car Allowances . File your taxes for free   A “managing executive” is an employee who has the authority and responsibility, without being subject to the veto of another, to decide on the need for the business travel. File your taxes for free    A self-employed person generally has substantial control over arranging business trips. File your taxes for free Exception 2 - Outside United States no more than a week. File your taxes for free   Your trip is considered entirely for business if you were outside the United States for a week or less, combining business and nonbusiness activities. File your taxes for free One week means 7 consecutive days. File your taxes for free In counting the days, do not count the day you leave the United States, but do count the day you return to the United States. File your taxes for free Exception 3 - Less than 25% of time on personal activities. File your taxes for free   Your trip is considered entirely for business if: You were outside the United States for more than a week, and You spent less than 25% of the total time you were outside the United States on nonbusiness activities. File your taxes for free For this purpose, count both the day your trip began and the day it ended. File your taxes for free Exception 4 - Vacation not a major consideration. File your taxes for free   Your trip is considered entirely for business if you can establish that a personal vacation was not a major consideration, even if you have substantial control over arranging the trip. File your taxes for free Travel Primarily for Business If you travel outside the United States primarily for business but spend some of your time on nonbusiness activities, you generally cannot deduct all of your travel expenses. File your taxes for free You can only deduct the business portion of your cost of getting to and from your destination. File your taxes for free You must allocate the costs between your business and nonbusiness activities to determine your deductible amount. File your taxes for free These travel allocation rules are discussed in chapter 1 of Publication 463. File your taxes for free You do not have to allocate your travel expense deduction if you meet one of the four exceptions listed earlier under Travel considered entirely for business. File your taxes for free In those cases, you can deduct the total cost of getting to and from your destination. File your taxes for free Travel Primarily for Personal Reasons If you travel outside the United States primarily for vacation or for investment purposes, the entire cost of the trip is a nondeductible personal expense. File your taxes for free If you spend some time attending brief professional seminars or a continuing education program, you can deduct your registration fees and other expenses you have that are directly related to your business. File your taxes for free Conventions You can deduct your travel expenses when you attend a convention if you can show that your attendance benefits your trade or business. File your taxes for free You cannot deduct the travel expenses for your family. File your taxes for free If the convention is for investment, political, social, or other purposes unrelated to your trade or business, you cannot deduct the expenses. File your taxes for free Your appointment or election as a delegate does not, in itself, determine whether you can deduct travel expenses. File your taxes for free You can deduct your travel expenses only if your attendance is connected to your own trade or business. File your taxes for free Convention agenda. File your taxes for free   The convention agenda or program generally shows the purpose of the convention. File your taxes for free You can show your attendance at the convention benefits your trade or business by comparing the agenda with the official duties and responsibilities of your position. File your taxes for free The agenda does not have to deal specifically with your official duties and responsibilities; it will be enough if the agenda is so related to your position that it shows your attendance was for business purposes. File your taxes for free Conventions held outside the North American area. File your taxes for free    See chapter 1 of Publication 463 for information on conventions held outside the North American area. File your taxes for free Entertainment Expenses You may be able to deduct business-related entertainment expenses you have for entertaining a client, customer, or employee. File your taxes for free You can deduct entertainment expenses only if they are both ordinary and necessary (defined earlier in the Introduction ) and meet one of the following tests. File your taxes for free Directly-related test. File your taxes for free Associated test. File your taxes for free Both of these tests are explained in chapter 2 of Publication 463. File your taxes for free The amount you can deduct for entertainment expenses may be limited. File your taxes for free Generally, you can deduct only 50% of your unreimbursed entertainment expenses. File your taxes for free This limit is discussed next. File your taxes for free 50% Limit In general, you can deduct only 50% of your business-related meal and entertainment expenses. File your taxes for free (If you are subject to the Department of Transportation's “hours of service” limits, you can deduct 80% of your business-related meal and entertainment expenses. File your taxes for free See Individuals subject to “hours of service” limits , later. File your taxes for free ) The 50% limit applies to employees or their employers, and to self-employed persons (including independent contractors) or their clients, depending on whether the expenses are reimbursed. File your taxes for free Figure 26-A summarizes the general rules explained in this section. File your taxes for free The 50% limit applies to business meals or entertainment expenses you have while: Traveling away from home (whether eating alone or with others) on business, Entertaining customers at your place of business, a restaurant, or other location, or Attending a business convention or reception, business meeting, or business luncheon at a club. File your taxes for free Included expenses. File your taxes for free   Expenses subject to the 50% limit include: Taxes and tips relating to a business meal or entertainment activity, Cover charges for admission to a nightclub, Rent paid for a room in which you hold a dinner or cocktail party, and Amounts paid for parking at a sports arena. File your taxes for free However, the cost of transportation to and from a business meal or a business-related entertainment activity is not subject to the 50% limit. File your taxes for free Application of 50% limit. File your taxes for free   The 50% limit on meal and entertainment expenses applies if the expense is otherwise deductible and is not covered by one of the exceptions discussed later in this section. File your taxes for free   The 50% limit also applies to certain meal and entertainment expenses that are not business related. File your taxes for free It applies to meal and entertainment expenses incurred for the production of income, including rental or royalty income. File your taxes for free It also applies to the cost of meals included in deductible educational expenses. File your taxes for free When to apply the 50% limit. File your taxes for free   You apply the 50% limit after determining the amount that would otherwise qualify for a deduction. File your taxes for free You first have to determine the amount of meal and entertainment expenses that would be deductible under the other rules discussed in this chapter. File your taxes for free Example 1. File your taxes for free You spend $200 for a business-related meal. File your taxes for free If $110 of that amount is not allowable because it is lavish and extravagant, the remaining $90 is subject to the 50% limit. File your taxes for free Your deduction cannot be more than $45 (. File your taxes for free 50 × $90). File your taxes for free Example 2. File your taxes for free You purchase two tickets to a concert and give them to a client. File your taxes for free You purchased the tickets through a ticket agent. File your taxes for free You paid $200 for the two tickets, which had a face value of $80 each ($160 total). File your taxes for free Your deduction cannot be more than $80 (. File your taxes for free 50 × $160). File your taxes for free Exceptions to the 50% Limit Generally, business-related meal and entertainment expenses are subject to the 50% limit. File your taxes for free Figure 26-A can help you determine if the 50% limit applies to you. File your taxes for free Your meal or entertainment expense is not subject to the 50% limit if the expense meets one of the following exceptions. File your taxes for free Employee's reimbursed expenses. File your taxes for free   If you are an employee, you are not subject to the 50% limit on expenses for which your employer reimburses you under an accountable plan. File your taxes for free Accountable plans are discussed later under Reimbursements . File your taxes for free Individuals subject to “hours of service” limits. File your taxes for free   You can deduct a higher percentage of your meal expenses while traveling away from your tax home if the meals take place during or incident to any period subject to the Department of Transportation's “hours of service” limits. File your taxes for free The percentage is 80%. File your taxes for free   Individuals subject to the Department of Transportation's “hours of service” limits include the following persons. File your taxes for free Certain air transportation workers (such as pilots, crew, dispatchers, mechanics, and control tower operators) who are under Federal Aviation Administration regulations. File your taxes for free Interstate truck operators and bus drivers who are under Department of Transportation regulations. File your taxes for free Certain railroad employees (such as engineers, conductors, train crews, dispatchers, and control operations personnel) who are under Federal Railroad Administration regulations. File your taxes for free Certain merchant mariners who are under Coast Guard regulations. File your taxes for free Other exceptions. File your taxes for free   There are also exceptions for the self-employed, advertising expenses, selling meals or entertainment, and charitable sports events. File your taxes for free These are discussed in Publication 463. File your taxes for free Figure 26-A. File your taxes for free Does the 50% Limit Apply to Your Expenses? There are exceptions to these rules. File your taxes for free See Exceptions to the 50% Limit . File your taxes for free Please click here for the text description of the image. File your taxes for free Entertainment expenses: 50% limit What Entertainment Expenses Are Deductible? This section explains different types of entertainment expenses you may be able to deduct. File your taxes for free Entertainment. File your taxes for free    Entertainment includes any activity generally considered to provide entertainment, amusement, or recreation. File your taxes for free Examples include entertaining guests at nightclubs; at social, athletic, and sporting clubs; at theaters; at sporting events; or on hunting, fishing, vacation, and similar trips. File your taxes for free A meal as a form of entertainment. File your taxes for free   Entertainment includes the cost of a meal you provide to a customer or client, whether the meal is a part of other entertainment or by itself. File your taxes for free A meal expense includes the cost of food, beverages, taxes, and tips for the meal. File your taxes for free To deduct an entertainment-related meal, you or your employee must be present when the food or beverages are provided. File your taxes for free You cannot claim the cost of your meal both as an entertainment expense and as a travel expense. File your taxes for free Separating costs. File your taxes for free   If you have one expense that includes the costs of entertainment and other services (such as lodging or transportation), you must allocate that expense between the cost of entertainment and the cost of other services. File your taxes for free You must have a reasonable basis for making this allocation. File your taxes for free For example, you must allocate your expenses if a hotel includes entertainment in its lounge on the same bill with your room charge. File your taxes for free Taking turns paying for meals or entertainment. File your taxes for free   If a group of business acquaintances take turns picking up each others' meal or entertainment checks without regard to whether any business purposes are served, no member of the group can deduct any part of the expense. File your taxes for free Lavish or extravagant expenses. File your taxes for free   You cannot deduct expenses for entertainment that are lavish or extravagant. File your taxes for free An expense is not considered lavish or extravagant if it is reasonable considering the facts and circumstances. File your taxes for free Expenses will not be disallowed just because they are more than a fixed dollar amount or take place at deluxe restaurants, hotels, nightclubs, or resorts. File your taxes for free Trade association meetings. File your taxes for free    You can deduct entertainment expenses that are directly related to, and necessary for, attending business meetings or conventions of certain exempt organizations if the expenses of your attendance are related to your active trade or business. File your taxes for free These organizations include business leagues, chambers of commerce, real estate boards, trade associations, and professional associations. File your taxes for free Entertainment tickets. File your taxes for free   Generally, you cannot deduct more than the face value of an entertainment ticket, even if you paid a higher price. File your taxes for free For example, you cannot deduct service fees you pay to ticket agencies or brokers or any amount over the face value of the tickets you pay to scalpers. File your taxes for free What Entertainment Expenses Are Not Deductible? This section explains different types of entertainment expenses you generally may not be able to deduct. File your taxes for free Club dues and membership fees. File your taxes for free   You cannot deduct dues (including initiation fees) for membership in any club organized for: Business, Pleasure, Recreation, or Other social purpose. File your taxes for free This rule applies to any membership organization if one of its principal purposes is either: To conduct entertainment activities for members or their guests, or To provide members or their guests with access to entertainment facilities. File your taxes for free   The purposes and activities of a club, not its name, will determine whether or not you can deduct the dues. File your taxes for free You cannot deduct dues paid to: Country clubs, Golf and athletic clubs, Airline clubs, Hotel clubs, and Clubs operated to provide meals under circumstances generally considered to be conducive to business discussions. File your taxes for free Entertainment facilities. File your taxes for free   Generally, you cannot deduct any expense for the use of an entertainment facility. File your taxes for free This includes expenses for depreciation and operating costs such as rent, utilities, maintenance, and protection. File your taxes for free   An entertainment facility is any property you own, rent, or use for entertainment. File your taxes for free Examples include a yacht, hunting lodge, fishing camp, swimming pool, tennis court, bowling alley, car, airplane, apartment, hotel suite, or home in a vacation resort. File your taxes for free Out-of-pocket expenses. File your taxes for free   You can deduct out-of-pocket expenses, such as for food and beverages, catering, gas, and fishing bait, that you provided during entertainment at a facility. File your taxes for free These are not expenses for the use of an entertainment facility. File your taxes for free However, these expenses are subject to the directly-related and associated tests and to the 50% Limit discussed earlier. File your taxes for free Additional information. File your taxes for free   For more information on entertainment expenses, including discussions of the directly-related and associated tests, see chapter 2 of Publication 463. File your taxes for free Gift Expenses If you give gifts in the course of your trade or business, you can deduct all or part of the cost. File your taxes for free This section explains the limits and rules for deducting the costs of gifts. File your taxes for free $25 limit. File your taxes for free   You can deduct no more than $25 for business gifts you give directly or indirectly to each person during your tax year. File your taxes for free A gift to a company that is intended for the eventual personal use or benefit of a particular person or a limited class of people will be considered an indirect gift to that particular person or to the individuals within that class of people who receive the gift. File your taxes for free   If you give a gift to a member of a customer's family, the gift is generally considered to be an indirect gift to the customer. File your taxes for free This rule does not apply if you have a bona fide, independent business connection with that family member and the gift is not intended for the customer's eventual use or benefit. File your taxes for free   If you and your spouse both give gifts, both of you are treated as one taxpayer. File your taxes for free It does not matter whether you have separate businesses, are separately employed, or whether each of you has an independent connection with the recipient. File your taxes for free If a partnership gives gifts, the partnership and the partners are treated as one taxpayer. File your taxes for free Incidental costs. File your taxes for free   Incidental costs, such as engraving on jewelry, or packaging, insuring, and mailing, are generally not included in determining the cost of a gift for purposes of the $25 limit. File your taxes for free   A cost is incidental only if it does not add substantial value to the gift. File your taxes for free For example, the cost of customary gift wrapping is an incidental cost. File your taxes for free However, the purchase of an ornamental basket for packaging fruit is not an incidental cost if the value of the basket is substantial compared to the value of the fruit. File your taxes for free Exceptions. File your taxes for free   The following items are not considered gifts for purposes of the $25 limit. File your taxes for free An item that costs $4 or less and: Has your name clearly and permanently imprinted on the gift, and Is one of a number of identical items you widely distribute. File your taxes for free Examples include pens, desk sets, and plastic bags and cases. File your taxes for free Signs, display racks, or other promotional material to be used on the business premises of the recipient. File your taxes for free Gift or entertainment. File your taxes for free   Any item that might be considered either a gift or entertainment generally will be considered entertainment. File your taxes for free However, if you give a customer packaged food or beverages you intend the customer to use at a later date, treat it as a gift. File your taxes for free    If you give a customer tickets to a theater performance or sporting event and you do not go with the customer to the performance or event, you have a choice. File your taxes for free You can treat the cost of the tickets as either a gift expense or an entertainment expense, whichever is to your advantage. File your taxes for free    If you go with the customer to the event, you must treat the cost of the tickets as an entertainment expense. File your taxes for free You cannot choose, in this case, to treat the cost of the tickets as a gift expense. File your taxes for free Transportation Expenses This section discusses expenses you can deduct for business transportation when you are not traveling away from home as defined earlier under Travel Expenses . File your taxes for free These expenses include the cost of transportation by air, rail, bus, taxi, etc. File your taxes for free , and the cost of driving and maintaining your car. File your taxes for free Transportation expenses include the ordinary and necessary costs of all of the following. File your taxes for free Getting from one workplace to another in the course of your business or profession when you are traveling within the area of your tax home. File your taxes for free (Tax home is defined earlier under Travel Expenses . File your taxes for free ) Visiting clients or customers. File your taxes for free Going to a business meeting away from your regular workplace. File your taxes for free Getting from your home to a temporary workplace when you have one or more regular places of work. File your taxes for free These temporary workplaces can be either within the area of your tax home or outside that area. File your taxes for free Transportation expenses do not include expenses you have while traveling away from home overnight. File your taxes for free Those expenses are travel expenses, discussed earlier. File your taxes for free However, if you use your car while traveling away from home overnight, use the rules in this section to figure your car expense deduction. File your taxes for free See Car Expenses , later. File your taxes for free Illustration of transportation expenses. File your taxes for free    Figure 26-B illustrates the rules for when you can deduct transportation expenses when you have a regular or main job away from your home. File your taxes for free You may want to refer to it when deciding whether you can deduct your transportation expenses. File your taxes for free Daily transportation expenses you incur while traveling from home to one or more regular places of business are generally nondeductible commuting expenses. File your taxes for free However, there are many exceptions for deducting transportation expenses, like whether your work location is temporary (inside or outside the metropolitan area), traveling for same trade or business, or if you have a home office. File your taxes for free Temporary work location. File your taxes for free   If you have one or more regular work locations away from your home and you commute to a temporary work location in the same trade or business, you can deduct the expenses of the daily round-trip transportation between your home and the temporary location, regardless of distance. File your taxes for free   If your employment at a work location is realistically expected to last (and does in fact last) for 1 year or less, the employment is temporary unless there are facts and circumstances that would indicate otherwise. File your taxes for free   If your employment at a work location is realistically expected to last for more than 1 year or if there is no realistic expectation that the employment will last for 1 year or less, the employment is not temporary, regardless of whether it actually lasts for more than 1 year. File your taxes for free   If employment at a work location initially is realistically expected to last for 1 year or less, but at some later date the employment is realistically expected to last more than 1 year, that employment will be treated as temporary (unless there are facts and circumstances that would indicate otherwise) until your expectation changes. File your taxes for free It will not be treated as temporary after the date you determine it will last more than 1 year. File your taxes for free   If the temporary work location is beyond the general area of your regular place of work and you stay overnight, you are traveling away from home. File your taxes for free You may have deductible travel expenses as discussed earlier in this chapter. File your taxes for free No regular place of work. File your taxes for free   If you have no regular place of work but ordinarily work in the metropolitan area where you live, you can deduct daily transportation costs between home and a temporary work site outside that metropolitan area. File your taxes for free   Generally, a metropolitan area includes the area within the city limits and the suburbs that are considered part of that metropolitan area. File your taxes for free   You cannot deduct daily transportation costs between your home and temporary work sites within your metropolitan area. File your taxes for free These are nondeductible commuting expenses. File your taxes for free Two places of work. File your taxes for free   If you work at two places in one day, whether or not for the same employer, you can deduct the expense of getting from one workplace to the other. File your taxes for free However, if for some personal reason you do not go directly from one location to the other, you cannot deduct more than the amount it would have cost you to go directly from the first location to the second. File your taxes for free   Transportation expenses you have in going between home and a part-time job on a day off from your main job are commuting expenses. File your taxes for free You cannot deduct them. File your taxes for free Armed Forces reservists. File your taxes for free   A meeting of an Armed Forces reserve unit is a second place of business if the meeting is held on a day on which you work at your regular job. File your taxes for free You can deduct the expense of getting from one workplace to the other as just discussed under Two places of work , earlier. File your taxes for free   You usually cannot deduct the expense if the reserve meeting is held on a day on which you do not work at your regular job. File your taxes for free In this case, your transportation generally is a nondeductible commuting expense. File your taxes for free However, you can deduct your transportation expenses if the location of the meeting is temporary and you have one or more regular places of work. File your taxes for free   If you ordinarily work in a particular metropolitan area but not at any specific location and the reserve meeting is held at a temporary location outside that metropolitan area, you can deduct your transportation expenses. File your taxes for free   If you travel away from home overnight to attend a guard or reserve meeting, you can deduct your travel expenses. File your taxes for free These expenses are discussed earlier under Travel Expenses . File your taxes for free   If you travel more than 100 miles away from home in connection with your performance of services as a member of the reserves, you may be able to deduct some of your reserve-related travel costs as an adjustment to income rather than as an itemized deduction. File your taxes for free See Armed Forces reservists traveling more than 100 miles from home under Special Rules, later. File your taxes for free Commuting expenses. File your taxes for free   You cannot deduct the costs of taking a bus, trolley, subway, or taxi, or of driving a car between your home and your main or regular place of work. File your taxes for free These costs are personal commuting expenses. File your taxes for free You cannot deduct commuting expenses no matter how far your home is from your regular place of work. File your taxes for free You cannot deduct commuting expenses even if you work during the commuting trip. File your taxes for free Example. File your taxes for free You sometimes use your cell phone to make business calls while commuting to and from work. File your taxes for free Sometimes business associates ride with you to and from work, and you have a business discussion in the car. File your taxes for free These activities do not change the trip from personal to business. File your taxes for free You cannot deduct your commuting expenses. File your taxes for free Parking fees. File your taxes for free   Fees you pay to park your car at your place of business are nondeductible commuting expenses. File your taxes for free You can, however, deduct business-related parking fees when visiting a customer or client. File your taxes for free Advertising display on car. File your taxes for free   Putting display material that advertises your business on your car does not change the use of your car from personal use to business use. File your taxes for free If you use this car for commuting or other personal uses, you still cannot deduct your expenses for those uses. File your taxes for free Car pools. File your taxes for free   You cannot deduct the cost of using your car in a nonprofit car pool. File your taxes for free Do not include payments you receive from the passengers in your income. File your taxes for free These payments are considered reimbursements of your expenses. File your taxes for free However, if you operate a car pool for a profit, you must include payments from passengers in your income. File your taxes for free You can then deduct your car expenses (using the rules in this chapter). File your taxes for free Hauling tools or instruments. File your taxes for free   Hauling tools or instruments in your car while commuting to and from work does not make your car expenses deductible. File your taxes for free However, you can deduct any additional costs you have for hauling tools or instruments (such as for renting a trailer you tow with your car). File your taxes for free Union members' trips from a union hall. File your taxes for free   If you get your work assignments at a union hall and then go to your place of work, the costs of getting from the union hall to your place of work are nondeductible commuting expenses. File your taxes for free Although you need the union to get your work assignments, you are employed where you work, not where the union hall is located. File your taxes for free Office in the home. File your taxes for free   If you have an office in your home that qualifies as a principal place of business, you can deduct your daily transportation costs between your home and another work location in the same trade or business. File your taxes for free (See chapter 28 for information on determining if your home office qualifies as a principal place of business. File your taxes for free ) Figure 26-B. File your taxes for free When Are Transportation Expenses Deductible? Most employees and self-employed persons can use this chart. File your taxes for free (Do not use this chart if your home is your principal place of business. File your taxes for free See Office in the home . File your taxes for free ) Please click here for the text description of the image. File your taxes for free Figure 26-B. File your taxes for free Local Transportation Examples of deductible transportation. File your taxes for free   The following examples show when you can deduct transportation expenses based on the location of your work and your home. File your taxes for free Example 1. File your taxes for free You regularly work in an office in the city where you live. File your taxes for free Your employer sends you to a 1-week training session at a different office in the same city. File your taxes for free You travel directly from your home to the training location and return each day. File your taxes for free You can deduct the cost of your daily round-trip transportation between your home and the training location. File your taxes for free Example 2. File your taxes for free Your principal place of business is in your home. File your taxes for free You can deduct the cost of round-trip transportation between your qualifying home office and your client's or customer's place of business. File your taxes for free Example 3. File your taxes for free You have no regular office, and you do not have an office in your home. File your taxes for free In this case, the location of your first business contact inside the metropolitan area is considered your office. File your taxes for free Transportation expenses between your home and this first contact are nondeductible commuting expenses. File your taxes for free Transportation expenses between your last business contact and your home are also nondeductible commuting expenses. File your taxes for free While you cannot deduct the costs of these first and last trips, you can deduct the costs of going from one client or customer to another. File your taxes for free With no regular or home office, the costs of travel between two or more business contacts in a metropolitan area are deductible while the costs of travel between the home to (and from) business contacts are not deductible. File your taxes for free Car Expenses If you use your car for business purposes, you may be able to deduct car expenses. File your taxes for free You generally can use one of the two following methods to figure your deductible expenses. File your taxes for free Standard mileage rate. File your taxes for free Actual car expenses. File your taxes for free If you use actual car expenses to figure your deduction for a car you lease, there are rules that affect the amount of your lease payments you can deduct. File your taxes for free See Leasing a car under Actual Car Expenses, later. File your taxes for free In this chapter, “car” includes a van, pickup, or panel truck. File your taxes for free Rural mail carriers. File your taxes for free   If you are a rural mail carrier, you may be able to treat the amount of qualified reimbursement you received as the amount of your allowable expense. File your taxes for free Because the qualified reimbursement is treated as paid under an accountable plan, your employer should not include the amount of reimbursement in your income. File your taxes for free   If your vehicle expenses are more than the amount of your reimbursement, you can deduct the unreimbursed expenses as an itemized deduction on Schedule A (Form 1040). File your taxes for free You must complete Form 2106 and attach it to your Form 1040. File your taxes for free   A “qualified reimbursement” is the reimbursement you receive that meets both of the following conditions. File your taxes for free It is given as an equipment maintenance allowance (EMA) to employees of the U. File your taxes for free S. File your taxes for free Postal Service. File your taxes for free It is at the rate contained in the 1991 collective bargaining agreement. File your taxes for free Any later agreement cannot increase the qualified reimbursement amount by more than the rate of inflation. File your taxes for free See your employer for information on your reimbursement. File your taxes for free If you are a rural mail carrier and received a qualified reimbursement, you cannot use the standard mileage rate. File your taxes for free Standard Mileage Rate You may be able to use the standard mileage rate to figure the deductible costs of operating your car for business purposes. File your taxes for free For 2013, the standard mileage rate for business use is 56½ cents per mile. File your taxes for free If you use the standard mileage rate for a year, you cannot deduct your actual car expenses for that year, but see Parking fees and tolls, later. File your taxes for free You generally can use the standard mileage rate whether or not you are reimbursed and whether or not any reimbursement is more or less than the amount figured using the standard mileage rate. File your taxes for free See Reimbursements under How To Report, later. File your taxes for free Choosing the standard mileage rate. File your taxes for free   If you want to use the standard mileage rate for a car you own, you must choose to use it in the first year the car is available for use in your business. File your taxes for free Then in later years, you can choose to use either the standard mileage rate or actual expenses. File your taxes for free   If you want to use the standard mileage rate for a car you lease, you must use it for the entire lease period. File your taxes for free   You must make the choice to use the standard mileage rate by the due date (including extensions) of your return. File your taxes for free You cannot revoke the choice. File your taxes for free However, in a later year, you can switch from the standard mileage rate to the actual expenses method. File your taxes for free If you change to the actual expenses method in a later year, but before your car is fully depreciated, you have to estimate the remaining useful life of the car and use straight line depreciation. File your taxes for free Example. File your taxes for free Larry is an employee who occasionally uses his own car for business purposes. File your taxes for free He purchased the car in 2011, but he did not claim any unreimburse