Temporary Work Locations and Commuting Costs

Whether you may deduct commuting expenses to a temporary work place depends on:

  • The location of the temporary work place, and
  • Whether you have:
    • a regular place of business, or
    • a home office that is your principal place of business.

Regular Place of Business

If you have a regular place of business outside your home, OR a home office that is your principal place of business:

  • You may deduct commuting costs between your home and the temporary work location regardless of where the temporary location is.

No Regular Place of Business

If you have no regular place of business and you normally work at several locations INSIDE the metropolitan area where your live:

  • You may deduct commuting costs only to temporary locations outside the metropolitan area where you live (not inside your metropolitan area).

If you have no regular place of business, and all your jobs are OUTSIDE the metropolitan area where you live:

  • No commuting costs are deductible.

What is a Temporary Work Place?

The one-year or less rule:

  • The IRS says, if the period of employment is expected to last, and actually does last, one year or less, it is a temporary work place. Commuting expenses between your hotel and place of employment are deductible

Itinerant Worker

An Itinerant worker is a transient worker who has no permanent residence and moves from city to city to work. An itinerant's tax home is wherever he/she is working at the time. This would apply to someone who travels around in a motor home or trailer for example, and lives in it while in the work area.

File your personal and small business taxes (Schedule C)