Why? When a travel RN drives their personal vehicle to an assignment, it’s viewed as a business expense. These business expenses are deducted on your tax return in a couple ways: the actual expense method or the standard mileage rate. In most cases, the standard mileage rate is better for travelers as it gives a greater deduction and is the less paperwork (woo hoo!).
The standard mileage rate for 2013 is 56.5 cents per mile for business miles driven (This is on the IRS website). This means that every 100 miles you drive, you get $56.5 back. If you’re driving across the country for an assignment that can definitely add up.
You can’t, unfortunately, receive reimbursement from your travel nurse agency and the IRS reimbursement for the same trip. So basically, you must reduce any deduction by reimbursements you receive. Also, you must be working away from your tax home (permanent residence) to deduct the expenses.
If you are interested in using the standard mileage rate deduction, be sure to keep a mileage log that states the time, place and purpose for each business trip.
*Please note that we are not tax experts, so please contact a tax professional if you have questions. For more information, you can see the IRS Website on this topic or contact Joseph Smith, RRT, EA, a professional tax expert for Travel Tax.