As you prepare to dive into your first adventure as a travel nurse, taxes might be the last think on your mind. However, it’s best to start out organized and informed before taking a travel nurse assignment to ensure you are gaining the most deductions and benefits.
Here are some of the basics of travel nurse taxes:
Qualifying for nontaxable travel benefits
In order to qualify for nontaxable travel benefits such as transportation, housing allowances and meal per diems, the following must be met:
- You must claim a permanent tax residence. To prove that it is your permanent home, you must have connections to the address ie: driver’s license, voter registration, bills and/or property taxes.
- You must not commute from your permanent home to the assignment and back. Basically, your assignment shouldn’t be within commuting distance of your perm residence. You are required to stay overnight in the location of the assignment. Also, the “50 mile” rule is a myth. There is no specific mileage rule to be away from home to qualify.
- Your assignments must be temporary. Temporary is considered as anything less than 12 months. If you extended an assignment and worked for 12 months or over, then unfortunately you are not eligible for IRS deductions.
If you do not meet all of the requirements listed above, then all travel costs must be treated as taxable income from the beginning of an assignment.
Save your receipts!
If you do/did meet all of the requirements above, then the next step is saving your receipts. Save every receipt from any transaction that happened while you were on assignment, as long as it pertains to your job. Meals, gas, housing and other work related expenses are all eligible for deductions as long as you have the receipt. Also, it’s a good idea to save all contracts from the staffing agencies. These hold important importation that makes the tax process a lot easier.
Don’t forget to record your mileage.
If you prefer to drive your assignment, make sure you log all mileage driven. Include: date, where, why and miles driven. All mileage incurred in your personal vehicle to an assignment is view as a business expense and can be deducted on your taxes by the standard mileage rate. We just wrote an article about this, you can read more here.
This is just a start to the deductions you can claim as a travel nurse. To learn more, visit TravelTax. It’s pretty much the ultimate resource for travel nurse taxes and deductions.
The tax information contained on TravelNursingBlogs.com and from any communication related to this blog is for information purposes only. Please consult with your personal accountant or tax preparers for any matters concerning your own income taxes.