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By November 23, 2012 0 Comments

Ask a Travel Nurse: Do I still have the option of provided housing or a housing stipend?


pay vs housing travel nursingAsk a Travel Nurse Question:

Do most travel agencies still allow you the option of taking an apt/duplex/etc., or the housing subsidy allowed by the IRS?

Ask a Travel Nurse Answer:

Hey R and y. All of the companies I work with offer either company provided housing or a housing stipend. Whether or not the housing or stipend are tax free depends on your tax status and if you have a “tax home”.

A tax home means a location (not necessarily a house) where you normally do business (work, vote, have autos registered, etc). If you travel away from your “tax home” to work and are duplicating expenses, then you will likely be able to have these benefits (housing or stipend) provided tax free.

As I said, all of the companies I work with offer this, but some companies may just pay a higher hourly rate in lieu of a housing benefit. It just depends on how each individual company allocates or categorizes the money they are provided for your contract.

For example, one company might offer you $30 an hour with a $1000 a month housing stipend whereas another company might offer a salary of $37/hr with no housing. Essentially, these are the same offer that will pay you around $5320 a month (the $37 with no housing actually is $8 more a month).

Tax issues are all dependent on your tax situation and most companies will offer a “tax advantage” program if you qualify ( and most have worksheets to help you determine if you do qualify).

Hope this helps.


About the Author:

Hello everyone. I’m a travel nurse originally from Ohio who graduated in 1993 from Mount Carmel School of Nursing in Columbus. I completed a critical care fellowship at Riverside Methodist Hospital in 1994 and started traveling in that specialty a year later. My first travel assignment was in Maui and since that time I have completed close to 40 different contracts in various states with multiple travel companies. I am the author of Travel Nurse’s Bible (A Guide to Everything on Travel Nursing), in addition to my writings here and in the pages of Travel Nursing publications such as Healthcare Traveler Magazine and American Nurse Today. I am presently on assignment in Phoenix, AZ and travel anywhere from six to eleven months of the year.

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