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By December 2, 2011 0 Comments

Ask a Travel Nursing Housing Expert: Can you explain taxes when it comes to housing?


travel nurse wondering about taxesAsk a Travel Nursing Housing Expert Question:

How can I estimate the taxes that will be taken out of my paycheck for the housing that the travel company provides for me (if I do not have a residence to claim)? How do I compare that to having a residence, tax wise?

Ask a Travel Nursing Housing Expert Answer:

Thank you for your question.  First, I must say that I am not able to give you specific tax advice. Please ask your personal tax professional. But I can explain how this works:

  1. If you take travel nursing company provided housing, there are no taxes taken out of your paycheck for this, whether you have a permanent tax home or not.
  2. If you do not have a permanent tax home, companies are not able to give you tax-free monies as a housing stipend. The reason for this is because of your classification as a “traveler” according to the IRS. A traveler is someone who takes a work assignment away from their home base for a specific, limited amount of time. Because you are away from your homebase for a work assignment, there are costs that you would incur that you would not have if you stayed home. Housing is one of those costs. If you do not have a permanent tax home, then you are never away from that home.
  3. If you have a permanent tax home, then one of the options companies have is to reimburse you for your housing costs in a tax free manner.

In the end, it all comes down to what you are most comfortable with. Some will want to take the control of finding their own place to stay while on assignment, while others would rather have their company do the work.

About the Author:

Jill has been in the travel nurse housing industry for over 10 years and has expertise on a variety of travel nurse housing topics from how to find housing if you are taking a housing stipend to how to ensure you're getting the best deal from your travel nursing agency.

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