Tax Treatment of Travel Expenses

If you are self-employed, you may be able to deduct the ordinary and necessary expenses of traveling away from home for your business. Prior to 2018, if you were an employee and incurred unreimbursed travel expenses while traveling from your "tax home," these expenses were deductible as miscellaneous expenses subject to the 2 percent of adjusted gross income floor (if you itemized your deductions on a Schedule A). However, for 2018 to 2025, the deduction for miscellaneous itemized deductions subject to the 2-percent floor, including unreimbursed employee expenses, has been suspended, and cannot be claimed as an itemized deduction on Schedule A. These expenses can include the cost of transportation, lodging, and/or meals.

Tip: Special rules apply to members of the Armed Forces, National Guard, and Military Reserve. For more information, see IRS Publication 3, Armed Forces' Tax Guide.

"Tax home" defined

Your tax home is your principal place of employment or business. For tax purposes, you must be traveling on business away from your tax home, not your personal home (your residence), to be able to deduct travel expenses. For example, if you work in the metropolitan Boston area but live in Maine, metropolitan Boston is your tax home for the purposes of deductibility of travel expenses.

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