I have a question about business travel deductions. My employer does not reimburse travel expenses. Is there a meal allowance deduction I can claim when traveling out of town for business?
Maybe — it depends on your circumstances. If you’re away from your tax home overnight for a temporary business purpose, you may qualify for business travel deductions which includes a meal allowance deduction.
Your tax home isn’t where you live — it’s your regular place of employment. This is true no matter where your family home is located.
If you don’t have a regular or main place of business, your tax home can be the place where you regularly live, if all of these apply:
- You perform part of your business in the area of your main home.
- You have living expenses at the main home that you also have while traveling for work.
- Both of these apply:
- You haven’t abandoned the area where you usually live and claim as your main home.
- These apply:
- You have a member or members of the family living at the main home.
- You often use that home as the place you stay.
If you’re traveling away from your tax home, you can deduct half of either of these:
- Standard meal allowance determined by the IRS
- Actual cost of meals that aren’t considered lavish or extravagant
To learn about exceptions, see Publication 463 at www.irs.gov. To find the standard meal rate, visit www.gsa.gov.
Learn how to deduct unreimbursed employee business expenses with the experts at H&R Block. Find out how common business deductions can lower your tax bill.
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