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Tax Prep by Deb

Mileage deduction, Construction Worker?

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I have a client, (has a very good log book) that works in construction. The guy he works for does have a shop but requires his workers to go straight to job site. Because it is construction, he doesn't have a permanent work site, but instead can be sent all over the place within the

same year. HRB and his buddies told him he could deduct his mileage because he doesn't have a permanent work location and that each job they do is temporary in nature.

The average RT distance from home to job location is between 145 to 200 miles per day, however the distance from his tax home and his residence is about 140 miles RT.

Would you any of you take a mileage deduction? Or would you treat everything as commuting?

The guy is very level headed and in our discussion even he admitted that the rules seemed vague to him.

I will be honest, I hope someone tells me differently but I just don't see it. I think it is all commuting. I know it would be if he moved from

one job location to another on the same day (the distance between the two) but this doesn't seem to be the case.

Deb!

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I am certainly no export in this area, but it seems to me that each site would be a principle place of business and mileage from home to principle place of business is not deductible...so I would think it would be commuting.

If boss required employees to drive to a main office and then to the site every day, then I would think mileage from main office to job site would be deductible...but that is not what we're dealing with here.

but again...others on here seem to be more of an expert on this...hopefuly they will add input.

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Per: PUB 463

Daily transportation expenses you incur while traveling from home to one or more regular places of business are generally nondeductible
commuting expenses. However, there may be exceptions to this general rule. You can deduct daily transportation expenses incurred going
between your residence and a temporary workstation outside the metropolitan area where you live. Also, daily transportation expenses can be
deducted if: (1) you have one or more regular work locations away from your residence or (2) your residence is your principal place of business
and you incur expenses going between the residence and another work location in the same trade or business, regardless of whether the work is temporary or permanent and regard-less of the distance.

Example 1. You regularly work in an office in the city where you live. Your employer sends you to a 1-week training session at a different office in the same city. You travel directly from your home to the training location and return each day. You can deduct the cost of your daily round-trip transportation between your home and the training location.

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Per: PUB 463

Daily transportation expenses you incur while traveling from home to one or more regular places of business are generally nondeductible

commuting expenses. However, there may be exceptions to this general rule. You can deduct daily transportation expenses incurred going

between your residence and a temporary workstation outside the metropolitan area where you live.

That is really the only possible way to take some of the travel, depending on the specific circumstances. For example, if all the jobs are about the same distance, no luck. But, if half of them are, say, 50 miles away, and the other half are 175-200 miles away, you can take that 50 mile radius as his 'tax home', and then the others are 'away from home' temp jobs. You have to have a logical basis for determining the boundaries for the 'tax home, but it is a viable option in some circumstances. And yes, I have gotten it accepted in several audits, over the years.

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So, according to the answers, unless you have two jobs, everything is commuting? As you know 99% of the firms who have money to send an employee for a weeks training will pay for those mileages.

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So, according to the answers, unless you have two jobs, everything is commuting? As you know 99% of the firms who have money to send an employee for a weeks training will pay for those mileages.

No, I was not talking about two different jobs, but rather segregating the assignments into 'local' and 'out of area' groups, and taking travel only on the second group,

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So, according to the answers, unless you have two jobs, everything is commuting? As you know 99% of the firms who have money to send an employee for a weeks training will pay for those mileages.

That falls into the exception "(1) you have one or more regular work locations away from your residence". Difference is whether there is a regular work location. Construction worker with no regular work location doesn't get that exception.

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