Completion bonuses are they available? Taxed Housing??

  1. I have reassigned at the same hospital for a year,with a small 30 day break. I wish I asked for a bonus after each 13 week assignment. Also has anyone worked at one hospital with your agency wanting to tax your housing stipend? I have an upcoming contract and that is what they want to do. They said 30 day break does not count, it is considered consecutive. They want me to have a 13 week break or will tax my pay and housing stipend. I am undecided. I might look into another travel company.
  2. Visit Hopecascade profile page

    About Hopecascade, BSN, RN

    Joined: Jan '07; Posts: 37; Likes: 10
    from US
    Specialty: 33 year(s) of experience in Post-Anesthesia Care


  3. by   NedRN
    Even a 13 week break will not pass an audit. Face it, you are not a traveler anymore. Why should you get a tax break no one else gets? May I ask, do you even maintain a permanent residence you can return to at any time (it is not rented out or a relative's home)? This is required by the IRS to receive the tax break in the first place. You are supposed to be working away from home, not itinerant. You are also required to return home regularly (regularly is not well defined by the IRS). And if you really live there, have friends, relatives, church, doctors there, you will.

    If you want the safest way as a traveler not to run afoul of the IRS (no matter what your agency allows), you have to look at working over one year in the same general area as a rolling timeline. If you have worked more than 12 months in the same general area during any 13 month period, you will see immediately that not even a break of 6 months in the middle of that period will be enough. It is safest to not work more than 12 months in any 24 month period in the same general area if you don't want to get slammed in an audit for back taxes, interest, and penalties.

    The IRS is cracking down on the travel industry in general, so agencies are much more strict in the last couple of years about following rules. The problem is that the rules that get them past the IRS may not actually get a traveler through an audit. And it gets worse. Lots of recruiters coach traveler on how to fill out the housing questionnaire, saying things like just use your parents address as a permanent address and then we won't tax the housing, per diem, or travel reimbursement. It won't hurt the agency a bit if you lie, but it can hurt you.
  4. by   Hopecascade
    Thanks for your reply. I do maintain my own home and come home on weekends. This was my first time as a traveler. I am learning as I go along. I appreciate your input. I am still undecided about signing a new contract at the same facility. From your reply I should move along.
  5. by   NedRN
    Mind you, there is nothing wrong with continuing to work there and paying the taxes if the net income is still good. 0ne more issue though is that your tax home shifts to that work location. Subsequent assignments would use that as a basis. Things can get complicated, far more than my own knowledge of taxes. Using a tax professional that really understands our vocations such as TravelTax can really keep you out of trouble.