Do travel nurses make more$? | allnurses

Do travel nurses make more$?

  1. 0 I guess I'll need to talk to a tax professional, but reading posts has me a bit scared as far as the housing stipend goes.... I was always under the impression that there was more money in traveling. It's not the only reason but I have a lot of student loans I don't want to drown in forever. Tax home...that's the issue. If I'm living with my parents for free I'm guessing that doesn't count. (Unfortunately I am still paying my half of rent on an apt my ex and I shared till August. I'd claim that as my residence, but its a different state and would void my compact license.) The hourly rates the recruiter went over aren't much more than I make now...like maybe a dollar. So will I just be screwed next year when taxes come around?? Does everyone really keep a house while traveling?? Doesn't that kind of void out all the extra money when you take the housing stipend? What am I missing here? I've heard there are completion bonuses but how often do those actually happen?
  2. Visit  jab3da profile page

    About jab3da

    From 'Missouri'; 33 Years Old; Joined Aug '05; Posts: 58; Likes: 4.

    15 Comments so far...

  3. Visit  79Tango profile page
    1
    I dont think you are missing anything.. Most companies (anyone reputable) will actually make you sign something and provide proof that you have a "tax home".

    Completion bonuses?? No such thing!
    AppleRN4 likes this.
  4. Visit  GleeGum profile page
    0
    nope. but it's a great experience for a season.
  5. Visit  ukjenn231 profile page
    1
    I take home almost twice as much money as I did on the floor in my hometown, and my company provides housing (so no housing stipend). Of course, I don't know how much you make currently so it's hard to say.

    You can make bank without factoring in the housing stipend. This is my second assignment, and both times I have let the company provide housing and still make double the hourly rate as I did as a full time nurse. You just have to do your research and be flexible.
    BelleMorteRN likes this.
  6. Visit  AppleRN4 profile page
    0
    Quote from jab3da
    I guess I'll need to talk to a tax professional, but reading posts has me a bit scared as far as the housing stipend goes.... I was always under the impression that there was more money in traveling. It's not the only reason but I have a lot of student loans I don't want to drown in forever. Tax home...that's the issue. If I'm living with my parents for free I'm guessing that doesn't count. (Unfortunately I am still paying my half of rent on an apt my ex and I shared till August. I'd claim that as my residence, but its a different state and would void my compact license.) The hourly rates the recruiter went over aren't much more than I make now...like maybe a dollar. So will I just be screwed next year when taxes come around?? Does everyone really keep a house while traveling?? Doesn't that kind of void out all the extra money when you take the housing stipend? What am I missing here? I've heard there are completion bonuses but how often do those actually happen?
    You need to read Page 3 of IRS publication 463 http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p463.pdf ...... it clearly defines 'tax home' and who qualifies for it- you don't. You may get away with taking the housing stipend now, but just be ready to pay back Uncle Sam when you're audited. In other words, have that money saved up because someday, when you least expect it, they'll require you to pay it all back WITH INTEREST.
  7. Visit  NedRN profile page
    0
    Quote from jab3da
    I guess I'll need to talk to a tax professional, but reading posts has me a bit scared as far as the housing stipend goes.... I was always under the impression that there was more money in traveling. It's not the only reason but I have a lot of student loans I don't want to drown in forever. Tax home...that's the issue. If I'm living with my parents for free I'm guessing that doesn't count. (Unfortunately I am still paying my half of rent on an apt my ex and I shared till August. I'd claim that as my residence, but its a different state and would void my compact license.) The hourly rates the recruiter went over aren't much more than I make now...like maybe a dollar. So will I just be screwed next year when taxes come around?? Does everyone really keep a house while traveling?? Doesn't that kind of void out all the extra money when you take the housing stipend? What am I missing here? I've heard there are completion bonuses but how often do those actually happen?
    Maintaining a tax home versus being itinerant: Properly arranged, a tax home will save you money. If you are a homeowner, your capital investment may even increase in value. You can also have a roommate that may pay for most of your ongoing expenses, and this is legal as long as you can return at any time. Being itinerant can save you a lot of hassle with maintaining your tax home, and sometimes you can end up ahead financially if your costs would be greater than your tax savings.

    Generally yes, travel pays more than staff. But consider that it is for the same reason as working per diem pays a higher rate. No sick time, no holidays, no vacation, laughable health insurance if any. You only get paid if you work. Travel is one peg up from per diem work, contracted hours and usually additional net pay due to tax savings.

    If you have historically lived at home, that counts as a tax home if it continues to be your home, and you can return at any time, and do return regularly, and have strong ties to that home. The IRS actually gives greater weight to a tax home determination if you live with relatives. Some tax advisors recommend that you pay parents going rates for your tenancy (which would be relatively small as a shared residence), however that is ultra conservative. You are free to have any agreeable qui pro quo with your landlord by mutual agreement.

    Tax home establishment and maintenance is not really subject to sound bite analysis (other than sometimes it is easy to see that your circumstances are a complete fail for a legitimate tax home), it is really a preponderance of evidence and you can increase the weighting of evidence by your actions, time frames, and how you travel.
  8. Visit  wanderlust99 profile page
    0
    I make over double what I made back home, but I'm in CA now and CA nurses make more in general.
  9. Visit  bostonbakednurse profile page
    0
    I'm on my first assignment now. I have been a nurse for sixteen years. The housing stipend is included in my pay. My last hospital position take home pay is almost the same as my take home pay as a travel nurse. I don't have sick time, vacation time or benefits with the company. But I have my husbands insurance. And I have the freedom of choice (to a certain point) of where and when I work.
    So far, so good. I'm really enjoying my first assignment! And I like my recruiter and the company as well.
  10. Visit  bostonbakednurse profile page
    0
    To clarify: My take home pay is only about ten dollars different.
  11. Visit  jab3da profile page
    0
    So what if I take the housing that they provide instead of the stipend. Will I get taxed for that down the road, too, if I don't have a tax home?
  12. Visit  jab3da profile page
    0
    Hmm...confusing. I was reading the tax link from above and says if you don't have a regular place of business then your tax home can be the place you regularly live. If I regularly live with my parents, why doesn't that count? I could pay them a little money if that would make it count. I've lived with my parents for years and never paid anything before. I realize I wasn't traveling then, but I don't see why that should make a difference if that's what I've always done. And it's definitely the place I'll be going back to.
  13. Visit  bagladyrn profile page
    0
    Quote from jab3da
    So what if I take the housing that they provide instead of the stipend. Will I get taxed for that down the road, too, if I don't have a tax home?
    Yes you will. The company should be taking out taxes on the amount that they are paying for your housing if you take the housing with no legal tax home.
  14. Visit  NedRN profile page
    0
    Quote from jab3da
    So what if I take the housing that they provide instead of the stipend. Will I get taxed for that down the road, too, if I don't have a tax home?
    If the agency understands that you are itinerant, then they should be withholding taxes for those taxable benefits, including housing. If they don't, it is very unlikely that you will have to pay down the road unless you want to be brave and honest. If they don't report housing as a taxable benefit, the IRS has no record of that associated with you. If you are audited down the road for any other reason, and you show the IRS your contracts (don't), then there is a possibility that you will have to pay back taxes, interest, and penalties. However, I have talked to several travelers who have been audited, and this has been completely missed in each case.

    The reason is that the IRS goes after the deep pockets first, the employers. It is usually they that have to pay back taxes on housing. Just too much trouble to go after individual taxpayers for chump change. That said, the IRS is currently investigating a number of agencies, and they will often pick a few random travelers to audit so they can get the full picture of what the agency is doing. So your risk is not zero, although it is low, and picking agencies that do things right is healthier. Likewise, making sure your tax home ducks are in order is also healthier, as is insisting that taxes be withheld appropriately if you don't have a tax home.


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