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Relocating states FOREVER

Ok, I am going to try and make this short and sweet. I need some advice.

-Husband and I are relocating to CA from NM; he is moving to CA asap and I will follow and plan to be out there by the end of the year once my BSN in done (I will be worth more money).

-We are buying a home together; I will be staying/using my parents address to keep my NM nursing license active (this is where I stay/will be staying while in NM prior to joining him).

-planned to keep my address as in NM as primary for school reasons.

- I want to try all the local hospitals in the CA area (Victorville CA) before I choose my forever home.

- Figuratively, can I use the NM address while I "travel" in CA, before I figure out while hospital to stay with "forever"; even if I have a CA mortgage...

I asked my requirter and he said he wasn't sure. He did mention that you can travel within 50 minutes from your home but you get paid less/taxed more. Anyone know anything about this? also how would taxes work if I was married and traveling?

I also wanted to work as a traveler because my grandma (who raised me so she is more like a mother) has been lonely after my grandfather died. The plan was to stay with her 4 weeks after each 13 weeks contract (in NM).

Just looking for some guidance.

Thank you!

Edited by iverina
add a little note

You can work as a traveler, but all your income will be (should be) taxed as you no longer will have a tax home in NM. You have moved, or at least are itinerant (no tax home if you are homeless). An address of convenience (that of your parents) where you do not reside is not legit.

There is no IRS ruling that says if you work a certain distance away from home changes any compensation to non-taxable. To be eligible for tax free reimbursements for housing, per diems, and travel, the primary requirement (beyond basic requirements for maintaining a legitimate tax home) is that the nature of your work requires an overnight stay to rest between shifts. 50 minutes is nothing, lots of staff employees commute farther than that without being eligible for magical tax free treatment.

The usual internal agency guidelines is 50 miles (and almost certainly what your recruiter meant to say) and that may well keep the IRS off the backs of the agency, it doesn't mean you don't owe taxes on that compensation. Your recruiter will not be present at your audit, nor will he pay your back taxes, penalties, and interest.

Sure, you can travel no matter where you live, including married with husband in California. If you meet the above mentioned requirement for an overnight rest required by the nature of your job (could be for 20 minute call requirements, and you live 30 minutes away), then any housing, travel, and per diem reimbursements will be tax free.

The key is that you have to legitimately live somewhere, and be working away from home on business. There is a concept of duplicated expenses that you may find helpful. Since you are working away from home, it is for business purposes and expenses are reimbursable or deductible. You would be duplicating costs of housing, travel costs are clearly now business related if you are not commuting from home, and the IRS recognizes your daily costs including eating will be higher than at home and allows a tax free per diem (also called meals and incidentals in IRS speak or M&IE).

As far as your license goes, you can maintain your NM license with an Egypt address if you want, the BON won't care as long as it is current. However, as soon as you leave NM permanently, you do need to notify the BON so they can change your license status to single state. You cannot keep it as a compact license when you no longer reside in NM.

Beautiful response.

So just to make sure I have this right.

I can be a "traveler" in CA even if I am working in the same town as I would be living? The only thing is I would be missing out of the "tax free" bonuses and only making straight pay and paying taxes (Almost feel like I would prefer that, tax free seems like it can be tricky.).

By doing this would I make more money then a regular staff employee? I want to save money and if I work for them as a traveler when/if they ask me to sign on I can negotiate for more.

Also, I wanted to take those weeks off between contracts to visit grandma.

Sure, you can do local contracts. Some hospitals may require travelers to come from outside some radius, like 100 miles, to avoid contaminating their local pool of workers, but that is fairly unlikely to be the case in California. It is also very unlikely you will make more as a traveler than regular staff in California, even if a good portion of your compensation is tax free (which it would not be). New grads often start over $40 or even $50 an hour depending on location and senior nurses can be over $70 (almost all hospitals are unionized in California and the rest have to compete with union hospitals for staff). Plus good health insurance, retirement, education, PTO, sick pay, and holiday and vacation pay.

In other areas of the country, doing local contracts or block booking can pay better.

The benefit of being a traveler is freedom to work when you want. But you can work local staffing for an agency or pool direct with hospitals for the same freedom.

The joy of travel is travel, not simply continuing to work local.


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