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Stipend restrictions

jeddine jeddine (New) New

I am on a first time assignment. I have never used a stipend before. I live >50 miles from my assignment. I want to know what is the limits for the stipend in North Carolina. Also in order to maintain your travel status how long can I work on one assignment and how long do I have to leave an area to maintain travel status?

Thanks for your replies,

JE

There is no 50 mile guideline, simply that job requirements demand an overnight stay to rest between shifts. If you commute from home no matter the distance, you don't qualify for tax free treatment. Look up allowable housing and per diem limits on GSA (Google per diem for the fastest way to find it). One of the many ways to lose your tax home status is to work in the same general area more than one year. If you do, that becomes your new tax home.

Ned,

Here's a related question: It is necessary for me to travel home for a couple of days each week in between work stretches (my shifts are consecutive). The facility I am working at is approximately 160 miles from my tax home.

The agency pays travel expense to and from only: once to get there, and once when the contract ends.

Do you know of any websites that address how to claim travel expenses beyond the $300 bucks the agency pays? Obviously, I am eating up huge $$ out-of-pocket in gas just in getting back and forth that are not reimbursed through the agency.

I would consult with TravelTax on that one. You are not eligible for per diem on the days you are home and not housing either if you are getting a nightly hotel room.

I can't really help you here. I have heard TravelTax address it in the past but admitting being confused about the cross between commute and travel. It would seem to me that none of that travel is deductible as it is personal, not business related. But I know it is not that simplistic.

I would consult with TravelTax on that one. You are not eligible for per diem on the days you are home and not housing either if you are getting a nightly hotel room.

I can't really help you here. I have heard TravelTax address it in the past but admitting being confused about the cross between commute and travel. It would seem to me that none of that travel is deductible as it is personal, not business related. But I know it is not that simplistic.

Thanks so much. I will check into that site, and thanks for being such an invaluable resource in these parts. :)

I see I made s grammar error there. It is me that is confused, not TravelTax.

As an aside, while there may be no tax rule about 50 miles, some companies have that rule in order to pay tax free meals and incidentals.

That is certainly true and the primary reason this particular urban legend persists. That is a minimal policy to keep the IRS off the agencies back but it adds exactly zero protection for travelers. The agency will not attend the traveler audit or pay back taxes, penalties, and interest.

Agencies could determine a travelers actual eligibility for tax free benefits fairly easily if they wanted to - but they don't! It is a competitive disadvantage if they cannot pay as much as another agency with looser standards that tells travelers that they qualify for tax free benefits if they just use their parent's address (for example).

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