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- Business calls while on your business trip. (This includes business communications by fax machine or other communication devices.)

Be sure and keep track of all telegraph charges as well.

(Going through all my parents clutter after they passed 12+ years ago I found a pad of Western Union Telegraph papers...where you wrote out your message, from, to, etc and handed to the clerk to send)

Mike
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My last employer has asked me to come back as a 1099 contract worker to help them out due to being shorthanded. I live in Missouri and the company is in San Francisco. I'm trying to figure out if I rent a room from someone for several months, would it be tax deductible?
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I would be flying in to San Francisco and staying about 15 days, then returning back to MO for about 20 days. I think the rent would be tax deductible, but just want to make sure.


I'm confused. You want to rent a room for several months, but you are only going to be in San Francisco for a couple of weeks? Or is this going to be 2 weeks in SFO, 3 weeks back in MO, 2 more weeks in SFO, 3 more weeks in MO, etc.?

If it's the latter, then you can deduct the cost of the room for the time that you are staying in SFO, but the cost for the room while you are staying in MO would not be deductible, since you would be back at your tax home during that time. So if you are renting on a monthly basis, based on the 2 week/3 week cycle, you could deduct ~40% of the total cost - probably a little more, since you presumably would have 1 more 2 week stint than you had of the 3 week stints.

Note: Since presumably you will be paying more than $600 in total rent, you will have to issue a 1099 to the person you are renting a room from, so you need to get their SSN, address, etc.

I would strongly suggest that you just pursue having the company pay for your lodging while you are in SFO - either in a hotel or a furnished apartment. (Many companies have standing arrangements for furnished apartments for new hires, contractors and temporary employee moves.) Even as a contractor, the company I worked for always reimbursed me for travel expenses, if they didn't pay for them beforehand. If they want you badly enough, they will pay.

I hope the hourly rate you negotiated as a contractor is significantly higher than your rate as an employee was - like twice the rate if they are paying for your travel, and if you're having to cover your travel, enough more per hour to pay for that. If they're not paying that much, you're giving them a much better deal than they had when you were an employee, and they're probably not pursuing a replacement as aggressively as they should be, at least if you actually want to stop working for them. If you continue to give them such a good deal, they will likely continue to be 'shorthanded' until you refuse to go back.

AJ
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...Or is this going to be 2 weeks in SFO, 3 weeks back in MO, 2 more weeks in SFO, 3 more weeks in MO, etc.?

Yes, back and forth for a while.

I would strongly suggest that you just pursue having the company pay for your lodging while you are in SFO - either in a hotel or a furnished apartment...

That is what I told them I would need. I was just looking around at possible other options.

I hope the hourly rate you negotiated as a contractor is significantly higher than your rate as an employee was...

It was.

Thanks for the great info AJ. I really appreciate it.

Jim
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...Or is this going to be 2 weeks in SFO, 3 weeks back in MO, 2 more weeks in SFO, 3 more weeks in MO, etc.?

Yes, back and forth for a while.


Follow up question; Given this situation, rent aside, what else would I need to keep track of as far as expenses are concerned? I would assume the airfare (if I were to pay for it) would be tax deductible, but what about mileage to the airport and meals while I am away from my home in MO?

Thanks again,

Jim
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Follow up question; Given this situation, rent aside, what else would I need to keep track of as far as expenses are concerned? I would assume the airfare (if I were to pay for it) would be tax deductible, but what about mileage to the airport and meals while I am away from my home in MO?

Yes, since you are on a business trip. Here's the IRS list of deductible business travel expenses from their website https://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc511 (Pub 463 https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p463.pdf is also a good resource.)

Deductible travel expenses while away from home include, but aren't limited to, the costs of:
- Travel by airplane, train, bus or car between your home and your business destination. (If you're provided with a ticket or you're riding free as a result of a frequent traveler or similar program, your cost is zero.)
- Fares for taxis or other types of transportation between the airport or train station and your hotel, the hotel and the work location, and from one customer to another, or from one place of business to another.
- Shipping of baggage, and sample or display material between your regular and temporary work locations.
- Using your car while at your business destination. You can deduct actual expenses or the standard mileage rate, as well as business-related tolls and parking fees. If you rent a car, you can deduct only the business-use portion for the expenses.
- Meals and lodging.
- Dry cleaning and laundry.
- Business calls while on your business trip. (This includes business communications by fax machine or other communication devices.)
- Tips you pay for services related to any of these expenses.
- Other similar ordinary and necessary expenses related to your business travel. (These expenses might include transportation to and from a business meal, public stenographer's fees, computer rental fees, and operating and maintaining a house trailer.)


Note: When using your personal car, if you are using the standard mileage rate ($0.58/mile for 2019) you should keep a written log of the mileage, like:
40322 - 40342 - trip to airport from home
40342 - 40362 - trip home from airport
40362 - 40758 - personal use
40758 - 40778 - trip to airport from home
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I would again reiterate that your company should be reimbursing you for these expenses, or you should have an hourly rate high enough that it will fully cover these expenses even without the deduction.

AJ
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- Business calls while on your business trip. (This includes business communications by fax machine or other communication devices.)

Be sure and keep track of all telegraph charges as well.

(Going through all my parents clutter after they passed 12+ years ago I found a pad of Western Union Telegraph papers...where you wrote out your message, from, to, etc and handed to the clerk to send)

Mike
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Is CA tax on your income that you earn in CA another thing to consider? Or would you get a credit from State MO?

I had to pay state income taxes to various states while working in them. I am a State of WA resident which has no state income tax & as a result had no recourse to recover those funds. :(
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I had to pay state income taxes to various states while working in them. I am a State of WA resident which has no state income tax & as a result had no recourse to recover those funds. :(

When you are paying state taxes when you are out of state, be sure to visit public libraries, parks, beaches, etc. Get some of the services you are paying for. ;-)
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When you are paying state taxes when you are out of state, be sure to visit public libraries, parks, beaches, etc. Get some of the services you are paying for. ;-)

Well, driving on the roads in those states would already be getting some of those services for which the income taxes are used. Or needing and using any sort of emergency service such as fire, police, or EMS or being in areas kept safer by their existence.
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