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No rush on this ..... it's a 2013 tax related question. :)

I'm in the process of becoming a franchisee. The franchisor requires me to have a residence in the franchise area.

We currently have a residence in Charlotte, North Carolina and the franchise area is in Savannah, Georgia. We will continue to maintain the Charlotte residence because our daughter's family is there (including our little grandson!), but we have rented an apartment in the Savannah area and furnished it to meet the franchisor requirement and facilitate our day to day involvement in the local franchise operations.

A large amount of our day to day franchise activity can be conducted remotely from Charlotte, but we'll definitely also be in Savannah. I anticipate spending about half my time in each location. It's a 3 1/2 hour trip each way. Definitely a burden, but it seems to be well worth it.

My questions seem to be amazingly clueless to me, but that's where my knowledge is at this point. Gotta start somewhere!

Questions:

1) Is the Savannah residence deductible on my personal return as a business expense? I suspect not and that the only available deduction would be partial internet expenses (for example).

2) Alternatively, even though the apartment is in our names, could the business pay the rent and utilities and retroactively pay me back for the furnishing of the apartment? Would that have to be considered income for me?

3) Can my company pay me for the travel to and from Savannah? Is this considered income for me? At this point, I just have my personal car, but imagine I'll eventually get a company car. Obviously, I'm unclear on what is considered a company expense versus a personal commuting expense and want to have an understanding now in hope that planning ahead might help.

Thanks.

Rob
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My earlier post kind of got lost in the crowd I think, so I'm re-posting it here with modifications:

No rush on this ..... it's a 2013 tax related question. :)

I'm in the process of becoming a franchisee. The franchisor requires me to have a residence in the franchise area.

We currently have a residence in Charlotte, North Carolina and the franchise area is in Savannah, Georgia. We will continue to maintain the Charlotte residence because our daughter's family is there (including our little grandson!), but we have rented an apartment in the Savannah area and furnished it to meet the franchisor "residence requirement" and to facilitate our day to day involvement in the local franchise operations.

A large amount of our day to day franchise activity can be conducted remotely from Charlotte, but we'll definitely also be in Savannah. I anticipate spending about half my week in each location. It's a 3 1/2 hour trip each way. Definitely a burden, but it seems to be well worth it.

My questions seem to be amazingly clueless to me, but that's where my knowledge is at this point. Gotta start somewhere!

Questions:

1) Is the Savannah residence deductible on my personal return as a business expense? I suspect not and that the only available deduction would be partial internet expenses (for example).

2) Alternatively, even though the apartment is in our personal names, could the business (a corporation) pay the rent and utilities and retroactively pay me back for the furnishing of the apartment? Would that have to be considered income for me or is it just a business expense for the company?

3) Can my company pay me for the travel to and from Savannah? (I've seen that the current rate appears to be 55.5 cents per mile.) Is this considered income for me? At this point, I just have my personal car, but imagine I'll eventually get a company paid car. Obviously, I'm unclear on what is considered a company expense versus a personal commuting expense and want to have an understanding now in hope that planning ahead might help.

Thanks.

Rob
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My questions seem to be amazingly clueless to me, but that's where my knowledge is at this point. Gotta start somewhere!

And that somewhere is your very own accountant. As a knuckle-dragging IRS collection thug I saw countless small businesses fail. Practically to the owner, they hadn't a clue about the financial side of the business. All they knew was that they were working 60 hours a week and losing money. Please, please, please spend some money up front on advice.

On the unpaid advice front, here's a freebie from me. I don't know what kind of business this is, but if you try to manage it remotely and it's at all possible, your employees will steal you blind.

Phil
Rule Your Retirement Home Fool
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Thanks, Phil.

This is a well established franchise with around 3000 stores and a lot of franchisees.... most will visit the store weekly or so and pocket a decent amount of money with around 20% operating income.... despite that opportunity. This isn't based just on the franchisor say so, but also on a friend of mine who is also a franchisee.

Rob
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