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I just picked up a side job as an adjunct professor at Elon University. When I accepted, I requested that I get a 1099 so it'd be easier to deduct the mileage on a Schedule C (as a contractor). However, they put me on a W-2, so it appears as if I'm an employee. Can I still put the mileage and wages (as well as other expenses) on a Schedule C? I'd like to stay off of itemizing the mileage as an 'unreimbursed business deduction' since it's subject to the 2% floor, thereby eliminating most of my deduction. If there's not a way to get it on Schedule C, I know that I'd be allowed to take an above the line deduction of $250 as 'Educator Expenses,' but that's not much. I doubt I'll spend that much anyway (unless mileage could be contrued to be allowed as an educator expense). Anyway, what do you suggest? Thanks for your help.

motleync
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I just picked up a side job as an adjunct professor at Elon University. When I accepted, I requested that I get a 1099 so it'd be easier to deduct the mileage on a Schedule C (as a contractor). However, they put me on a W-2, so it appears as if I'm an employee. Can I still put the mileage and wages (as well as other expenses) on a Schedule C? I'd like to stay off of itemizing the mileage as an 'unreimbursed business deduction' since it's subject to the 2% floor, thereby eliminating most of my deduction. If there's not a way to get it on Schedule C, I know that I'd be allowed to take an above the line deduction of $250 as 'Educator Expenses,' but that's not much. I doubt I'll spend that much anyway (unless mileage could be contrued to be allowed as an educator expense). Anyway, what do you suggest?

I suggest you not teach tax law. <g>

Employee vs. independent contractor isn't dealer's choice. You're an employee, so you're stuck with employee rules. You can (on Schedule A) deduct mileage if you're going directly from one job to another, but that's it.

As for the $250 educator expense adjustment to income, that's a temporary provision that I think has expired, but I'm not sure. Simplification has forced me to wait for the forms until I know what's in play this year vs. last. In any case, mileage doesn't count.

Phil
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I just picked up a side job as an adjunct professor at Elon University. When I accepted, I requested that I get a 1099 so it'd be easier to deduct the mileage on a Schedule C (as a contractor). However, they put me on a W-2, so it appears as if I'm an employee. Can I still put the mileage and wages (as well as other expenses) on a Schedule C? I'd like to stay off of itemizing the mileage as an 'unreimbursed business deduction' since it's subject to the 2% floor, thereby eliminating most of my deduction. If there's not a way to get it on Schedule C, I know that I'd be allowed to take an above the line deduction of $250 as 'Educator Expenses,' but that's not much. I doubt I'll spend that much anyway (unless mileage could be contrued to be allowed as an educator expense). Anyway, what do you suggest? Thanks for your help.

First, the university correctly classified you as a W-2 employee. They set the time and conditions of your employ during the period you provide a service to them. Your only choice is to list your expenses on Schedule A.

You cannot use the $250 above the line deduction. There are at least two reasons. First, it only applies to qualified educators... those who work in grades K-12 and spend more than 900 hours in the school. Second, and more important, the deduction expired in 2003. It won't be available to anyone in 2004 (unless Congress changes the tax law again).

Ira
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Thanks for the tips, and the jabs...and no, it
Anyway, what about "temporary employment?" Isn't mileage deductible when you're considered a temporary employee (a year or less)?

thanks again for your help.
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Anyway, what about "temporary employment?" Isn't mileage deductible when you're considered a temporary employee (a year or less)?

No.

Ira

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Regarding a temporary employee. I just finished a tax course on employee business expenses. If you qualify as a temporary employee then travel between the taxpayer's home and a temporary work location may be deductible.

1)The taxpayer must have one or more regular work location.

2)The temporary location must be for the same trade or business as regular work location.

If you satisfy these conditions then your transportation expenses would be deductible.

Andy
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Regarding a temporary employee. I just finished a tax course on employee business expenses. If you qualify as a temporary employee then travel between the taxpayer's home and a temporary work location may be deductible.

1)The taxpayer must have one or more regular work location.

2)The temporary location must be for the same trade or business as regular work location.

If you satisfy these conditions then your transportation expenses would be deductible.


My "no" was directed to the first question. The poster is not a "temporary employee". A "side job" does not create a temporary employee position.

However, if he were a temporary employee, in addition to the criteria you mention above, the temporary position would have to be away from the regular tax home which is defined as the entire city or general area where you work (so the adjunct position would have to require overnight stays).

The temporary employee rules are intended for assignments within your current job/career, not for second jobs.

Ira

Ira
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A taxpayer who teaches at ABC school from September to June and then teaches summer school at DEF school in July and August would qualify as a temporary employee for the summer school work. The taxpayer would then be able to deduct the transportation expenses for the summer school teaching.

My notes also indicate that "If a taxpayer travels back and forth each day to a temporary assignment location, whether in the taxpeyer's metropolitan area or away from the general area of his or her tax home, the cost of daily round trip transportation is deductible".

Andy
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Even if the mileage is deductible, doesn't this still put it on Schedule A under "Unreimbursed Business Expenses" subject to the 2% floor?

I guess the question of deductibility is almost moot given the dreaded floor. Oh, how I long for a 1099. Maybe I'll just stick it in "Charitable Contributions." Just kidding.

Thanks for all your help,

mnc
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