Overnight stay change car use from personal to business?


T

Taegu

I am the owner of a small business, and am the only
employee. I own a car which I use almost exclusively for
business trips (educational seminars, business errands,
distant worksites). My question is this: I may soon have a
contract with a business which requires me to be on-call,
and within 15 minutes driving distance of the business one
out of every three nights (the other nights are covered by
someone else). I live about 35 minutes away however. As I
understand the IRS regulations, my commuting to this
business site on days that I am not on-call is not tax
deductible since it involves a single trip to and from the
worksite. I plan to use my personal car to travel on the
days I am not on call. On the days that I am on-call
however, I will have to either rent an apt. or get a hotel
room and stay overnight to fulfill my obligation to be
within 15 mins of the business that I have a contract with.
On these on-call days, is my travel tax-deductible, as well
as my hotel/apt costs, and 50% of my food costs? If my
travel is tax-deductible, I would then only take the
business car on my on-call days.
 
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D

D. Stussy

Taegu said:
I am the owner of a small business, and am the only
employee. I own a car which I use almost exclusively for
business trips (educational seminars, business errands,
distant worksites). My question is this: I may soon have a
contract with a business which requires me to be on-call,
and within 15 minutes driving distance of the business one
out of every three nights (the other nights are covered by
someone else). I live about 35 minutes away however. As I
understand the IRS regulations, my commuting to this
business site on days that I am not on-call is not tax
deductible since it involves a single trip to and from the
worksite. I plan to use my personal car to travel on the
days I am not on call. On the days that I am on-call
however, I will have to either rent an apt. or get a hotel
room and stay overnight to fulfill my obligation to be
within 15 mins of the business that I have a contract with.
On these on-call days, is my travel tax-deductible, as well
as my hotel/apt costs, and 50% of my food costs? If my
travel is tax-deductible, I would then only take the
business car on my on-call days.
Probably not. The IRS used a 40 mile radius for determining
if their OWN employees were far enough away to be considered
away from their tax home (or not). With only 35 minutes of
driving time, I would be hard pressed to say that you would
be 40+ miles away.

The "tax home" issue will be an ugly one here, and that is
also likely to disqualify you as well.
 

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