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Old 01-12-2015, 11:09   #16
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Re: Deductibility of Travel Expenses

If your boat is considered to be your "Tax Home" all of your travel expenses would be deductible. See RevRul 75-432. Even though you may have multiple residences only one is considered to be your tax home. If you live most of the time on your boat it would be considered your tax home.
If you are self employed these expenses would be directly deductible from your self employment income.
If you are an employee these expenses would be taken as misc. itemized deductions.
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Old 01-12-2015, 11:19   #17
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Re: Deductibility of Travel Expenses

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If your boat is considered to be your "Tax Home" all of your travel expenses would be deductible.
I'm sorry, but this is simply wrong. You cannot deduct travel expenses from your home to your ordinary place of business. If you have been deducting mileage for your normal commute from home to work everyday, then the IRS will probably be knocking on your door very soon.

Listen, people, read the OP's question. He is not asking about traveling to a special, different location. He is not talking about being self-employed. He is out cruising, appears to have been telecommuting, and now needs to actually report to the office for some reason. Traveling from wherever he is in to his office is NOT deductible!

Essentially it is like asking, if I go on a vacation to Hawaii, and then have to return to my home office in Detroit when I am done, can I deduct the airfare from Honolulu to Detroit? Well, DUH! Of course you cannot!
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Old 01-12-2015, 11:47   #18
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Re: Deductibility of Travel Expenses

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I'm sorry, but this is simply wrong. You cannot deduct travel expenses from your home to your ordinary place of business. If you have been deducting mileage for your normal commute from home to work everyday, then the IRS will probably be knocking on your door very soon.

Listen, people, read the OP's question. He is not asking about traveling to a special, different location. He is not talking about being self-employed. He is out cruising, appears to have been telecommuting, and now needs to actually report to the office for some reason. Traveling from wherever he is in to his office is NOT deductible!

Essentially it is like asking, if I go on a vacation to Hawaii, and then have to return to my home office in Detroit when I am done, can I deduct the airfare from Honolulu to Detroit? Well, DUH! Of course you cannot!

Although commuting costs are not deductible, some local transportation expenses are. Deductible local transportation expenses include the ordinary and necessary expenses of going from one workplace (away from the residence) to another. If you have an office in your home that you use as your principal place of business for your employer, you may deduct the cost of traveling between your home office and work places associated with your employment. Refer to Topic 509 for information on home offices. You may deduct the cost of going between your residence and a temporary work location outside of the metropolitan area where you live and normally work. If you have one or more regular work locations away from your residence, you may also deduct the cost of going between your residence and a temporary work location in the same trade or business within your metropolitan area. For information on transportation expenses related to your car, refer to Topic 510.


Where did a vacation to Hawaii come into the equation unless that is where your permanent residence is? A boat qualifies as a permanent residence per the IRS as does an RV. Neither of which are expected to stay in one single place for that qualification to remain true.
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Old 01-12-2015, 12:11   #19
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Re: Deductibility of Travel Expenses

Nothing is taxable until you put it on a tax return.
Everything is deductible until the IRS disallows it.
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Old 01-12-2015, 15:18   #20
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Re: Deductibility of Travel Expenses

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Hi guys-

Does anyone have any experience with the deductibility of travel expenses for a cruiser who is far from home and who flys home to work? A reference to the tax code would also be useful.

Thank you.
where i see the trouble is your reference to yourself as a cruiser. convincing and auditor that you have no choice but to cruise far from home will be a tough row to hoe, me thinks. like having a home near where you work and a ski condo in aspen and expecting the rest of us tax payers to pay a portion of your travel back and forth during the winter so you can make enough to own two homes and a season lift ticket.
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Old 01-12-2015, 15:33   #21
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Re: Deductibility of Travel Expenses

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Originally Posted by bermudabob View Post
Nothing is taxable until you put it on a tax return.
Everything is deductible until the IRS disallows it.
...and then charges you penalties and interest from the day you claimed it...bad strategy.
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Old 01-12-2015, 16:17   #22
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Re: Deductibility of Travel Expenses

If you're treating your boat as permanent residence, but not paying property taxes in any of the places you hole up in (and commute from)... that would be a red flag to the IRS, no? (and/or the state and local authorities?) Isn't a property tax bill or rental receipts one of the tests of residency?
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Old 01-12-2015, 17:36   #23
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Re: Deductibility of Travel Expenses

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Originally Posted by bermudabob View Post
Nothing is taxable until you put it on a tax return.
Everything is deductible until the IRS disallows it.
Geez, just read this again...way wrong on both counts.

You are liable for taxable transactions regardless of whether you put them on a tax return...plus penalties and interest from the day of the transaction if you didnt report it.

"Everything" is not deductible and claiming it may land you in the same boat regarding taxes and penalties.
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Old 02-12-2015, 06:48   #24
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Re: Deductibility of Travel Expenses

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Although commuting costs are not deductible, some local transportation expenses are.
Yes. Some. But only some, and only in specific circumstances. Making the blanket statement, as bermudabob did, that if your boat is your home then all of your travel expenses would be deductible is just absolutely, completely, unquestionably wrong.

Again, none on this appears to apply to the OP. He is out cruising. The IRS is going to look at that the same as being away on a vacation. You are traveling around for your own enjoyment. You are NOT traveling for business purposes. You are NOT moving your place of residence in a way that would make you eligible for moving expenses. What's more, the OP has given no indication at all that he has more than one work location, or is going to a client location, or anything else like that. He is out cruising, and now needs to return to his one, normal, fixed office location (or at least, it seems reasonably clear to me that that is what he is talking about).

In the situation described above, the answer is completely clear, and very simple: NO! He cannot deduct the cost to travel back to his home office.

Now, if the assumptions I am making are wrong, then the answer, obviously, might be different. But without further clarification from the OP I find it kind of absurd (based on what he HAS said) to make assumptions that he is self-employed, or has to travel to multiple work locations, or anything else like that, which could serve to make going back to his office tax deductible.

It would be nice if the OP would provide more details on his specific circumstance. Then we might know if some of these other comments might apply. For now, though, based on what he has said, I cannot see any way that the answer to his question can possibly be anything other than a simple NO!
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Old 02-12-2015, 10:06   #25
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Re: Deductibility of Travel Expenses

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Yes. Some. But only some, and only in specific circumstances. Making the blanket statement, as bermudabob did, that if your boat is your home then all of your travel expenses would be deductible is just absolutely, completely, unquestionably wrong.

Again, none on this appears to apply to the OP. He is out cruising. The IRS is going to look at that the same as being away on a vacation. You are traveling around for your own enjoyment. You are NOT traveling for business purposes. You are NOT moving your place of residence in a way that would make you eligible for moving expenses. What's more, the OP has given no indication at all that he has more than one work location, or is going to a client location, or anything else like that. He is out cruising, and now needs to return to his one, normal, fixed office location (or at least, it seems reasonably clear to me that that is what he is talking about).

In the situation described above, the answer is completely clear, and very simple: NO! He cannot deduct the cost to travel back to his home office.

Now, if the assumptions I am making are wrong, then the answer, obviously, might be different. But without further clarification from the OP I find it kind of absurd (based on what he HAS said) to make assumptions that he is self-employed, or has to travel to multiple work locations, or anything else like that, which could serve to make going back to his office tax deductible.

It would be nice if the OP would provide more details on his specific circumstance. Then we might know if some of these other comments might apply. For now, though, based on what he has said, I cannot see any way that the answer to his question can possibly be anything other than a simple NO!
I am glad to see this response is a little better than your prior passive aggressive responses. Instead of making negative assumptions, maybe try positive assumptions with some backing. Your analogy is still way off base as you can live on a boat and work full time, you can also travel on that boat (or RV) and that alone does not change your status. This is becoming more common as the remote workforce increases with better wireless communication options available to make working from the boat feasible. Traveling from port to port on weekends or during "PTO" time is perfectly acceptable as long as the BOAT is your full time residence and passes the litmus as doing business from home.

There are no absolutes in US Tax law and the reality here being that it is possible for the OP to continue working and deduct reasonable expenses if he passes the litmus to define his home, then if his home qualifies as a location he does business from.

https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p587.pdf


The OP may not be able to qualify this particular expense, but he can structure future expenses in his favor as can the rest of us in similar situations The OP should talk to a tax attorney and explain the situation to see what can or can't be structured.



Though it is difficult to answer the OP succinctly, as you indicated. With the assumptions being made, it best serves those reading through the topic in the future the positive assumptions where the tax law works in favor and real-world examples and links. We are starting to see more remote working professionals that choose the lifestyle as an attractive alternative to a house, 2 cars and a white picket fence while still being connected to the umbilical of a paycheck and benefits from our employer.
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Old 02-12-2015, 10:15   #26
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Re: Deductibility of Travel Expenses

Most folks do not real that you can present your situation to the IRS and ask for a private letter ruling. They will tell you what to do and that letter is valid for your situation when filing your taxes.
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Old 02-12-2015, 11:07   #27
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Re: Deductibility of Travel Expenses

Here is the low down on the law------ I happen to specialize in US tax law and write a few books on it. If you live on your boat, and work for an employer- your travel to your job is generally a nondeductible commute. An exception applies if you have temporary work locations that are away from your primary work location. If you are self-employed and can establish a home office per the requirements under 280A, you would have a case for the travel expenses. But your boat most likely does not meet the requirements for a home office, so your travel to the US will not qualify as deductible travel expenses. Your tax home is where you primarily work, not where you live- see 274 and related regulations.
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Old 02-12-2015, 11:34   #28
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Re: Deductibility of Travel Expenses

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The OP should talk to a tax attorney...
This is the one statement that should have been made right up front, and that really is the best possible answer for the OP. The tax advice you get from a bunch of strangers on a sailing forum is worth exactly what you pay for it... NOTHING!

(Which still doesn't change the fact that, based on the OP's original wording of the question, the answer is pretty clearly "no.")
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Old 02-12-2015, 11:39   #29
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Re: Deductibility of Travel Expenses

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Here is the low down on the law------ I happen to specialize in US tax law and write a few books on it. If you live on your boat, and work for an employer- your travel to your job is generally a nondeductible commute. An exception applies if you have temporary work locations that are away from your primary work location. If you are self-employed and can establish a home office per the requirements under 280A, you would have a case for the travel expenses. But your boat most likely does not meet the requirements for a home office, so your travel to the US will not qualify as deductible travel expenses. Your tax home is where you primarily work, not where you live- see 274 and related regulations.

If I am working full time for a company and classed as a remote worker, which extends my home to the company and qualify by meeting all of the requirements, then my travel to the home office can be expensed and deductible by the company, correct? Travelling between offices is deductible business expense.

The litmus is that my home (boat) is my exclusive place for doing business for my company for the convenience of the company.

So, what would preclude the normal and customary travel expense between the exclusive office and other offices extended to the employee/deduction to the employer if my boat moves out of the marina to another one?
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Old 02-12-2015, 12:01   #30
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Re: Deductibility of Travel Expenses

I just don't get it. It is a simple question with a simple answer. To qualify the EMPLOYMENT has to be temporary. If the work site changes as in construction that is still commuting and is not deductible unless you were hired for one specific job. So if you take a temporary gig with a definite end point or date you are on solid ground. The other and easier issue is your residence. You need to be able to demonstrate that your boat is your full time residence. The travel distance at the time you took the job will probably determine your maximum travel deduction so moving your boat further away would be on you but you would be limited by the actual expense if you move closer. Last and very important, expenses beyond travel are deductible, lodging being the most important. That can include the cost of gifts in lieu of rent if you stay with friends.
On meals the government assumes that you always need to eat so no go on those restaurant bills. All the above for an employee.
As a business owner travel by employees to work sites will be deductible if you reimburse the employees or pay directly. Claiming travel for yourself would be a big red flag and might draw much more attention then you can endure.
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