Here are answers from members of the Maryland Association of Certified Public Accountants to readers' tax questions. The Sun will publish answers through April 15.
Q: I'd like to know, as a truck driver, when I spend the night out of town, how much can I claim as a deduction for business expenses without showing any receipts?
A: While it is not necessary to keep actual records of costs, make sure to keep a record of the date, place and business purposes for your overnight travel. The IRS sets a daily (per diem) allowance for overnight travel including meals, incidental expenses and lodging and publishes them annually. For example, for 1992 the IRS accepted an overall standard rate of $40 for lodging and $26 for meals and incidental expenses. The IRS rate is based on several factors including the travel &r; destination. To get a copy of the IRS rates, call 1 (800) 829-3676.
Q: How and where on our 1993 income tax do I report the sale of property that my wife inherited?
A: Property, such as a house, that is received as an inheritance should be reported on Schedule D when it is sold. Generally the basis of the property is the fair market value at the date of the decedent's death.
The above advice is for general purposes only and is not intended as legal, accounting or tax advice. Specific situations may vary. Consult with a tax adviser for specific advice.
Readers may submit questions by phone, mail or fax. Selected questions will be answered in The Sun and The Evening Sun.
To ask a tax question by phone, call Sundial, The Sun's telephone information service, at (410) 783-1800. In Anne Arundel County call 268-7736, in Harford County 836-5028, and in Carroll County 848-0338. Using a touch-tone phone, enter 6120 after the greeting.
Written queries may be sent to TAX QUESTIONS, The Baltimore Sun, Business News Department, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278. Fax questions to The Sun's Business News Department at (410) 783-2517. Callers are encouraged, but not required, to leave their names and phone numbers should questions need to be clarified. Names will not be published. Questions will not be answered by phone.