Members of the Maryland Association of Certified Public Accountants are answering tax questions through April 15.
My husband and I file a joint return. He works an intermittent job in Washington, which is basically his tax home, where he makes most of his money. I work in Maryland and make all my money here. Is he, under the current tax code, able to take a deduction for his travel back and forth to Washington, tolls, parking, etc.?
Generally, commuting and other costs of getting to/from and parking at an employee's workplace are nondeductible personal expenses. If an employee has two or more jobs, the travel between the first and second job may be deductible. In this question, the taxpayer indicated the employment was "intermittent," but did not indicate whether he was an employee or independent contractor. Business expenses of an independent contractor who files a Schedule C and pays self-employment tax on the earnings are generally deductible in computing net income. If the taxpayer qualified to have an office in the home under the more liberal rules taking effect in 1999, then costs of travel to generate income may also be deductible.
Carol I. Katz, CPA Leonard J. Miller & Associates
The above advice is for general purposes only and is not intended as legal, accounting or tax advice. Specific situations may vary.
To ask a tax question, call Sundial, The Sun's telephone information service, at 410-783-1800. Call 410-268-7736 in Anne Arundel County, 410-836-5028 in Harford County, 410-848-0338 in Carroll County. Using a Touch-Tone phone, punch in the four-digit code 6225 after the greeting. To submit questions by e-mail and access an online tax guide, go to The Sun's Web site at www.sunspot.net/tax.
Selected questions will be answered in the Business section. No questions will be answered personally.
Pub Date: 2/24/99