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This chapter discusses expenses you can deduct for business transportation when you are not traveling away from home as defined in chapter 1. These expenses include the cost of transportation by air, rail, bus, taxi, etc. and the cost of driving and maintaining your car.
Transportation expenses include the ordinary and necessary costs of all of the following.
Getting from one workplace to another in the course of your business or profession when you are traveling within the city or general area that is your tax home. Tax home is defined in chapter 1.
Visiting clients or customers.
Going to a business meeting away from your regular workplace.
Getting from your home to a temporary workplace when you have one or more regular places of work. These temporary workplaces can be either within the area of your tax home or outside that area.
Transportation expenses do not include expenses you have while traveling away from home overnight. Those expenses are travel expenses discussed in chapter 1 . However, if you use your car while traveling away from home overnight, use the rules in this chapter to figure your car expense deduction. See Car Expenses . later.
Daily transportation expenses you incur while traveling from home to one or more regular places of business are generally nondeductible commuting expenses. However, there may be exceptions to this general rule. You can deduct daily transportation expenses incurred going between your residence and a temporary work station outside the metropolitan area where you live. Also, daily transportation expenses can be deducted if: (1) you have one or more regular work locations away from your residence or (2) your residence is your principal place of business and you incur expenses going between the residence and another work location in the same trade or business, regardless of whether the work is temporary or permanent and regardless of the distance.
Illustration of transportation expenses. Figure B . earlier, illustrates the rules that apply for deducting transportation expenses when you have a regular or main job away from your home. You may want to refer to it when deciding whether you can deduct your transportation expenses.
Temporary work location. If you have one or more regular work locations away from your home and you commute to a temporary work location in the same trade or business, you can deduct the expenses of the daily round-trip transportation between your home and the temporary location, regardless of distance.
If your employment at a work location is realistically expected to last (and does in fact last) for 1 year or less, the employment is temporary unless there are facts and circumstances that would indicate otherwise.
If your employment at a work location is realistically expected to last for more than 1 year or if there is no realistic expectation that the employment will last for 1 year or less, the employment is not temporary, regardless of whether it actually lasts for more than 1 year.
If employment at a work location initially is realistically expected to last for 1 year or less, but at some later date the employment is realistically expected to last more than 1 year, that employment will be treated as temporary (unless there are facts and circumstances that would indicate otherwise) until your expectation changes. It will not be treated as temporary after the date you determine it will last more than 1 year.
If the temporary work location is beyond the general area of your regular place of work and you stay overnight, you are traveling away from home. You may have deductible travel expenses as discussed in chapter 1 .
No regular place of work. If you have no regular place of work but ordinarily work in the metropolitan area where you live, you can deduct daily transportation costs between home and a temporary work site outside that metropolitan area.
Generally, a metropolitan area includes the area within the city limits and the suburbs that are considered part of that metropolitan area.
You cannot deduct daily transportation costs between your home and temporary work sites within your metropolitan area. These are nondeductible commuting expenses.
Two places of work. If you work at two places in one day, whether or not for the same employer, you can deduct the expense of getting from one workplace to the other. However, if for some personal reason you do not go directly from one location to the other, you cannot deduct more than the amount it would have cost you to go directly from the first location to the second.
Transportation expenses you have in going between home and a part-time job on a day off from your main job are commuting expenses. You cannot deduct them.
Armed Forces reservists. A meeting of an Armed Forces reserve unit is a second place of business if the meeting is held on a day on which you work at your regular job. You can deduct the expense of getting from one workplace to the other as just discussed under Two places of work .
You usually cannot deduct the expense if the reserve meeting is held on a day on which you do not work at your regular job. In this case, your transportation generally is a nondeductible commuting expense. However, you can deduct your transportation expenses if the location of the meeting is temporary and you have one or more regular places of work.
If you ordinarily work in a particular metropolitan area but not at any specific location and the reserve meeting is held at a temporary location outside that metropolitan area, you can deduct your transportation expenses.
If you travel away from home overnight to attend a guard or reserve meeting, you can deduct your travel expenses. These expenses are discussed in chapter 1 .
If you travel more than 100 miles away from home in connection with your performance of services as a member of the reserves, you may be able to deduct some of your reserve-related travel costs as an adjustment to gross income rather than as an itemized deduction. For more information, see Armed Forces Reservists Traveling More Than 100 Miles From Home under Special Rules. in chapter 6.
Commuting expenses. You cannot deduct the costs of taking a bus, trolley, subway, or taxi, or of driving a car between your home and your main or regular place of work. These costs are personal commuting expenses. You cannot deduct commuting expenses no matter how far your home is from your regular place of work. You cannot deduct commuting expenses even if you work during the commuting trip.
You sometimes use your cell phone to make business calls while commuting to and from work. Sometimes business associates ride with you to and from work, and you have a business discussion in the car. These activities do not change the trip from personal to business. You cannot deduct your commuting expenses.