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Free Tax Filing For Low Income Families

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Free Tax Filing For Low Income Families

Free tax filing for low income families 1. Free tax filing for low income families   Travel Table of Contents Traveling Away From HomeTax Home Tax Home Different From Family Home Temporary Assignment or Job What Travel Expenses Are Deductible?Employee. Free tax filing for low income families Business associate. Free tax filing for low income families Bona fide business purpose. Free tax filing for low income families Meals Travel in the United States Travel Outside the United States Luxury Water Travel Conventions If you temporarily travel away from your tax home, you can use this chapter to determine if you have deductible travel expenses. Free tax filing for low income families This chapter discusses: Traveling away from home, Temporary assignment or job, and What travel expenses are deductible. Free tax filing for low income families It also discusses the standard meal allowance, rules for travel inside and outside the United States, luxury water travel, and deductible convention expenses. Free tax filing for low income families Travel expenses defined. Free tax filing for low income families   For tax purposes, travel expenses are the ordinary and necessary expenses of traveling away from home for your business, profession, or job. Free tax filing for low income families   An ordinary expense is one that is common and accepted in your trade or business. Free tax filing for low income families A necessary expense is one that is helpful and appropriate for your business. Free tax filing for low income families An expense does not have to be required to be considered necessary. Free tax filing for low income families   You will find examples of deductible travel expenses in Table 1-1 , later. Free tax filing for low income families Traveling Away From Home You are traveling away from home if: Your duties require you to be away from the general area of your tax home (defined later) substantially longer than an ordinary day's work, and You need to sleep or rest to meet the demands of your work while away from home. Free tax filing for low income families This rest requirement is not satisfied by merely napping in your car. Free tax filing for low income families You do not have to be away from your tax home for a whole day or from dusk to dawn as long as your relief from duty is long enough to get necessary sleep or rest. Free tax filing for low income families Example 1. Free tax filing for low income families You are a railroad conductor. Free tax filing for low income families You leave your home terminal on a regularly scheduled round-trip run between two cities and return home 16 hours later. Free tax filing for low income families During the run, you have 6 hours off at your turnaround point where you eat two meals and rent a hotel room to get necessary sleep before starting the return trip. Free tax filing for low income families You are considered to be away from home. Free tax filing for low income families Example 2. Free tax filing for low income families You are a truck driver. Free tax filing for low income families You leave your terminal and return to it later the same day. Free tax filing for low income families You get an hour off at your turnaround point to eat. Free tax filing for low income families Because you are not off to get necessary sleep and the brief time off is not an adequate rest period, you are not traveling away from home. Free tax filing for low income families Members of the Armed Forces. Free tax filing for low income families   If you are a member of the U. Free tax filing for low income families S. Free tax filing for low income families Armed Forces on a permanent duty assignment overseas, you are not traveling away from home. Free tax filing for low income families You cannot deduct your expenses for meals and lodging. Free tax filing for low income families You cannot deduct these expenses even if you have to maintain a home in the United States for your family members who are not allowed to accompany you overseas. Free tax filing for low income families If you are transferred from one permanent duty station to another, you may have deductible moving expenses, which are explained in Publication 521, Moving Expenses. Free tax filing for low income families   A naval officer assigned to permanent duty aboard a ship that has regular eating and living facilities has a tax home (explained next) aboard the ship for travel expense purposes. Free tax filing for low income families Tax Home To determine whether you are traveling away from home, you must first determine the location of your tax home. Free tax filing for low income families Generally, your tax home is your regular place of business or post of duty, regardless of where you maintain your family home. Free tax filing for low income families It includes the entire city or general area in which your business or work is located. Free tax filing for low income families If you have more than one regular place of business, your tax home is your main place of business. Free tax filing for low income families See Main place of business or work , later. Free tax filing for low income families If you do not have a regular or a main place of business because of the nature of your work, then your tax home may be the place where you regularly live. Free tax filing for low income families See No main place of business or work , later. Free tax filing for low income families If you do not have a regular or main place of business or post of duty and there is no place where you regularly live, you are considered an itinerant (a transient) and your tax home is wherever you work. Free tax filing for low income families As an itinerant, you cannot claim a travel expense deduction because you are never considered to be traveling away from home. Free tax filing for low income families Main place of business or work. Free tax filing for low income families   If you have more than one place of work, consider the following when determining which one is your main place of business or work. Free tax filing for low income families The total time you ordinarily spend in each place. Free tax filing for low income families The level of your business activity in each place. Free tax filing for low income families Whether your income from each place is significant or insignificant. Free tax filing for low income families Example. Free tax filing for low income families You live in Cincinnati where you have a seasonal job for 8 months each year and earn $40,000. Free tax filing for low income families You work the other 4 months in Miami, also at a seasonal job, and earn $15,000. Free tax filing for low income families Cincinnati is your main place of work because you spend most of your time there and earn most of your income there. Free tax filing for low income families No main place of business or work. Free tax filing for low income families   You may have a tax home even if you do not have a regular or main place of work. Free tax filing for low income families Your tax home may be the home where you regularly live. Free tax filing for low income families Factors used to determine tax home. Free tax filing for low income families   If you do not have a regular or main place of business or work, use the following three factors to determine where your tax home is. Free tax filing for low income families You perform part of your business in the area of your main home and use that home for lodging while doing business in the area. Free tax filing for low income families You have living expenses at your main home that you duplicate because your business requires you to be away from that home. Free tax filing for low income families You have not abandoned the area in which both your historical place of lodging and your claimed main home are located; you have a member or members of your family living at your main home; or you often use that home for lodging. Free tax filing for low income families   If you satisfy all three factors, your tax home is the home where you regularly live. Free tax filing for low income families If you satisfy only two factors, you may have a tax home depending on all the facts and circumstances. Free tax filing for low income families If you satisfy only one factor, you are an itinerant; your tax home is wherever you work and you cannot deduct travel expenses. Free tax filing for low income families Example 1. Free tax filing for low income families You are single and live in Boston in an apartment you rent. Free tax filing for low income families You have worked for your employer in Boston for a number of years. Free tax filing for low income families Your employer enrolls you in a 12-month executive training program. Free tax filing for low income families You do not expect to return to work in Boston after you complete your training. Free tax filing for low income families During your training, you do not do any work in Boston. Free tax filing for low income families Instead, you receive classroom and on-the-job training throughout the United States. Free tax filing for low income families You keep your apartment in Boston and return to it frequently. Free tax filing for low income families You use your apartment to conduct your personal business. Free tax filing for low income families You also keep up your community contacts in Boston. Free tax filing for low income families When you complete your training, you are transferred to Los Angeles. Free tax filing for low income families You do not satisfy factor (1) because you did not work in Boston. Free tax filing for low income families You satisfy factor (2) because you had duplicate living expenses. Free tax filing for low income families You also satisfy factor (3) because you did not abandon your apartment in Boston as your main home, you kept your community contacts, and you frequently returned to live in your apartment. Free tax filing for low income families Therefore, you have a tax home in Boston. Free tax filing for low income families Example 2. Free tax filing for low income families You are an outside salesperson with a sales territory covering several states. Free tax filing for low income families Your employer's main office is in Newark, but you do not conduct any business there. Free tax filing for low income families Your work assignments are temporary, and you have no way of knowing where your future assignments will be located. Free tax filing for low income families You have a room in your married sister's house in Dayton. Free tax filing for low income families You stay there for one or two weekends a year, but you do no work in the area. Free tax filing for low income families You do not pay your sister for the use of the room. Free tax filing for low income families You do not satisfy any of the three factors listed earlier. Free tax filing for low income families You are an itinerant and have no tax home. Free tax filing for low income families Tax Home Different From Family Home If you (and your family) do not live at your tax home (defined earlier), you cannot deduct the cost of traveling between your tax home and your family home. Free tax filing for low income families You also cannot deduct the cost of meals and lodging while at your tax home. Free tax filing for low income families See Example 1 , later. Free tax filing for low income families If you are working temporarily in the same city where you and your family live, you may be considered as traveling away from home. Free tax filing for low income families See Example 2 , later. Free tax filing for low income families Example 1. Free tax filing for low income families You are a truck driver and you and your family live in Tucson. Free tax filing for low income families You are employed by a trucking firm that has its terminal in Phoenix. Free tax filing for low income families At the end of your long runs, you return to your home terminal in Phoenix and spend one night there before returning home. Free tax filing for low income families You cannot deduct any expenses you have for meals and lodging in Phoenix or the cost of traveling from Phoenix to Tucson. Free tax filing for low income families This is because Phoenix is your tax home. Free tax filing for low income families Example 2. Free tax filing for low income families Your family home is in Pittsburgh, where you work 12 weeks a year. Free tax filing for low income families The rest of the year you work for the same employer in Baltimore. Free tax filing for low income families In Baltimore, you eat in restaurants and sleep in a rooming house. Free tax filing for low income families Your salary is the same whether you are in Pittsburgh or Baltimore. Free tax filing for low income families Because you spend most of your working time and earn most of your salary in Baltimore, that city is your tax home. Free tax filing for low income families You cannot deduct any expenses you have for meals and lodging there. Free tax filing for low income families However, when you return to work in Pittsburgh, you are away from your tax home even though you stay at your family home. Free tax filing for low income families You can deduct the cost of your round trip between Baltimore and Pittsburgh. Free tax filing for low income families You can also deduct your part of your family's living expenses for meals and lodging while you are living and working in Pittsburgh. Free tax filing for low income families Temporary Assignment or Job You may regularly work at your tax home and also work at another location. Free tax filing for low income families It may not be practical to return to your tax home from this other location at the end of each work day. Free tax filing for low income families Temporary assignment vs. Free tax filing for low income families indefinite assignment. Free tax filing for low income families   If your assignment or job away from your main place of work is temporary, your tax home does not change. Free tax filing for low income families You are considered to be away from home for the whole period you are away from your main place of work. Free tax filing for low income families You can deduct your travel expenses if they otherwise qualify for deduction. Free tax filing for low income families Generally, a temporary assignment in a single location is one that is realistically expected to last (and does in fact last) for 1 year or less. Free tax filing for low income families    However, if your assignment or job is indefinite, the location of the assignment or job becomes your new tax home and you cannot deduct your travel expenses while there. Free tax filing for low income families An assignment or job in a single location is considered indefinite if it is realistically expected to last for more than 1 year, whether or not it actually lasts for more than 1 year. Free tax filing for low income families   If your assignment is indefinite, you must include in your income any amounts you receive from your employer for living expenses, even if they are called travel allowances and you account to your employer for them. Free tax filing for low income families You may be able to deduct the cost of relocating to your new tax home as a moving expense. Free tax filing for low income families See Publication 521 for more information. Free tax filing for low income families Exception for federal crime investigations or prosecutions. Free tax filing for low income families   If you are a federal employee participating in a federal crime investigation or prosecution, you are not subject to the 1-year rule. Free tax filing for low income families This means you may be able to deduct travel expenses even if you are away from your tax home for more than 1 year provided you meet the other requirements for deductibility. Free tax filing for low income families   For you to qualify, the Attorney General (or his or her designee) must certify that you are traveling: For the federal government, In a temporary duty status, and To investigate, prosecute, or provide support services for the investigation or prosecution of a federal crime. Free tax filing for low income families Determining temporary or indefinite. Free tax filing for low income families   You must determine whether your assignment is temporary or indefinite when you start work. Free tax filing for low income families If you expect an assignment or job to last for 1 year or less, it is temporary unless there are facts and circumstances that indicate otherwise. Free tax filing for low income families An assignment or job that is initially temporary may become indefinite due to changed circumstances. Free tax filing for low income families A series of assignments to the same location, all for short periods but that together cover a long period, may be considered an indefinite assignment. Free tax filing for low income families   The following examples illustrate whether an assignment or job is temporary or indefinite. Free tax filing for low income families Example 1. Free tax filing for low income families You are a construction worker. Free tax filing for low income families You live and regularly work in Los Angeles. Free tax filing for low income families You are a member of a trade union in Los Angeles that helps you get work in the Los Angeles area. Free tax filing for low income families Your tax home is Los Angeles. Free tax filing for low income families Because of a shortage of work, you took a job on a construction project in Fresno. Free tax filing for low income families Your job was scheduled to end in 8 months. Free tax filing for low income families The job actually lasted 10 months. Free tax filing for low income families You realistically expected the job in Fresno to last 8 months. Free tax filing for low income families The job actually did last less than 1 year. Free tax filing for low income families The job is temporary and your tax home is still in Los Angeles. Free tax filing for low income families Example 2. Free tax filing for low income families The facts are the same as in Example 1, except that you realistically expected the work in Fresno to last 18 months. Free tax filing for low income families The job actually was completed in 10 months. Free tax filing for low income families Your job in Fresno is indefinite because you realistically expected the work to last longer than 1 year, even though it actually lasted less than 1 year. Free tax filing for low income families You cannot deduct any travel expenses you had in Fresno because Fresno became your tax home. Free tax filing for low income families Example 3. Free tax filing for low income families The facts are the same as in Example 1, except that you realistically expected the work in Fresno to last 9 months. Free tax filing for low income families After 8 months, however, you were asked to remain for 7 more months (for a total actual stay of 15 months). Free tax filing for low income families Initially, you realistically expected the job in Fresno to last for only 9 months. Free tax filing for low income families However, due to changed circumstances occurring after 8 months, it was no longer realistic for you to expect that the job in Fresno would last for 1 year or less. Free tax filing for low income families You can only deduct your travel expenses for the first 8 months. Free tax filing for low income families You cannot deduct any travel expenses you had after that time because Fresno became your tax home when the job became indefinite. Free tax filing for low income families Going home on days off. Free tax filing for low income families   If you go back to your tax home from a temporary assignment on your days off, you are not considered away from home while you are in your hometown. Free tax filing for low income families You cannot deduct the cost of your meals and lodging there. Free tax filing for low income families However, you can deduct your travel expenses, including meals and lodging, while traveling between your temporary place of work and your tax home. Free tax filing for low income families You can claim these expenses up to the amount it would have cost you to stay at your temporary place of work. Free tax filing for low income families   If you keep your hotel room during your visit home, you can deduct the cost of your hotel room. Free tax filing for low income families In addition, you can deduct your expenses of returning home up to the amount you would have spent for meals had you stayed at your temporary place of work. Free tax filing for low income families Probationary work period. Free tax filing for low income families   If you take a job that requires you to move, with the understanding that you will keep the job if your work is satisfactory during a probationary period, the job is indefinite. Free tax filing for low income families You cannot deduct any of your expenses for meals and lodging during the probationary period. Free tax filing for low income families What Travel Expenses Are Deductible? Once you have determined that you are traveling away from your tax home, you can determine what travel expenses are deductible. Free tax filing for low income families You can deduct ordinary and necessary expenses you have when you travel away from home on business. Free tax filing for low income families The type of expense you can deduct depends on the facts and your circumstances. Free tax filing for low income families Table 1-1 summarizes travel expenses you may be able to deduct. Free tax filing for low income families You may have other deductible travel expenses that are not covered there, depending on the facts and your circumstances. Free tax filing for low income families When you travel away from home on business, you should keep records of all the expenses you have and any advances you receive from your employer. Free tax filing for low income families You can use a log, diary, notebook, or any other written record to keep track of your expenses. Free tax filing for low income families The types of expenses you need to record, along with supporting documentation, are described in Table 5-1 (see chapter 5). Free tax filing for low income families Separating costs. Free tax filing for low income families   If you have one expense that includes the costs of meals, entertainment, and other services (such as lodging or transportation), you must allocate that expense between the cost of meals and entertainment and the cost of other services. Free tax filing for low income families You must have a reasonable basis for making this allocation. Free tax filing for low income families For example, you must allocate your expenses if a hotel includes one or more meals in its room charge. Free tax filing for low income families Travel expenses for another individual. Free tax filing for low income families    If a spouse, dependent, or other individual goes with you (or your employee) on a business trip or to a business convention, you generally cannot deduct his or her travel expenses. Free tax filing for low income families Employee. Free tax filing for low income families   You can deduct the travel expenses of someone who goes with you if that person: Is your employee, Has a bona fide business purpose for the travel, and Would otherwise be allowed to deduct the travel expenses. Free tax filing for low income families Business associate. Free tax filing for low income families   If a business associate travels with you and meets the conditions in (2) and (3), earlier, you can deduct the travel expenses you have for that person. Free tax filing for low income families A business associate is someone with whom you could reasonably expect to actively conduct business. Free tax filing for low income families A business associate can be a current or prospective (likely to become) customer, client, supplier, employee, agent, partner, or professional advisor. Free tax filing for low income families Bona fide business purpose. Free tax filing for low income families   A bona fide business purpose exists if you can prove a real business purpose for the individual's presence. Free tax filing for low income families Incidental services, such as typing notes or assisting in entertaining customers, are not enough to make the expenses deductible. Free tax filing for low income families Table 1-1. Free tax filing for low income families Travel Expenses You Can Deduct   This chart summarizes expenses you can deduct when you travel away from home for business purposes. Free tax filing for low income families IF you have expenses for. Free tax filing for low income families . Free tax filing for low income families . Free tax filing for low income families THEN you can deduct the cost of. Free tax filing for low income families . Free tax filing for low income families . Free tax filing for low income families transportation travel by airplane, train, bus, or car between your home and your business destination. Free tax filing for low income families If you were provided with a free ticket or you are riding free as a result of a frequent traveler or similar program, your cost is zero. Free tax filing for low income families If you travel by ship, see Luxury Water Travel and Cruise Ships (under Conventions) for additional rules and limits. Free tax filing for low income families taxi, commuter bus, and airport limousine fares for these and other types of transportation that take you between: The airport or station and your hotel, and The hotel and the work location of your customers or clients, your business meeting place, or your temporary work location. Free tax filing for low income families baggage and shipping sending baggage and sample or display material between your regular and temporary work locations. Free tax filing for low income families car operating and maintaining your car when traveling away from home on business. Free tax filing for low income families You can deduct actual expenses or the standard mileage rate, as well as business-related tolls and parking. Free tax filing for low income families If you rent a car while away from home on business, you can deduct only the business-use portion of the expenses. Free tax filing for low income families lodging and meals your lodging and meals if your business trip is overnight or long enough that you need to stop for sleep or rest to properly perform your duties. Free tax filing for low income families Meals include amounts spent for food, beverages, taxes, and related tips. Free tax filing for low income families See Meals for additional rules and limits. Free tax filing for low income families cleaning dry cleaning and laundry. Free tax filing for low income families telephone business calls while on your business trip. Free tax filing for low income families This includes business communication by fax machine or other communication devices. Free tax filing for low income families tips tips you pay for any expenses in this chart. Free tax filing for low income families other other similar ordinary and necessary expenses related to your business travel. Free tax filing for low income families These expenses might include transportation to or from a business meal, public stenographer's fees, computer rental fees, and operating and maintaining a house trailer. Free tax filing for low income families Example. Free tax filing for low income families Jerry drives to Chicago on business and takes his wife, Linda, with him. Free tax filing for low income families Linda is not Jerry's employee. Free tax filing for low income families Linda occasionally types notes, performs similar services, and accompanies Jerry to luncheons and dinners. Free tax filing for low income families The performance of these services does not establish that her presence on the trip is necessary to the conduct of Jerry's business. Free tax filing for low income families Her expenses are not deductible. Free tax filing for low income families Jerry pays $199 a day for a double room. Free tax filing for low income families A single room costs $149 a day. Free tax filing for low income families He can deduct the total cost of driving his car to and from Chicago, but only $149 a day for his hotel room. Free tax filing for low income families If he uses public transportation, he can deduct only his fare. Free tax filing for low income families Meals You can deduct the cost of meals in either of the following situations. Free tax filing for low income families It is necessary for you to stop for substantial sleep or rest to properly perform your duties while traveling away from home on business. Free tax filing for low income families The meal is business-related entertainment. Free tax filing for low income families Business-related entertainment is discussed in chapter 2 . Free tax filing for low income families The following discussion deals only with meals that are not business-related entertainment. Free tax filing for low income families Lavish or extravagant. Free tax filing for low income families   You cannot deduct expenses for meals that are lavish or extravagant. Free tax filing for low income families An expense is not considered lavish or extravagant if it is reasonable based on the facts and circumstances. Free tax filing for low income families Expenses will not be disallowed merely because they are more than a fixed dollar amount or take place at deluxe restaurants, hotels, nightclubs, or resorts. Free tax filing for low income families 50% limit on meals. Free tax filing for low income families   You can figure your meals expense using either of the following methods. Free tax filing for low income families Actual cost. Free tax filing for low income families The standard meal allowance. Free tax filing for low income families Both of these methods are explained below. Free tax filing for low income families But, regardless of the method you use, you generally can deduct only 50% of the unreimbursed cost of your meals. Free tax filing for low income families   If you are reimbursed for the cost of your meals, how you apply the 50% limit depends on whether your employer's reimbursement plan was accountable or nonaccountable. Free tax filing for low income families If you are not reimbursed, the 50% limit applies whether the unreimbursed meal expense is for business travel or business entertainment. Free tax filing for low income families Chapter 2 discusses the 50% Limit in more detail, and chapter 6 discusses accountable and nonaccountable plans. Free tax filing for low income families Actual Cost You can use the actual cost of your meals to figure the amount of your expense before reimbursement and application of the 50% deduction limit. Free tax filing for low income families If you use this method, you must keep records of your actual cost. Free tax filing for low income families Standard Meal Allowance Generally, you can use the “standard meal allowance” method as an alternative to the actual cost method. Free tax filing for low income families It allows you to use a set amount for your daily meals and incidental expenses (M&IE), instead of keeping records of your actual costs. Free tax filing for low income families The set amount varies depending on where and when you travel. Free tax filing for low income families In this publication, “standard meal allowance” refers to the federal rate for M&IE, discussed later under Amount of standard meal allowance . Free tax filing for low income families If you use the standard meal allowance, you still must keep records to prove the time, place, and business purpose of your travel. Free tax filing for low income families See the recordkeeping rules for travel in chapter 5 . Free tax filing for low income families Incidental expenses. Free tax filing for low income families   The term “incidental expenses” means fees and tips given to porters, baggage carriers, hotel staff, and staff on ships. Free tax filing for low income families   Incidental expenses do not include expenses for laundry, cleaning and pressing of clothing, lodging taxes, costs of telegrams or telephone calls, transportation between places of lodging or business and places where meals are taken, or the mailing cost of filing travel vouchers and paying employer-sponsored charge card billings. Free tax filing for low income families Incidental-expenses-only method. Free tax filing for low income families   You can use an optional method (instead of actual cost) for deducting incidental expenses only. Free tax filing for low income families The amount of the deduction is $5 a day. Free tax filing for low income families You can use this method only if you did not pay or incur any meal expenses. Free tax filing for low income families You cannot use this method on any day that you use the standard meal allowance. Free tax filing for low income families This method is subject to the proration rules for partial days. Free tax filing for low income families See Travel for days you depart and return , later in this chapter. Free tax filing for low income families Note. Free tax filing for low income families The incidental-expenses-only method is not subject to the 50% limit discussed below. Free tax filing for low income families Federal employees should refer to the Federal Travel Regulations at www. Free tax filing for low income families gsa. Free tax filing for low income families gov. Free tax filing for low income families Find the “Most Requested Links” on the upper left and click on “Regulations: FAR, FMR, FTR” for Federal Travel Regulation (FTR) for changes affecting claims for reimbursement. Free tax filing for low income families 50% limit may apply. Free tax filing for low income families   If you use the standard meal allowance method for meal expenses and you are not reimbursed or you are reimbursed under a nonaccountable plan, you can generally deduct only 50% of the standard meal allowance. Free tax filing for low income families If you are reimbursed under an accountable plan and you are deducting amounts that are more than your reimbursements, you can deduct only 50% of the excess amount. Free tax filing for low income families The 50% limit is discussed in more detail in chapter 2, and accountable and nonaccountable plans are discussed in chapter 6. Free tax filing for low income families There is no optional standard lodging amount similar to the standard meal allowance. Free tax filing for low income families Your allowable lodging expense deduction is your actual cost. Free tax filing for low income families Who can use the standard meal allowance. Free tax filing for low income families   You can use the standard meal allowance whether you are an employee or self-employed, and whether or not you are reimbursed for your traveling expenses. Free tax filing for low income families Use of the standard meal allowance for other travel. Free tax filing for low income families   You can use the standard meal allowance to figure your meal expenses when you travel in connection with investment and other income-producing property. Free tax filing for low income families You can also use it to figure your meal expenses when you travel for qualifying educational purposes. Free tax filing for low income families You cannot use the standard meal allowance to figure the cost of your meals when you travel for medical or charitable purposes. Free tax filing for low income families Amount of standard meal allowance. Free tax filing for low income families   The standard meal allowance is the federal M&IE rate. Free tax filing for low income families For travel in 2013, the rate for most small localities in the United States is $46 a day. Free tax filing for low income families    Most major cities and many other localities in the United States are designated as high-cost areas, qualifying for higher standard meal allowances. Free tax filing for low income families    You can find this information (organized by state) on the Internet at www. Free tax filing for low income families gsa. Free tax filing for low income families gov/perdiem. Free tax filing for low income families Enter a zip code or select a city and state for the per diem rates for the current fiscal year. Free tax filing for low income families Per diem rates for prior fiscal years are available by using the drop down menu under “Search by State. Free tax filing for low income families ”   Per diem rates are listed by the Federal government's fiscal year which runs from October 1 to September 30. Free tax filing for low income families You can choose to use the rates from the 2013 fiscal year per diem tables or the rates from the 2014 fiscal year tables, but you must consistently use the same tables for all travel you are reporting on your income tax return for the year. Free tax filing for low income families   If you travel to more than one location in one day, use the rate in effect for the area where you stop for sleep or rest. Free tax filing for low income families If you work in the transportation industry, however, see Special rate for transportation workers , later. Free tax filing for low income families Standard meal allowance for areas outside the continental United States. Free tax filing for low income families   The standard meal allowance rates above do not apply to travel in Alaska, Hawaii, or any other location outside the continental United States. Free tax filing for low income families The Department of Defense establishes per diem rates for Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, Midway, the Northern Mariana Islands, the U. Free tax filing for low income families S. Free tax filing for low income families Virgin Islands, Wake Island, and other non-foreign areas outside the continental United States. Free tax filing for low income families The Department of State establishes per diem rates for all other foreign areas. Free tax filing for low income families    You can access per diem rates for non-foreign areas outside the continental United States at: www. Free tax filing for low income families defensetravel. Free tax filing for low income families dod. Free tax filing for low income families mil/site/perdiemCalc. Free tax filing for low income families cfm. Free tax filing for low income families You can access all other foreign per diem rates at: www. Free tax filing for low income families state. Free tax filing for low income families gov/travel/. Free tax filing for low income families Click on “Travel Per Diem Allowances for Foreign Areas,” under “Foreign Per Diem Rates” to obtain the latest foreign per diem rates. Free tax filing for low income families Special rate for transportation workers. Free tax filing for low income families   You can use a special standard meal allowance if you work in the transportation industry. Free tax filing for low income families You are in the transportation industry if your work: Directly involves moving people or goods by airplane, barge, bus, ship, train, or truck, and Regularly requires you to travel away from home and, during any single trip, usually involves travel to areas eligible for different standard meal allowance rates. Free tax filing for low income families If this applies to you, you can claim a standard meal allowance of $59 a day ($65 for travel outside the continental United States). Free tax filing for low income families   Using the special rate for transportation workers eliminates the need for you to determine the standard meal allowance for every area where you stop for sleep or rest. Free tax filing for low income families If you choose to use the special rate for any trip, you must use the special rate (and not use the regular standard meal allowance rates) for all trips you take that year. Free tax filing for low income families Travel for days you depart and return. Free tax filing for low income families   For both the day you depart for and the day you return from a business trip, you must prorate the standard meal allowance (figure a reduced amount for each day). Free tax filing for low income families You can do so by one of two methods. Free tax filing for low income families Method 1: You can claim 3/4 of the standard meal allowance. Free tax filing for low income families Method 2: You can prorate using any method that you consistently apply and that is in accordance with reasonable business practice. Free tax filing for low income families Example. Free tax filing for low income families Jen is employed in New Orleans as a convention planner. Free tax filing for low income families In March, her employer sent her on a 3-day trip to Washington, DC, to attend a planning seminar. Free tax filing for low income families She left her home in New Orleans at 10 a. Free tax filing for low income families m. Free tax filing for low income families on Wednesday and arrived in Washington, DC, at 5:30 p. Free tax filing for low income families m. Free tax filing for low income families After spending two nights there, she flew back to New Orleans on Friday and arrived back home at 8:00 p. Free tax filing for low income families m. Free tax filing for low income families Jen's employer gave her a flat amount to cover her expenses and included it with her wages. Free tax filing for low income families Under Method 1, Jen can claim 2½ days of the standard meal allowance for Washington, DC: 3/4 of the daily rate for Wednesday and Friday (the days she departed and returned), and the full daily rate for Thursday. Free tax filing for low income families Under Method 2, Jen could also use any method that she applies consistently and that is in accordance with reasonable business practice. Free tax filing for low income families For example, she could claim 3 days of the standard meal allowance even though a federal employee would have to use Method 1 and be limited to only 2½ days. Free tax filing for low income families Travel in the United States The following discussion applies to travel in the United States. Free tax filing for low income families For this purpose, the United States includes the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Free tax filing for low income families The treatment of your travel expenses depends on how much of your trip was business related and on how much of your trip occurred within the United States. Free tax filing for low income families See Part of Trip Outside the United States , later. Free tax filing for low income families Trip Primarily for Business You can deduct all of your travel expenses if your trip was entirely business related. Free tax filing for low income families If your trip was primarily for business and, while at your business destination, you extended your stay for a vacation, made a personal side trip, or had other personal activities, you can deduct only your business-related travel expenses. Free tax filing for low income families These expenses include the travel costs of getting to and from your business destination and any business-related expenses at your business destination. Free tax filing for low income families Example. Free tax filing for low income families You work in Atlanta and take a business trip to New Orleans in May. Free tax filing for low income families Your business travel totals 850 miles round trip. Free tax filing for low income families On your way, you stop in Mobile to visit your parents. Free tax filing for low income families You spend $2,120 for the 9 days you are away from home for travel, meals, lodging, and other travel expenses. Free tax filing for low income families If you had not stopped in Mobile, you would have been gone only 6 days, and your total cost would have been $1,820. Free tax filing for low income families You can deduct $1,820 for your trip, including the cost of round-trip transportation to and from New Orleans. Free tax filing for low income families The deduction for your meals is subject to the 50% limit on meals mentioned earlier. Free tax filing for low income families Trip Primarily for Personal Reasons If your trip was primarily for personal reasons, such as a vacation, the entire cost of the trip is a nondeductible personal expense. Free tax filing for low income families However, you can deduct any expenses you have while at your destination that are directly related to your business. Free tax filing for low income families A trip to a resort or on a cruise ship may be a vacation even if the promoter advertises that it is primarily for business. Free tax filing for low income families The scheduling of incidental business activities during a trip, such as viewing videotapes or attending lectures dealing with general subjects, will not change what is really a vacation into a business trip. Free tax filing for low income families Part of Trip Outside the United States If part of your trip is outside the United States, use the rules described later in this chapter under Travel Outside the United States for that part of the trip. Free tax filing for low income families For the part of your trip that is inside the United States, use the rules for travel in the United States. Free tax filing for low income families Travel outside the United States does not include travel from one point in the United States to another point in the United States. Free tax filing for low income families The following discussion can help you determine whether your trip was entirely within the United States. Free tax filing for low income families Public transportation. Free tax filing for low income families   If you travel by public transportation, any place in the United States where that vehicle makes a scheduled stop is a point in the United States. Free tax filing for low income families Once the vehicle leaves the last scheduled stop in the United States on its way to a point outside the United States, you apply the rules under Travel Outside the United States . Free tax filing for low income families Example. Free tax filing for low income families You fly from New York to Puerto Rico with a scheduled stop in Miami. Free tax filing for low income families You return to New York nonstop. Free tax filing for low income families The flight from New York to Miami is in the United States, so only the flight from Miami to Puerto Rico is outside the United States. Free tax filing for low income families Because there are no scheduled stops between Puerto Rico and New York, all of the return trip is outside the United States. Free tax filing for low income families Private car. Free tax filing for low income families   Travel by private car in the United States is travel between points in the United States, even though you are on your way to a destination outside the United States. Free tax filing for low income families Example. Free tax filing for low income families You travel by car from Denver to Mexico City and return. Free tax filing for low income families Your travel from Denver to the border and from the border back to Denver is travel in the United States, and the rules in this section apply. Free tax filing for low income families The rules under Travel Outside the United States apply to your trip from the border to Mexico City and back to the border. Free tax filing for low income families Travel Outside the United States If any part of your business travel is outside the United States, some of your deductions for the cost of getting to and from your destination may be limited. Free tax filing for low income families For this purpose, the United States includes the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Free tax filing for low income families How much of your travel expenses you can deduct depends in part upon how much of your trip outside the United States was business related. Free tax filing for low income families Travel Entirely for Business or Considered Entirely for Business You can deduct all your travel expenses of getting to and from your business destination if your trip is entirely for business or considered entirely for business. Free tax filing for low income families Travel entirely for business. Free tax filing for low income families   If you travel outside the United States and you spend the entire time on business activities, you can deduct all of your travel expenses. Free tax filing for low income families Travel considered entirely for business. Free tax filing for low income families   Even if you did not spend your entire time on business activities, your trip is considered entirely for business if you meet at least one of the following four exceptions. Free tax filing for low income families Exception 1 - No substantial control. Free tax filing for low income families   Your trip is considered entirely for business if you did not have substantial control over arranging the trip. Free tax filing for low income families The fact that you control the timing of your trip does not, by itself, mean that you have substantial control over arranging your trip. Free tax filing for low income families   You do not have substantial control over your trip if you: Are an employee who was reimbursed or paid a travel expense allowance, and Are not related to your employer, or Are not a managing executive. Free tax filing for low income families    “Related to your employer” is defined later in chapter 6 under Per Diem and Car Allowances . Free tax filing for low income families   A “managing executive” is an employee who has the authority and responsibility, without being subject to the veto of another, to decide on the need for the business travel. Free tax filing for low income families   A self-employed person generally has substantial control over arranging business trips. Free tax filing for low income families Exception 2 - Outside United States no more than a week. Free tax filing for low income families   Your trip is considered entirely for business if you were outside the United States for a week or less, combining business and nonbusiness activities. Free tax filing for low income families One week means 7 consecutive days. Free tax filing for low income families In counting the days, do not count the day you leave the United States, but do count the day you return to the United States. Free tax filing for low income families Example. Free tax filing for low income families You traveled to Brussels primarily for business. Free tax filing for low income families You left Denver on Tuesday and flew to New York. Free tax filing for low income families On Wednesday, you flew from New York to Brussels, arriving the next morning. Free tax filing for low income families On Thursday and Friday, you had business discussions, and from Saturday until Tuesday, you were sightseeing. Free tax filing for low income families You flew back to New York, arriving Wednesday afternoon. Free tax filing for low income families On Thursday, you flew back to Denver. Free tax filing for low income families Although you were away from your home in Denver for more than a week, you were not outside the United States for more than a week. Free tax filing for low income families This is because the day you depart does not count as a day outside the United States. Free tax filing for low income families You can deduct your cost of the round-trip flight between Denver and Brussels. Free tax filing for low income families You can also deduct the cost of your stay in Brussels for Thursday and Friday while you conducted business. Free tax filing for low income families However, you cannot deduct the cost of your stay in Brussels from Saturday through Tuesday because those days were spent on nonbusiness activities. Free tax filing for low income families Exception 3 - Less than 25% of time on personal activities. Free tax filing for low income families   Your trip is considered entirely for business if: You were outside the United States for more than a week, and You spent less than 25% of the total time you were outside the United States on nonbusiness activities. Free tax filing for low income families For this purpose, count both the day your trip began and the day it ended. Free tax filing for low income families Example. Free tax filing for low income families You flew from Seattle to Tokyo, where you spent 14 days on business and 5 days on personal matters. Free tax filing for low income families You then flew back to Seattle. Free tax filing for low income families You spent 1 day flying in each direction. Free tax filing for low income families Because only 5/21 (less than 25%) of your total time abroad was for nonbusiness activities, you can deduct as travel expenses what it would have cost you to make the trip if you had not engaged in any nonbusiness activity. Free tax filing for low income families The amount you can deduct is the cost of the round-trip plane fare and 16 days of meals (subject to the 50% limit), lodging, and other related expenses. Free tax filing for low income families Exception 4 - Vacation not a major consideration. Free tax filing for low income families   Your trip is considered entirely for business if you can establish that a personal vacation was not a major consideration, even if you have substantial control over arranging the trip. Free tax filing for low income families Travel Primarily for Business If you travel outside the United States primarily for business but spend some of your time on other activities, you generally cannot deduct all of your travel expenses. Free tax filing for low income families You can only deduct the business portion of your cost of getting to and from your destination. Free tax filing for low income families You must allocate the costs between your business and other activities to determine your deductible amount. Free tax filing for low income families See Travel allocation rules , later. Free tax filing for low income families You do not have to allocate your travel expenses if you meet one of the four exceptions listed earlier under Travel considered entirely for business . Free tax filing for low income families In those cases, you can deduct the total cost of getting to and from your destination. Free tax filing for low income families Travel allocation rules. Free tax filing for low income families   If your trip outside the United States was primarily for business, you must allocate your travel time on a day-to-day basis between business days and nonbusiness days. Free tax filing for low income families The days you depart from and return to the United States are both counted as days outside the United States. Free tax filing for low income families   To figure the deductible amount of your round-trip travel expenses, use the following fraction. Free tax filing for low income families The numerator (top number) is the total number of business days outside the United States. Free tax filing for low income families The denominator (bottom number) is the total number of business and nonbusiness days of travel. Free tax filing for low income families Counting business days. Free tax filing for low income families   Your business days include transportation days, days your presence was required, days you spent on business, and certain weekends and holidays. Free tax filing for low income families Transportation day. Free tax filing for low income families   Count as a business day any day you spend traveling to or from a business destination. Free tax filing for low income families However, if because of a nonbusiness activity you do not travel by a direct route, your business days are the days it would take you to travel a reasonably direct route to your business destination. Free tax filing for low income families Extra days for side trips or nonbusiness activities cannot be counted as business days. Free tax filing for low income families Presence required. Free tax filing for low income families   Count as a business day any day your presence is required at a particular place for a specific business purpose. Free tax filing for low income families Count it as a business day even if you spend most of the day on nonbusiness activities. Free tax filing for low income families Day spent on business. Free tax filing for low income families   If your principal activity during working hours is the pursuit of your trade or business, count the day as a business day. Free tax filing for low income families Also, count as a business day any day you are prevented from working because of circumstances beyond your control. Free tax filing for low income families Certain weekends and holidays. Free tax filing for low income families   Count weekends, holidays, and other necessary standby days as business days if they fall between business days. Free tax filing for low income families But if they follow your business meetings or activity and you remain at your business destination for nonbusiness or personal reasons, do not count them as business days. Free tax filing for low income families Example 1. Free tax filing for low income families Your tax home is New York City. Free tax filing for low income families You travel to Quebec, where you have a business appointment on Friday. Free tax filing for low income families You have another appointment on the following Monday. Free tax filing for low income families Because your presence was required on both Friday and Monday, they are business days. Free tax filing for low income families Because the weekend is between business days, Saturday and Sunday are counted as business days. Free tax filing for low income families This is true even though you use the weekend for sightseeing, visiting friends, or other nonbusiness activity. Free tax filing for low income families Example 2. Free tax filing for low income families If, in Example 1, you had no business in Quebec after Friday, but stayed until Monday before starting home, Saturday and Sunday would be nonbusiness days. Free tax filing for low income families Nonbusiness activity on the way to or from your business destination. Free tax filing for low income families   If you stopped for a vacation or other nonbusiness activity either on the way from the United States to your business destination, or on the way back to the United States from your business destination, you must allocate part of your travel expenses to the nonbusiness activity. Free tax filing for low income families   The part you must allocate is the amount it would have cost you to travel between the point where travel outside the United States begins and your nonbusiness destination and a return to the point where travel outside the United States ends. Free tax filing for low income families   You determine the nonbusiness portion of that expense by multiplying it by a fraction. Free tax filing for low income families The numerator (top number) of the fraction is the number of nonbusiness days during your travel outside the United States and the denominator (bottom number) is the total number of days you spend outside the United States. Free tax filing for low income families Example. Free tax filing for low income families You live in New York. Free tax filing for low income families On May 4 you flew to Paris to attend a business conference that began on May 5. Free tax filing for low income families The conference ended at noon on May 14. Free tax filing for low income families That evening you flew to Dublin where you visited with friends until the afternoon of May 21, when you flew directly home to New York. Free tax filing for low income families The primary purpose for the trip was to attend the conference. Free tax filing for low income families If you had not stopped in Dublin, you would have arrived home the evening of May 14. Free tax filing for low income families You do not meet any of the exceptions that would allow you to consider your travel entirely for business. Free tax filing for low income families May 4 through May 14 (11 days) are business days and May 15 through May 21 (7 days) are nonbusiness days. Free tax filing for low income families You can deduct the cost of your meals (subject to the 50% limit), lodging, and other business-related travel expenses while in Paris. Free tax filing for low income families You cannot deduct your expenses while in Dublin. Free tax filing for low income families You also cannot deduct 7/18 of what it would have cost you to travel round-trip between New York and Dublin. Free tax filing for low income families You paid $750 to fly from New York to Paris, $400 to fly from Paris to Dublin, and $700 to fly from Dublin back to New York. Free tax filing for low income families Round-trip airfare from New York to Dublin would have been $1,250. Free tax filing for low income families You figure the deductible part of your air travel expenses by subtracting 7/18 of the round-trip fare and other expenses you would have had in traveling directly between New York and Dublin ($1,250 × 7/18 = $486) from your total expenses in traveling from New York to Paris to Dublin and back to New York ($750 + $400 + $700 = $1,850). Free tax filing for low income families Your deductible air travel expense is $1,364 ($1,850 − $486). Free tax filing for low income families Nonbusiness activity at, near, or beyond business destination. Free tax filing for low income families   If you had a vacation or other nonbusiness activity at, near, or beyond your business destination, you must allocate part of your travel expenses to the nonbusiness activity. Free tax filing for low income families   The part you must allocate is the amount it would have cost you to travel between the point where travel outside the United States begins and your business destination and a return to the point where travel outside the United States ends. Free tax filing for low income families   You determine the nonbusiness portion of that expense by multiplying it by a fraction. Free tax filing for low income families The numerator (top number) of the fraction is the number of nonbusiness days during your travel outside the United States and the denominator (bottom number) is the total number of days you spend outside the United States. Free tax filing for low income families   None of your travel expenses for nonbusiness activities at, near, or beyond your business destination are deductible. Free tax filing for low income families Example. Free tax filing for low income families Assume that the dates are the same as in the previous example but that instead of going to Dublin for your vacation, you fly to Venice, Italy, for a vacation. Free tax filing for low income families You cannot deduct any part of the cost of your trip from Paris to Venice and return to Paris. Free tax filing for low income families In addition, you cannot deduct 7/18 of the airfare and other expenses from New York to Paris and back to New York. Free tax filing for low income families You can deduct 11/18 of the round-trip plane fare and other travel expenses from New York to Paris, plus your meals (subject to the 50% limit), lodging, and any other business expenses you had in Paris. Free tax filing for low income families (Assume these expenses total $4,939. Free tax filing for low income families ) If the round-trip plane fare and other travel-related expenses (such as food during the trip) are $1,750, you can deduct travel costs of $1,069 (11/18 × $1,750), plus the full $4,939 for the expenses you had in Paris. Free tax filing for low income families Other methods. Free tax filing for low income families   You can use another method of counting business days if you establish that it more clearly reflects the time spent on other than business activities outside the United States. Free tax filing for low income families Travel Primarily for Personal Reasons If you travel outside the United States primarily for vacation or for investment purposes, the entire cost of the trip is a nondeductible personal expense. Free tax filing for low income families However, if you spend some time attending brief professional seminars or a continuing education program, you can deduct your registration fees and other expenses you have that are directly related to your business. Free tax filing for low income families Example. Free tax filing for low income families The university from which you graduated has a continuing education program for members of its alumni association. Free tax filing for low income families This program consists of trips to various foreign countries where academic exercises and conferences are set up to acquaint individuals in most occupations with selected facilities in several regions of the world. Free tax filing for low income families However, none of the conferences are directed toward specific occupations or professions. Free tax filing for low income families It is up to each participant to seek out specialists and organizational settings appropriate to his or her occupational interests. Free tax filing for low income families Three-hour sessions are held each day over a 5-day period at each of the selected overseas facilities where participants can meet with individual practitioners. Free tax filing for low income families These sessions are composed of a variety of activities including workshops, mini-lectures, role playing, skill development, and exercises. Free tax filing for low income families Professional conference directors schedule and conduct the sessions. Free tax filing for low income families Participants can choose those sessions they wish to attend. Free tax filing for low income families You can participate in this program since you are a member of the alumni association. Free tax filing for low income families You and your family take one of the trips. Free tax filing for low income families You spend about 2 hours at each of the planned sessions. Free tax filing for low income families The rest of the time you go touring and sightseeing with your family. Free tax filing for low income families The trip lasts less than 1 week. Free tax filing for low income families Your travel expenses for the trip are not deductible since the trip was primarily a vacation. Free tax filing for low income families However, registration fees and any other incidental expenses you have for the five planned sessions you attended that are directly related and beneficial to your business are deductible business expenses. Free tax filing for low income families These expenses should be specifically stated in your records to ensure proper allocation of your deductible business expenses. Free tax filing for low income families Luxury Water Travel If you travel by ocean liner, cruise ship, or other form of luxury water transportation for business purposes, there is a daily limit on the amount you can deduct. Free tax filing for low income families The limit is twice the highest federal per diem rate allowable at the time of your travel. Free tax filing for low income families (Generally, the federal per diem is the amount paid to federal government employees for daily living expenses when they travel away from home, but in the United States, for business purposes. Free tax filing for low income families ) Daily limit on luxury water travel. Free tax filing for low income families   The highest federal per diem rate allowed and the daily limit for luxury water travel in 2013 is shown in the following table. Free tax filing for low income families   2013 Dates Highest Federal Per Diem Daily Limit on Luxury Water Travel   Jan. Free tax filing for low income families 1 – Mar. Free tax filing for low income families 31 $367 $734   Apr. Free tax filing for low income families 1 – June 30 312 624   July 1 – Aug. Free tax filing for low income families 31 310 620   Sept. Free tax filing for low income families 1 – Sept. Free tax filing for low income families 30 366 732   Oct. Free tax filing for low income families 1 – Dec. Free tax filing for low income families 31 374 748 Example. Free tax filing for low income families Caroline, a travel agent, traveled by ocean liner from New York to London, England, on business in May. Free tax filing for low income families Her expense for the 6-day cruise was $5,200. Free tax filing for low income families Caroline's deduction for the cruise cannot exceed $3,744 (6 days × $624 daily limit). Free tax filing for low income families Meals and entertainment. Free tax filing for low income families   If your expenses for luxury water travel include separately stated amounts for meals or entertainment, those amounts are subject to the 50% limit on meals and entertainment before you apply the daily limit. Free tax filing for low income families For a discussion of the 50% Limit , see chapter 2. Free tax filing for low income families Example. Free tax filing for low income families In the previous example, Caroline's luxury water travel had a total cost of $5,200. Free tax filing for low income families Of that amount, $3,700 was separately stated as meals and entertainment. Free tax filing for low income families Caroline, who is self-employed, is not reimbursed for any of her travel expenses. Free tax filing for low income families Caroline figures her deductible travel expenses as follows. Free tax filing for low income families Meals and entertainment $3,700   50% limit × . Free tax filing for low income families 50   Allowable meals &     entertainment $1,850   Other travel expenses + 1,800   Allowable cost before the daily limit $3,650 Daily limit for May 2013 $624   Times number of days × 6   Maximum luxury water travel     deduction $3,744 Amount of allowable deduction $3,650 Caroline's deduction for her cruise is limited to $3,650, even though the limit on luxury water travel is slightly higher. Free tax filing for low income families Not separately stated. Free tax filing for low income families   If your meal or entertainment charges are not separately stated or are not clearly identifiable, you do not have to allocate any portion of the total charge to meals or entertainment. Free tax filing for low income families Exceptions The daily limit on luxury water travel (discussed earlier) does not apply to expenses you have to attend a convention, seminar, or meeting on board a cruise ship. Free tax filing for low income families See Cruise Ships under Conventions. Free tax filing for low income families Conventions You can deduct your travel expenses when you attend a convention if you can show that your attendance benefits your trade or business. Free tax filing for low income families You cannot deduct the travel expenses for your family. Free tax filing for low income families If the convention is for investment, political, social, or other purposes unrelated to your trade or business, you cannot deduct the expenses. Free tax filing for low income families Your appointment or election as a delegate does not, in itself, determine whether you can deduct travel expenses. Free tax filing for low income families You can deduct your travel expenses only if your attendance is connected to your own trade or business. Free tax filing for low income families Convention agenda. Free tax filing for low income families   The convention agenda or program generally shows the purpose of the convention. Free tax filing for low income families You can show your attendance at the convention benefits your trade or business by comparing the agenda with the official duties and responsibilities of your position. Free tax filing for low income families The agenda does not have to deal specifically with your official duties and responsibilities; it will be enough if the agenda is so related to your position that it shows your attendance was for business purposes. Free tax filing for low income families Conventions Held Outside the North American Area You cannot deduct expenses for attending a convention, seminar, or similar meeting held outside the North American area unless: The meeting is directly related to your trade or business, and It is reasonable to hold the meeting outside the North American area. Free tax filing for low income families See Reasonableness test , later. Free tax filing for low income families If the meeting meets these requirements, you also must satisfy the rules for deducting expenses for business trips in general, discussed earlier under Travel Outside the United States . Free tax filing for low income families North American area. Free tax filing for low income families   The North American area includes the following locations. Free tax filing for low income families American Samoa Johnston Island Antigua and Barbuda Kingman Reef Aruba Marshall Islands Bahamas Mexico Baker Island Micronesia Barbados Midway Islands Bermuda Netherlands Antilles Canada Northern Mariana Costa Rica Islands Dominica Palau Dominican Republic Palmyra Atoll Grenada Panama Guam Puerto Rico Guyana Trinidad and Tobago Honduras USA Howland Island U. Free tax filing for low income families S. Free tax filing for low income families Virgin Islands Jamaica Wake Island Jarvis Island   The North American area also includes U. Free tax filing for low income families S. Free tax filing for low income families islands, cays, and reefs that are possessions of the United States and not part of the fifty states or the District of Columbia. Free tax filing for low income families Reasonableness test. Free tax filing for low income families   The following factors are taken into account to determine if it was reasonable to hold the meeting outside the North American area. Free tax filing for low income families The purpose of the meeting and the activities taking place at the meeting. Free tax filing for low income families The purposes and activities of the sponsoring organizations or groups. Free tax filing for low income families The homes of the active members of the sponsoring organizations and the places at which other meetings of the sponsoring organizations or groups have been or will be held. Free tax filing for low income families Other relevant factors you may present. Free tax filing for low income families Cruise Ships You can deduct up to $2,000 per year of your expenses of attending conventions, seminars, or similar meetings held on cruise ships. Free tax filing for low income families All ships that sail are considered cruise ships. Free tax filing for low income families You can deduct these expenses only if all of the following requirements are met. Free tax filing for low income families The convention, seminar, or meeting is directly related to your trade or business. Free tax filing for low income families The cruise ship is a vessel registered in the United States. Free tax filing for low income families All of the cruise ship's ports of call are in the United States or in possessions of the United States. Free tax filing for low income families You attach to your return a written statement signed by you that includes information about: The total days of the trip (not including the days of transportation to and from the cruise ship port), The number of hours each day that you devoted to scheduled business activities, and A program of the scheduled business activities of the meeting. Free tax filing for low income families You attach to your return a written statement signed by an officer of the organization or group sponsoring the meeting that includes: A schedule of the business activities of each day of the meeting, and The number of hours you attended the scheduled business activities. Free tax filing for low income families Prev  Up  Next   Home   More Online Publications
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PTIN Information and the Freedom of Information Act

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), enacted in 1966, gives any person the right to access federal agency records, unless the information is protected from public disclosure by one of nine exemptions. FOIA authorizes government agencies to recover the cost of complying with a FOIA request.

Under FOIA, certain information submitted to the IRS by an individual applying for a preparer tax identification number (PTIN) must be disclosed by the IRS under FOIA, and the individual cannot opt out of the disclosure.

FOIA Awareness for PTIN Holders

The PTIN holder information subject to public disclosure includes:

  • Name
  • Business name
  • Business website address
  • Business phone number
  • Business mailing address – Either a physical address or a P.O. Box is acceptable as a business address.
  • Email address – Any valid email address that you check regularly for PTIN communications is acceptable.
  • Professional credentials

Updating your contact information

To maintain the privacy of your personal information, PTIN holders can update contact information.

Unwanted solicitations

Legitimate IRS emails regarding PTIN issues are sent from two email addresses: irs@service.govdelivery.com and TaxPro_PTIN@irs.gov. The IRS is aware of malicious emails attempting to spoof these email addresses. Pay careful attention to whether an email is actually from one of these addresses. If you feel that you have received a suspicious phishing email, follow the directions found here.

If you receive email solicitations from other organizations and they are unwanted, the Federal Trade Commission, Bureau of Consumer Protection provides guidance on whether an email or other contact violates the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 and how to report violations.

Additionally, exercise caution on websites without a .gov domain. Only sites with the .gov domain are official government websites.

PTIN application changes

To clearly distinguish between public and private information, the IRS changed the “Permanent Mailing Address” box on the PTIN application to “Personal Mailing Address”. This change clarified that the information is personal and exempt from public disclosure under FOIA rules.

Also, the IRS removed the prohibition on entering a post office box in the “Business Mailing Address” box on the PTIN application. PTIN holders may now enter a P.O. Box as their business mailing address.

If you used your Personal Mailing Address as your Business Mailing Address or used a street address when you preferred to provide a P.O Box as your Business Mailing Address, you may update your contact information. But note that your Business Mailing Address is not exempt from disclosure under FOIA rules and it will be released even if it is the same as your Personal Mailing Address.

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 11-Sep-2013

The Free Tax Filing For Low Income Families

Free tax filing for low income families 1. Free tax filing for low income families   Canceled Debts Table of Contents General RulesForm 1099-C Discounts and loan modifications Sales or other dispositions (such as foreclosures and repossessions) Abandonments Stockholder debt This chapter discusses the tax treatment of canceled debts. Free tax filing for low income families General Rules Generally, if a debt for which you are personally liable is forgiven or discharged for less than the full amount owed, the debt is considered canceled in whatever amount it remained unpaid. Free tax filing for low income families There are exceptions to this rule, discussed under Exceptions , later. Free tax filing for low income families Generally, you must include the canceled debt in your income. Free tax filing for low income families However, you may be able to exclude the canceled debt. Free tax filing for low income families See Exclusions , later. Free tax filing for low income families Example. Free tax filing for low income families John owed $1,000 to Mary. Free tax filing for low income families Mary agreed to accept and John paid $400 in satisfaction of the entire debt. Free tax filing for low income families John has canceled debt of $600. Free tax filing for low income families Example. Free tax filing for low income families Margaret owed $1,000 to Henry. Free tax filing for low income families Henry and Margaret agreed that Margaret would provide Henry with services (instead of money) in full satisfaction of the debt. Free tax filing for low income families Margaret does not have canceled debt. Free tax filing for low income families Instead, she has income from services. Free tax filing for low income families A debt includes any indebtedness: For which you are liable, or Subject to which you hold property. Free tax filing for low income families Debt for which you are personally liable is recourse debt. Free tax filing for low income families All other debt is nonrecourse debt. Free tax filing for low income families If you are not personally liable for the debt, you do not have ordinary income from the cancellation of debt unless you retain the collateral and either: The lender offers a discount for the early payment of the debt, or The lender agrees to a loan modification that results in the reduction of the principal balance of the debt. Free tax filing for low income families See Discounts and loan modifications , later. Free tax filing for low income families However, upon the disposition of the property securing a nonrecourse debt, the amount realized includes the entire unpaid amount of the debt, not just the FMV of the property. Free tax filing for low income families As a result, you may realize a gain or loss if the outstanding debt immediately before the disposition is more or less than your adjusted basis in the property. Free tax filing for low income families For more details on figuring your gain or loss, see chapter 2 of this publication or see Publication 544. Free tax filing for low income families There are several exceptions and exclusions that may result in part or all of a canceled debt being nontaxable. Free tax filing for low income families See Exceptions and Exclusions, later. Free tax filing for low income families You must report any taxable canceled debt as ordinary income on: Form 1040 or Form 1040NR, line 21, if the debt is a nonbusiness debt; Schedule C (Form 1040), line 6 (or Schedule C-EZ (Form 1040), line 1), if the debt is related to a nonfarm sole proprietorship; Schedule E (Form 1040), line 3, if the debt is related to nonfarm rental of real property; Form 4835, line 6, if the debt is related to a farm rental activity for which you use Form 4835 to report farm rental income based on crops or livestock produced by a tenant; or Schedule F (Form 1040), line 8, if the debt is farm debt and you are a farmer. Free tax filing for low income families Form 1099-C If you receive a Form 1099-C, that means an applicable entity has reported an identifiable event to the IRS regarding a debt you owe. Free tax filing for low income families The identifiable event may be an actual cancellation of the debt or it may be an event the applicable entity is required, solely for purposes of reporting to the IRS, to treat as a cancellation of debt. Free tax filing for low income families For information on the reasons an applicable entity files Form 1099-C, see Identifiable event codes, later. Free tax filing for low income families Unless you meet one of the exceptions or exclusions discussed later, this canceled debt is ordinary income and must be reported on the appropriate form discussed above. Free tax filing for low income families An applicable entity includes: A federal government agency, A financial institution, A credit union, and Any organization a significant trade or business of which is lending money. Free tax filing for low income families Identifiable event codes. Free tax filing for low income families    Box 6 of Form 1099-C should indicate the reason the creditor filed this form. Free tax filing for low income families The codes shown in box 6 are explained below. Free tax filing for low income families Also see the chart after the explanation for a quick reference guide for the codes used in Box 6. Free tax filing for low income families Note. Free tax filing for low income families Codes A through G and I identify specific occurrences resulting from an actual discharge of indebtedness. Free tax filing for low income families However, Code H, Expiration of nonpayment testing period, does not necessarily identify an actual discharge of indebtedness. Free tax filing for low income families Code A — Bankruptcy. Free tax filing for low income families Code A is used to identify cancellation of debt as a result of a title 11 bankruptcy case. Free tax filing for low income families See Bankruptcy , later. Free tax filing for low income families Code B — Other judicial debt relief. Free tax filing for low income families Code B is used to identify cancellation of debt as a result of a receivership, foreclosure, or similar federal or state court proceeding other than bankruptcy. Free tax filing for low income families Code C — Statute of limitations or expiration of deficiency period. Free tax filing for low income families Code C is used to identify cancellation of debt either when the statute of limitations for collecting the debt expires or when the statutory period for filing a claim or beginning a deficiency judgment proceeding expires. Free tax filing for low income families In the case of the expiration of a statute of limitations, an identifiable event occurs only if and when your affirmative defense of the statute of limitations is upheld in a final judgment or decision in a judicial proceeding, and the period for appealing the judgment or decision has expired. Free tax filing for low income families Code D — Foreclosure election. Free tax filing for low income families Code D is used to identify cancellation of debt when the creditor elects foreclosure remedies that statutorily end or bar the creditor's right to pursue collection of the debt. Free tax filing for low income families This event applies to a mortgage lender or holder who is barred from pursuing debt collection after a power of sale in the mortgage or deed of trust is exercised. Free tax filing for low income families Code E — Debt relief from probate or similar proceeding. Free tax filing for low income families Code E is used to identify cancellation of debt as a result of a probate court or similar legal proceeding. Free tax filing for low income families Code F — By agreement. Free tax filing for low income families Code F is used to identify cancellation of debt as a result of an agreement between the creditor and the debtor to cancel the debt at less than full consideration. Free tax filing for low income families Code G — Decision or policy to discontinue collection. Free tax filing for low income families Code G is used to identify cancellation of debt as a result of a decision or a defined policy of the creditor to discontinue collection activity and cancel the debt. Free tax filing for low income families For purposes of this identifiable event, a defined policy includes both a written policy and the creditor's established business practice. Free tax filing for low income families Code H — Expiration of nonpayment testing period. Free tax filing for low income families Code H is used to indicate that the creditor has not received a payment on the debt during a testing period ending on December 31, 2013. Free tax filing for low income families The testing period is a 36-month period increased by the number of months the creditor was prevented from engaging in collection activity by a stay in bankruptcy or similar bar under state or local law. Free tax filing for low income families This identifiable event applies only for a creditor that is a financial institution or credit union (and certain of their subsidiaries), the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), Resolution Trust Corporation (RTC), National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), and other Federal executive agencies. Free tax filing for low income families Expiration of the nonpayment testing period does not necessarily result from an actual discharge of indebtedness. Free tax filing for low income families Code I — Other actual discharge before identifiable event. Free tax filing for low income families Code I is used to identify an actual cancellation of debt that occurs before any of the identifiable events described in codes A through H. Free tax filing for low income families Form 1099-C Reference Guide for Box 6 Identifiable Event Codes A Bankruptcy B Other judicial debt relief C Statute of limitations or expiration of deficiency period D Foreclosure election E Debt relief from probate or similar proceeding F By agreement G Decision or policy to discontinue collection H Expiration of nonpayment testing period I Other actual discharge before identifiable event Even if you did not receive a Form 1099-C, you must report canceled debt as gross income on your tax return unless one of the exceptions or exclusions described later applies. Free tax filing for low income families Amount of canceled debt. Free tax filing for low income families    The amount in box 2 of Form 1099-C may represent some or all of the debt that has been canceled or treated as canceled. Free tax filing for low income families The amount in box 2 will include principal and may include interest and other nonprincipal amounts (such as fees or penalties). Free tax filing for low income families Unless you meet one of the exceptions or exclusions discussed later, the amount of the debt that has been canceled is ordinary income and must be reported on the appropriate form as discussed earlier. Free tax filing for low income families Interest included in canceled debt. Free tax filing for low income families    If any interest is included in the amount of canceled debt in box 2, it will be shown in box 3. Free tax filing for low income families Whether the interest portion of the canceled debt must be included in your income depends on whether the interest would be deductible if you paid it. Free tax filing for low income families See Deductible Debt under Exceptions, later. Free tax filing for low income families Persons who each receive a Form 1099-C showing the full amount of debt. Free tax filing for low income families    If you and another person were jointly and severally liable for a canceled debt, each of you may get a Form 1099-C showing the entire amount of the canceled debt. Free tax filing for low income families However, you may not have to report that entire amount as income. Free tax filing for low income families The amount, if any, you must report depends on all the facts and circumstances, including: State law, The amount of debt proceeds each person received, How much of any interest deduction from the debt was claimed by each person, How much of the basis of any co-owned property bought with the debt proceeds was allocated to each co-owner, and Whether the canceled debt qualifies for any of the exceptions or exclusions described in this publication. Free tax filing for low income families See Example 3 under Insolvency, later. Free tax filing for low income families Discounts and loan modifications If a lender discounts (reduces) the principal balance of a loan because you pay it off early, or agrees to a loan modification (a “workout”) that includes a reduction in the principal balance of a loan, the amount of the discount or the amount of principal reduction is canceled debt. Free tax filing for low income families However, if the debt is nonrecourse and you did not retain the collateral, you do not have cancellation of the debt income. Free tax filing for low income families The amount of the canceled debt must be included in income unless one of the exceptions or exclusions described later applies. Free tax filing for low income families For more details, see Exceptions and Exclusions, later. Free tax filing for low income families Sales or other dispositions (such as foreclosures and repossessions) Recourse debt. Free tax filing for low income families   If you owned property that was subject to a recourse debt in excess of the FMV of the property, the lender's foreclosure or repossession of the property is treated as a sale or disposition of the property by you and may result in your realization of gain or loss. Free tax filing for low income families The gain or loss on the disposition of the property is measured by the difference between the FMV of the property at the time of the disposition and your adjusted basis (usually your cost) in the property. Free tax filing for low income families The character of the gain or loss (such as ordinary or capital) is determined by the character of the property. Free tax filing for low income families If the lender forgives all or part of the amount of the debt in excess of the FMV of the property, the cancellation of the excess debt may result in ordinary income. Free tax filing for low income families The ordinary income from the cancellation of debt (the excess of the canceled debt over the FMV of the property) must be included in your gross income reported on your tax return unless one of the exceptions or exclusions described later applies. Free tax filing for low income families For more details, see Exceptions and Exclusions, later. Free tax filing for low income families Nonrecourse debt. Free tax filing for low income families   If you owned property that was subject to a nonrecourse debt in excess of the FMV of the property, the lender's foreclosure on the property does not result in ordinary income from the cancellation of debt. Free tax filing for low income families The entire amount of the nonrecourse debt is treated as an amount realized on the disposition of the property. Free tax filing for low income families The gain or loss on the disposition of the property is measured by the difference between the total amount realized (the entire amount of the nonrecourse debt plus the amount of cash and the FMV of any property received) and your adjusted basis in the property. Free tax filing for low income families The character of the gain or loss is determined by the character of the property. Free tax filing for low income families More information. Free tax filing for low income families    See Publications 523, 544, and 551, and chapter 2 of this publication for more details. Free tax filing for low income families Abandonments Recourse debt. Free tax filing for low income families   If you abandon property that secures a debt for which you are personally liable (recourse debt) and the debt is canceled, you will realize ordinary income equal to the canceled debt. Free tax filing for low income families You must report this income on your tax return unless one of the exceptions or exclusions described later applies. Free tax filing for low income families For more details, see Exceptions and Exclusions, later. Free tax filing for low income families This income is separate from any amount realized from the abandonment of the property. Free tax filing for low income families For more details, see chapter 3. Free tax filing for low income families Nonrecourse debt. Free tax filing for low income families   If you abandon property that secures a debt for which you are not personally liable (nonrecourse debt), you may realize gain or loss but will not have cancellation of indebtedness income. Free tax filing for low income families Stockholder debt If you are a stockholder in a corporation and the corporation cancels or forgives your debt to it, the canceled debt is a constructive distribution. Free tax filing for low income families For more information, see Publication 542, Corporations. Free tax filing for low income families Prev  Up  Next   Home   More Online Publications