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Tax Law (Questions About Taxes)/Deductions for food and Lodging


I'm considering taking a W-2 contract job in another state for 6 months and the employer does not reimburse for expenses. Can I deduct food and lodging?


The simple answer is yes, but it may not be as much of a benefit if you do not already itemize your deductions.  They are not treated like business deduction rather unreimbursed employee expenses.  The deduction for these cost will be limited to the amount that exceeds 7.5% of your AGI.  If your AGI is $50,000, for example, then the amount of expense over $3750 would be deductible and would add in with your other itemized expenses like mortgage interest, charitable gift, etc.  If you do not have those items then would have to exceed the standard deduction for your filing status to be of any real benefit.  Do not take the job just because the expenses may be deductible.  Take the job because the income less the expense are still a better opportunity than what you can find where you currently live.

I hope that helps.

Best Regards,

Ryan Hasselmeier
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Ryan Hasselmeier


A degreed accountant with significant experience in taxation compliance and resolution at all levels of government regulation.


Experienced Tax Advisor, Consultant and Preparer for over 15 years. In private practice for nearly 12 years now. Experienced in all areas of taxation: International, Federal, State, Local, etc

Current Chairman of the American Tax Professional Association Inc, a non-profit professional business association of accountants, tax preparers, consultants and advisors who specialize in compliance and representation of taxpayers before federal, state and local government regulators.

Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting and Management Information Systems from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville Texas.

Awards and Honors
Passed all parts of the Enrolled Agent Certification Examination administered by the Department of the Treasury and a Registered Tax Return Preparer with the Internal Revenue Service.

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