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Question
I work as a military contractor and was deployed to Middle east region with the unit I support for 9 months. I am authorized government furnished meals and housing per contract during the deployment. Upon arrival to the country there was no immediate housing on camp for me so I was placed in a company furnished apartment that was typically used for transitioning personnel (Basically the furnished apartment was already in place for years before I stayed in it and many others have also stayed in the apartment with me while transitioning to and from the U.S.) This year the company decided to tax the expense of the apartment and singled out only myself but did not tax other people who have shared the apartment in the past 6 months. My question is...Is this considered taxable income since I had no choice in choosing the housing or who shared it with me during the stay?

Answer
Ricky,

Thanks for your question.

I'll give you a "yes, but" answer.  It is taxable income.  If you qualify for the foreign income exclusion you can also exclude an amount for housing costs.  If you were only there for nine months, though, you would not qualify under the physical presence test which requires a 330 day stay in a 12-month period.

I am not an attorney and can't give legal advice outside the area of tax, but it seems to me that there may be some  discrimination going on it you were singled out on the housing issue.

Hope this helps.

John Stancil, CPA

Tax Law (Questions About Taxes)

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John Stancil, CPA

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I can answer questions on personal income taxes, partnerships, and some corporate income taxes. I can deal with some state tax questions. Limited gift and estate tax questions. I am also familiar with ministerial and church tax reporting issues. I am Professor Emeritus at Florida Southern College. Sales taxes and property taxes are state and local issues so I am not likely be be able to give you an in depth answer on those types of taxes. I have maintained a CPA practice, specializing in tax, for over 35 years. I am a member of the National Association of Tax Professionals, The Florida Insititute of CPA's, The NCPE Fellowship. In addition I am a Certified Mentor for SCORE. Visit my website at www.mybaldcpa.com. I also offer seminars and consultations to churches and clergy on their tax issues at www.churchtaxsolutions.com Also visit my blog, www.thetaxdocspot.com. I am listed on Tax Connections at https://www.taxconnections.com/profile/John-Stancil/12258973 Prepare and file your own taxes at www.1040stancilcpa.com

Experience

I hold a doctorate in Accounting, and am a CPA. My certifications of CIA, CFM, and CMA are inactive. I passed all certification examinations on the first attempt, and received honorable mention for my scores on the CIA exam. I have operated a CPA firm for over 37 years and have taught accounting and tax at the college level for over 35 years.

Organizations
FICPA, NATP, NCPE Fellowship, Lakeland Business Leaders

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The CPA Journal, Florida CPA Today, Green Consumer, Green Business, Global Sustainability as a Business Imperative, Palmetto Review, NATP TaxPro Quarterly, Mustang Journal of Finance and Accounting.

Education/Credentials
DBA University of Memphis MBA University of Georgia BS in Accounting Mars Hill University

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