Tax Law (Questions About Taxes)/Individual tax return


Thank you in advance for your time. I've searched and asked and get conflicting answers on things but after reading some of the answers you've provided to others, you seem easier to understand so here I am. I worked in Miami on two separate jobs last year, 350 miles from home. So, I didn't come home much. I receive no per diem and I pay for all housing. I'm W-2 not self employed. Hotel and rent for Mar 18th - Dec 30th =$14807.00, NOT including utilities, don't know what else is deductible. First job 03/18-06/13/12= 87 days, then was home 06/14-08/18/12. Second job 08/19-12/21/12= 124 days. My main question is would I be better off using actual amounts or am I eligible to use GSA per diem rates for the housing and if so how/where do I calculate and enter it on form/return? I realize there are different amounts for each month. I usually just do 1040 with sched A,and 2106ez for the unreimbursed employee expenses. Any help is greatly appreciated. Thank you.


Thanks for your question.

You can't use a per diem rate for housing. Employers may reimburse you at that rate, but you can only deduct actual housing costs.  You can use per diem for meals. And you can take the standard mileage rate for travel to the work location and for travel in the city where you worked. These costs are entered on Form 2106, then carried to Schedule A as miscellaneous itemized deductions.  You can only deduct the portion that exceeds 2% of your adjusted income, however.

Hope this helps.

John Stancil, CPA

Tax Law (Questions About Taxes)

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John Stancil, CPA


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 I also offer seminars and consultations to churches and clergy on their tax issues at Also visit my blog, I am listed on Tax Connections at Prepare and file your own taxes at


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.

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