It’s tax season — and possibly the least favorite part of the year for traveling healthcare professionals. Filing taxes for multistate, travel-based employment can be tricky and frustrating. But don’t get too stressed about your travel deductions this year because in the next few blog posts, we will be giving you a few pointers on how to properly deduct your expenses. To start this series off, we will begin by looking at transportation expenses.

Keep a Log

When it comes time to file your taxes, you’ll want to make sure you take into account travel expenses. If you’re using your personal automobile to travel to assignments, you should keep track of the following items:

  • Mileage
  • The date of assignment
  • Route
  • Distance
  • Reason for each trip
  • Miscellaneous expenses including gas, oil changes, and maintenance.

The best way to track all of these expenses is by keeping a log book. The easiest way to remember to fill out the log is to enter all items whenever you complete the paperwork for your assignment. Doing this will reduce your stress when April rolls around.

Standard Mileage Rate or Actual Expense?

There are two ways to deduct your travel expenses: the standard mileage rate and the actual expense method. The standard mileage rate is the fastest and most efficient route to deduct expenses incurred in travel. It is also likely to result in the largest refund for the majority of travelers. The standard mileage rate is around 50 cents a mile, which is meant to include both gas and normal wear and tear that occurs to a vehicle. The actual expense method may be necessary for those who use their vehicle more than 75% for business travel. Keep in mind this method may require additional paperwork.

As a traveling healthcare pro, you should get in the habit of keeping track of all your expenses—they’ll save you a lot of headaches (and money!) come tax season.

 

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