I’m employed by a large company and earn around $250,000 per year. In addition, I have about $100,000 in annual business income from consulting that is reported on Schedule C. I attend a college in Chicago, and it is a post-secondary educational facility. Can I claim the education costs on Schedule C, and the out-of-town travel costs associated with my education? I’m receiving mixed answers online for whether or not I can deduct educational expenses for work.
The rules for deducting travel and living expenses while away from home depend on how long the work is being performed away from your family home. Please note that your family home is different from your tax home. So, are business travel expenses deductible?
The first step we need to do is establish where your tax home is as per IRS Publication 463 and the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Sections 162 & 274. This is your regular place of business, regardless of where you maintain your family home. Generally speaking, if you and your spouse do not live at your tax home, you cannot deduct the cost of traveling between your tax home and your family home. You also cannot deduct the cost of meals and lodging while at your tax home. However, there is an exception to the rule in which you are only on a temporary assignment. This means that you expect to be at your temporary assignment for less than a year. In this case, your tax home does not change to your work location, but continues to be where you reside. Thus, you would be able to deduct travel expenses and living expenses that are not reimbursed by your employer.