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Can I deduct flights paid out of pocket to get to my air national guard job?

 
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2 Replies
JamesG1
Expert Alumni

Can I deduct flights paid out of pocket to get to my air national guard job?

You can deduct travel expenses for your reserve duties if you traveled more than 100 miles from your home to perform these duties. These expenses are deductible whether or not you itemize deductions on your tax return.

 

Follow these steps.

  • Enter ‘Jump to form 2106’ in the Search / magnifying glass in the upper right hand corner of the screen.
  • Click on ‘Job-related expenses’
  • At the screen Do you have any expenses from one of these professions or situations?, click Yes.
  • Answer the interview questions.
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**Mark the post that answers your question by clicking on "Mark as Best Answer"

Can I deduct flights paid out of pocket to get to my air national guard job?

zangus1991,

 

Good question.  The answer would be a qualified YES so long as the travel distance was at least 100 miles.  For specifics let's take a look at IRS Publication 3 (https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p3.pdf)  which covers reservist travel expense on page 11.  It states:

 

"If you are a member of a reserve component of the Armed Forces and you travel more than 100 miles away from home in connection with your performance of services as a member of the reserves, you can deduct your unreimbursed travel expenses on your tax return. Include all unreimbursed expenses from the time you leave home until the time you return home. See How To Report My Reserve-Related Travel Expenses below for information on how to report these expenses on your tax return."

 

It then goes on to confirm that a member of the Air National Guard of the United States is a qualified reservist and to report the out of pocket travel expenses "On Schedule 1 (Form 1040 or 1040-SR), line 11, enter the part of your expenses, up to the federal rate, included on Form 2106, line 10, that is for reserve-related travel more than 100 miles from your home. For more information about this limit, see Per Diem and
Car Allowances in chapter 6 of Pub. 463."

 

Publication 463 (https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p463.pdf) then first discusses Armed Forces Reservists on page 13:

 

"If you travel away from home overnight to attend a guard or reserve meeting, you can deduct your travel expenses. These expenses are discussed in chapter 1.
If you travel more than 100 miles away from home in connection with your performance of
services as a member of the reserves, you may be able to deduct some of your reserve-related
travel costs as an adjustment to gross income rather than as an itemized deduction. For more information, see Armed Forces Reservists Traveling More Than 100 Miles From Home under Special Rules in chapter 6."

 

Moving on to chapter 6, page 30 focuses on the federal standard mileage rate of 58 cents/mile for car expenses, suggesting you would take the miles traveled by air and multiply by $0.58 to see how much to deduct from income. However, the US General Services Administration (GSA) states "Agencies are reminded that the Federal Travel Regulation allows for actual expense reimbursement when per diem rates are insufficient to meet necessary expenses."

 

Within TurboTax, I have not experimented with how to include that airfare.  Worst case, you would divide the airfare by $0.58 to enter an equivalent mileage.

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