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Bulldog1
New Member

How can I determine if mileage is deductible if the military moved me away from my family for 5 months and I traveled back to see them during that time?

 
6 Replies
Carl
Level 15

How can I determine if mileage is deductible if the military moved me away from my family for 5 months and I traveled back to see them during that time?

"I traveled back to see them during that time?"

Sorry, but not deductible. Your travel back to see them was not official business and under any official military orders.

Bulldog1
New Member

How can I determine if mileage is deductible if the military moved me away from my family for 5 months and I traveled back to see them during that time?

I anticipated as much, but I got conflicting reports earlier. I can't find the answer, but when it happened last year I asked the question and they said since they were authorized dependents (wife and kids), the military did not pay to move them, and the temporary length of my training was under 5 or 6 months (can't remember or find the answer from before) that the mileage was deductible. So with that added info does that change anything taxes wise or remain with not deductible? Thanks for your time.
Bulldog1
New Member

How can I determine if mileage is deductible if the military moved me away from my family for 5 months and I traveled back to see them during that time?

Sorry, last update. I found the answer. Pasted it below -----
If the Army moves me away from my family but does not pay to move my wife and kids, is mileage to visit them tax deductible?
Yes, but not exactly to visit them. You are on a temporaray job assignment. The trips from your home to the temporary job site and back are deductible as an employee expense.

You are allowed to deduct your mileage (54 cents for 2016) and other job expenses. TurboTax completes form  2106, which  then carries to Misc itemized deductions on Schedule A. The problem with this is that you only get to deduct that portion of  your misc deductions that exceed 2% of your AGI. and then only if your total  itemized deductions exceed the standard deduction.  (2% rule explained: <a rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="https://ttlc.intuit.com/questions/2902781-what-is-the-2-rule">https://ttlc.intuit.com/questions/2902...>)

  In TurboTax, enter at:

Federal Taxes Tab

Deductions & Credits

I'll choose what I work on

-Scroll down to:

-Employment Expenses
-- Job related expenses
Carl
Level 15

How can I determine if mileage is deductible if the military moved me away from my family for 5 months and I traveled back to see them during that time?

Having served in the military myself, I can tell you right now that answer was wrong back then, and it's wrong now. When the military moves you under orders, be it PCS or TDY they reimburse you all of those expenses that would otherwise be deductible on your tax return. So for a military member to have deductible moving expenses is not rare, but it is rare for the portion the military member paid out of their pocket to be a qualified moving or travel expense.
While the technicality of the provided answer is correct, it is not correct for you.
You were not under official orders to return home while you were stationed away from home on TDY orders. More than likely you were on military leave. All travel expenses, to include lodging and meals, while on leave are never a deductible expense unless that leave is in conjunction with military travel orders. If you returned home upon completion of the TDY the military paid you for that official travel. The stop off to see family is not official and therefore not deductible.
If you doubt me on this (and you should since I've been out of the military since '98) then I strongly encourage you to seek the advice of the tax lawyers that are manning the base legal office this time of year. It's absolutely free to you. All you gotta do is call and make an appointment. Appointments for those filing single are generally 15-30 minute time slots, while for married it's a 30-60 minute timeslot. You only need a 15 minute time slot for this.
Additionally, practically all base legal offices have extra staff on hand Jan -Apr who have been specifically trained and educated on all tax situations concerning military and their dependents.  So if the base legal office disagrees with me, please get me a phone number to call so I can call your base legal office to see where they are getting their info from. I got my info from the CPAs (who were prior military) at my local Retiree Activities Office on Jacksonville Naval Air Station, FL.
Bulldog1
New Member

How can I determine if mileage is deductible if the military moved me away from my family for 5 months and I traveled back to see them during that time?

Works for me, I anticipated a no answer since it was my choice and I wasn't directed to travel. The yes answer last year threw off my instinct. I wasn't on leave though, it was within a reasonable radius for weekend trips but not a daily commute. They did pay me for 1 trip from home to work and 1 trip back in conjunction with PCS orders. I appreciate your thorough answer. I won't put it on there, even the doubt in my mind is enough to not put it on there. The deduction wouldn't be worth the trouble. Thanks again, take care.
Carl
Level 15

How can I determine if mileage is deductible if the military moved me away from my family for 5 months and I traveled back to see them during that time?

I do know that in the past, those deployed to the middle east were there on 1 year TDY assignments. If they stayed for another tour, then the military would allow them chargeable leave (30 days a think) to go home for month, and provide them the plane ticket as well as pay a per-mile per diem if the drive from the final destination airport to their residence was more than 50 miles (might have been 30 miles, not sure). So even then since the military paid for the transportation and travel cost, since they were on leave anything in excess of that (to include food & lodging) was not tax deductible.
Buy hey, if you're going to pay my transportation to go home on leave, I've no problem with that, and wouldn't complain even if I had to pay taxes on that money you just "gave" me for the transportation cost either.
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