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lindseyk
Returning Member

Tax Year Prior to 2020: I was an independent contractor last year and got reimbursed for mileage and meals while on work trips. My 1099-Misc does not include the reimbursement at all. Can I still claim a deduction for business travel/meal expenses?

 
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5 Replies
AmandaR1
New Member

Tax Year Prior to 2020: I was an independent contractor last year and got reimbursed for mileage and meals while on work trips. My 1099-Misc does not include the reimbursement at all. Can I still claim a deduction for business travel/meal expenses?

Yes, you can claim your deductions even if the reimbursements were included on your 1099-misc box 7 because you were taxed on the amounts. As an independent contractor you can deduct all of your business expenses. Only if you are reimbursed and the amounts aren't included in taxable wages; then you cannot take a deduction. 

Tax Year Prior to 2020: I was an independent contractor last year and got reimbursed for mileage and meals while on work trips. My 1099-Misc does not include the reimbursement at all. Can I still claim a deduction for business travel/meal expenses?

I have all the receipts for reimbursables and want to just write them off in a single question (or a single tax line), but TurboTax wants me to answer all of the write-offs for my contracted work in separate categories. I don't have them separated out like that. I don't want to sort through my spreadsheet for the different categories and add them up for each question. I just want TurboTax to have an option for "reimbursable," as I've already done the work in collecting the data and know the total. 

 

WKins2
Expert Alumni

Tax Year Prior to 2020: I was an independent contractor last year and got reimbursed for mileage and meals while on work trips. My 1099-Misc does not include the reimbursement at all. Can I still claim a deduction for business travel/meal expenses?

Unfortunately, business expenses must be broken out by category. The income and expenses will be reported on Schedule C. I recommend taking a look at the expenses portion of Schedule C here. On the "other expenses" line, you would still want to list and category not listed under the Expenses section. While many people like to put a miscellaneous category as a short-cut, this could be a red flag to the IRS. 

 

Also, please note that the post you are replying to has an possible error in the original answer. The original question was "Can I still claim a deduction for business travel/meal expenses?" if those expenses were reimbursed and not included in the 1099. The original answer states "Yes, you can claim your deductions even if the reimbursements were included on your 1099-misc box 7 because you were taxed on the amounts."

 

I believe the person who answered the original question read the question wrong and thought the expenses were included on the 1099. The correct answer is, it depends. 

 

If the expenses ARE reported on the 1099, you would claim expenses deductions for those items that were reimbursed. If the expenses ARE NOT reported on the 1099, you would only claim the expenses if you added the reimbursements to income in the Income section. In other words, you can only write off reimbursed contractor expenses if those expenses are also included in income. 

 


 

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Tax Year Prior to 2020: I was an independent contractor last year and got reimbursed for mileage and meals while on work trips. My 1099-Misc does not include the reimbursement at all. Can I still claim a deduction for business travel/meal expenses?

I was also an independent contractor last year for a project and got reimbursed for travel and meals. This reimbursement check was paid to me separately from my paycheck. Can I still claim a deduction?

ThomasM125
Employee Tax Expert

Tax Year Prior to 2020: I was an independent contractor last year and got reimbursed for mileage and meals while on work trips. My 1099-Misc does not include the reimbursement at all. Can I still claim a deduction for business travel/meal expenses?

@5048giggle13 You mention a paycheck, so I assume your income is reported on a W-2 form. If so, you cannot deduct the business expenses on your federal return unless you are a special type of worker, such as a disabled worker or a military reservist. You used to be able to but recent tax laws eliminated that deduction.

 

Also, since you were reimbursed for the expenses, you can only deduct the expenses if you included the reimbursement in your income, as it should have been reported in box 1 on your W-2 form.

 

You can enter the expenses as Job-Related Expenses in the Employment Expenses section of TurboTax, since they may be allowed on your state tax return.

 

If you report your income as business income, then you can deduct the expenses as allowed by tax law, but only if you include the reimbursement in your income first.

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