Updated: Oct 28, 2019
“So do you have like a tax home or something?”
This is something we hear A LOT. We get it. It’s a really confusing subject and one we spent a lot of time working through before we hit the road. As a Travel Nurse family we have to make sure we meet certain requirements so that we can take the tax free stipends offered as part of our pay package.
Travel Nursing pay can be super confusing too. We’ll go into that in another post but just know that most of your income, or at least a large part of it, will come from your stipends. Unless you have a tax home, you will have to pay taxes on all of that!
We have found a website we trust when it comes to taxes. TravelTax.com has been helping travel professionals for over 20 years and when we have a question, that’s where we head. Here’s what they have to say about the path we are taking to maintain a tax home:
“You used to work there, don’t anymore, and now maintain a residence at that location. If you are renting, it needs to be “fair market value”, so go to your local craigslist and look up “rooms and shares.” Print out a couple of these ads and keep it with your tax info. Then pay that amount monthly to your parent/friend. Don’t make it cash, but have it be something that you have a record of (canceled checks). Going forward, you need to spend approximately 30 days out of the year there. (Not a magic number, just what we have found that will usually satisfy most tax home audits.)"
We basically do exactly this. We pay a relative a fair market value for a room rental and make sure we pay each month with a check. We then return to “home base” or our “tax home” for at least 30 days of the year. It’s important to note that tax home does not refer to the place of residence itself but rather an area where you live and spend money.
We definitely are not tax advisers so make sure you run this by yours. We just want to share how we are making this work for us. We hope this helps in your own Travel Professional journey!