Missing Hotel Receipts

Today TaxMama® hears from Tim in the TaxQuips Forum with this question. “A relative was sent by his company to work far away from home in different places for weeks at a time. He was given a nonaccountable per diem that was included in Box 1 of his W-2. He did not save the hotel receipts from his stays (he knows to save them now). He does have his monthly credit card statements that show him paying Motel 6 in various cities. Looks like the IRS wants itemized hotel receipts in order to split food from lodging, but all his stays were at Motel 6, which does only lodging and no food. Can he still include lodging in his employee expense deduction with what he has?”

Hi Tim,

Yes, I would include it all.

Is he being audited? If not, he has no worries at this time.

True, Motel 6 doesn’t offer services, like meals. So if he’s got everything on credit cards AND has a calendar showing what city he worked in each week…?

However, I would not use the amounts he paid. I would look up the per diem rates for each location on the date of this stay and print them out. I would use the IRS per diem allowances. They will be higher than the fees at Motel 6.

You will find links to the Per Diem rates in TaxMama’s free resources. His deduction will end up being far more than his actual expense. Perhaps he can recoup some of the taxes paid on that money.

And remember, you can find answers to all kinds of questions about travel expenses and other tax issues, free. Where? Where else? At www.TaxMama.com.

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