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Common Tax Phrases for
Pilots and Flight Attendants
2% Limit
A.G.I. (Adjusted Gross Income)
Above the Line Deductions
Accountable Plan
Actual Cost Meal Deduction
Adequate Records
Alternative Minimum Tax
Below the Line Deductions
CPA (Certified Public Accountant)
Commuting Expenses
D.O.T. (Department of Transportation)
Day Trips
Department of State
Documentary Evidence
Effective Date
Effective Tax Rate
Employee Business Expenses
Enrolled Agent
Expiration Date
General Services Agency
Gross Income
Hours of Service Limits
IRS Form 1040
IRS Form 2106
IRS Publication 1542
IRS Publication 463
IRS Publication 529
Incidental Expenses
Indefinate Duty
Itemized Tax Deduction
Necessary Expense
Non Taxable Per Diem
Nonaccountable Plan
Ordinary Expense
Per Diem
Per Diem Calculator
Per Diem Deduction
Per Diem Rates
Personal Expense
Schedule A
Seasonal End Date
Seasonal Start Date
Special Per Diem Rates
Standard Deduction
Standard Meal Allowance
Standard Per Diem Rates
Substantiated Expenses
Tax Attorney
Tax Audit
Tax Bracket
Tax Credit
Tax Deduction
Tax Home
Tax Liability
Tax Preparer
Tax Software
Taxable Income
Taxable Per Diem
Temporary Duty
Transition Period
Transportation Workers
Travel Expenses

Temporary Assignments

Temporary duty is an assignment away from a pilot or flight attendant's main place of work that is in a single location, is realistically expected to last for less than one year, and does in fact last for one year or less. Typically, if a flight crewmember falls under the definition of a temporary assignment, the pilot or flight attendant's tax home remains at his or her previous tax home while the flight crewmember is on TDY.  This means the flight crewmember can deduct travel expenses and M&IE expenses while away from the original location.  Below is an example:

Ruth is a flight attendant for Delta Airlines.  Her domicile has always been ATL (Atlanta), but she was transferred to JFK (New York) in the middle of the year.  The assignment was an involuntary TDY and she hopes to be back in ATL with a few months.  A few months later she is awarded ATL as her domicile again. 

In this scenario, Ruth could consider ATL to be her tax home for the entire time she is based in JFK.  That means her expenses associated with traveling from ATL to JFK would be deductible.  If Ruth paid for hotel rooms or had a crash pad during the temporary assignment, then those could be written off on IRS Form 2106.

The difficult thing for a flight crewmember to determine is how long the new assignment will last.  Typically the new domicile is the airline pilot or flight attendant's tax home, but if the crewmember is certain they are eligible to call the new assignment a temporary duty assignment, then several additional travel deductions are available for the flight crewmember to deduct.

In this example, if Ruth used EZPerDiem.com to compute her meal expense deduction, she would would simply not include JFK as a domicile if JFK were a temporary assignment.  In addition, in the EZPerDiem.com Expense Processor, Ruth would also enter the travel expenses associated with getting back and forth between ATL and JFK.  Typically she could not do this because commuting expenses are NOT deductible.

If Ruth were going to remain in IAH longer than one year, it would be an indefinite assignment and JFK would become Ruth's new tax home

IRS Publication 463
Temporary Assigment or Job

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