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Travel Expenses

What are considered travel expenses for pilot and flight attendant taxes?

Travel expenses are expenses incurred while a taxpayer is working for their employer away from their tax home.  To be deductible, the travel expenses must be ordinary and necessary, plus they must not be personal or be prohibited by any section of the tax code.  IRS Publication 463 and Tax Topic 511 linked below provide useful information about travel expenses.

Pilots and flight attendants incur travel expenses while working.  These travel expenses include, but are not limited to, meals and incidental expenses which can be a significant portion of a flight crewmember's employee business expenses M&IE expenses are written off via the per diem deduction.

Do pilots and flight attendants need a receipt for travel expenses?

Generally a receipt (or documentary evidence) is necessary for all expenses being deducted, but if an expense qualifies as a travel expenses then no receipt is necessary if the expense is less than $75.  This applies to individual expense.  For example, assume you had 10 travel expenses (each for $10) throughout the year.  The total is $100, but because each invidual expense is less than $75, no receipt is necessary for the travel expenses.

Even though a receipt is not necessary, the travel expenses must still be substantiated by using adequate recordkeeping practices.

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