Win some, lose some
By Julian Block
Win some, lose some. The IRS persuaded the Tax Court that no exception to the restriction on deductions for commuting expenses should be made for Mrs. Raymond Theep, a housewife who journeyed from her home to her job and back. She was, observed the court, a commuter, not a job-to-job traveler; the snag is that housewifely chores fail to qualify as a profit-motivated activity.
But the IRS was bested by Margaret Green, a professional blood donor, on the issue of a deduction for her home-to-laboratory travel. The Tax Court concluded she was a business traveler, rather than a commuter to the lab. Said the court: “Unique to this situation, the taxpayer was the container in which her product was transported to market. Had she been able to extract the plasma at home and transport it to the laboratory without her being present, such shipping expenses would have been deductible as selling expenses.”
The restriction on deduction for commuting expenses also eliminate a deduction for payments to a car pool, whether each member takes a turn driving his or her own car or only one does all the driving. On the other hand, you need not report payments from riders unless they exceed your expenses.