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Never would I ever have imagined that the US government would be so eager to subsidize my elite status, but then again…2020 is nothing if it isn’t weird. Senator Martha McSally has penned TRIP ( the American Tax Rebate and Incentive Program Act ) which will offer a $4000 tax credit ( $8000 for couples ) come tax seasons 2021. Have children? You’ll get an extra $500 per offspring. But Miles..I’m sure there are some pretty strict exclusions. Wrong.
The net on what’s included is cast very wide…just travel 50 miles away from your home ( within the US ) and you’ll pretty much incur an expense that qualifies. Even expenses associated with visiting your second home are included. Here’s a look at the broadstrokes of TRIP
- $4000 per taxpayer or $8000 for a couple
- $500 for every child
- Eligible Expenses include
- Food and beverage, lodging, transportation, live entertainment, conferences or business meetings
- Must be more than 50 miles from home within the US
- Travel to 2nd homes owned by taxpayer is included just not the lodging portion
- I take this to mean that if you were to go to a lake house that all of the dining, events, gas, mileage, etc are all tax deductible
- Deduct mileage rates at standard deduction
Tourism boards getting some of that fat cash too
If you read further into the legislation you’ll find language that is earmarks money for state tourism boards ( The Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico are included ). Anyone know a blogger that would love some of that tourism good good, and could use some time in St Thomas? Hint…it’s me 😉
Vroom vroom for travel jobs?
Clearly this is aimed at revving up the tourism industry which has been hard hit. I’ll be the first to admit that is really good for someone like me. I’m a travel blogger for goodness sakes, and I spend a lot of money on travel – this just makes it better for me. But, for average Joe and Jane?
People are fighting a tough battle against infection risk and unemployment. The economy has been rocked and this is a tax credit…so you need to spend that money now, and this policy is a bi-product of savings rate going through the roof. Economies shrink when people save, jobs are lost when people save, and this is a reaction to gin up interest in spending. I get the intent…get people to spend on tourism and tourism jobs will come back.
If you’re sitting on a nice cushion of cash, a stable work from home job, and you’re looking to rent a house on the beach for a few weeks in the Carolinas – voila…everyone reading this post just paid for your holiday, including the gas and mileage.
Off on a road trip
Roughly a month ago I wrote an article about living that RV life for a while. Unfortunately, I don’t think that is going to happen in its original form, although we may take an Airstream for a weekend, but a massive road trip is happening.
In the next couple of weeks my fiancee and I are going to head out with very loose plans on seeing the states. Instead of RVs, we’re going to be looking at leveraging elite status and points + just enjoying some of the USA’s coolest local hotels. While it’s unclear whether the $4k tax credit counts on travel at the moment, we’ll be collecting our receipts just in case.
I never really thought I’d go for elite status this year, but with a massive tax credit like this in the works, and a wedding on the books for next year, a long road trip planned, it could be a great time to go for globalist. Those suite nights and upgrades would surely come in handy on a honeymoon.
Here is a look at the language straight from the bill – Bolded parts done by me
8 ‘‘SEC. 25E. TRAVEL, HOSPITALITY, AND ENTERTAINMENT 9 EXPENSES. 10 ‘‘(a) IN GENERAL.—In the case of an individual, 11 there shall be allowed as a credit against the tax imposed 12 by this chapter for the taxable year an amount equal to 13 the lesser of— 14 ‘‘(1) any eligible expenses paid or incurred by 15 the taxpayer during such taxable year, or 16 ‘‘(2) an amount equal to— 17 ‘‘(A) $4,000 ($8,000 in the case of a joint 18 return), plus 19 ‘‘(B) an amount equal to the product of 20 $500 multiplied by the number of qualifying 21 children (within the meaning of section 24(c)) 22 of the taxpayer. 23 ‘‘(b) ELIGIBLE EXPENSES.— 24 ‘‘(1) IN GENERAL.—For purposes of this sec25 tion, the term ‘eligible expenses’ means any expenses 26 which are paid or incurred by the taxpayer during 3 GAI20499 S.L.C. ZZ2 PY H19 1 any period of qualifying travel which are related to 2 any of the following: 3 ‘‘(A) Food and beverages. 4 ‘‘(B) Lodging. 5 ‘‘(C) Transportation. 6 ‘‘(D) Live entertainment events (including 7 sporting events) 8 ‘‘(E) Expenses related to attending a con9 ference or business meeting. 10 ‘‘(2) QUALIFYING TRAVEL.— 11 ‘‘(A) IN GENERAL.—For purposes of this 12 section, the term ‘qualifying travel’ means any 13 travel— 14 ‘‘(i) which occurs within the United 15 States (including any territory or posses16 sion of the United States), 17 ‘‘(ii) for which the final destination is 18 not less than 50 miles from the principal 19 residence of the taxpayer (within the 20 meaning of section 121), and 21 ‘‘(iii) which occurs after December 31, 22 2019, and before January 1, 2022. 23 ‘‘(B) VACATION HOME.—For purposes of 24 subparagraph (A)(ii), the final destination may 25 include any other residence owned by the tax- 4 GAI20499 S.L.C. ZZ2 PY H19 1 payer which is not the principal residence of the 2 taxpayer, except that any expenses paid or in3 curred by the taxpayer for lodging (as described 4 in paragraph (1)(B)) with respect to such resi5 dence shall not be included as eligible expenses 6 under this section. 7 ‘‘(C) USE OF PERSONAL VEHICLE.—With 8 respect to a motor vehicle used for qualifying 9 travel which is owned or leased by the taxpayer, 10 the amount of any vacation expenses described 11 in paragraph (1)(C) with respect to the use of 12 such motor vehicle shall be determined using 13 the standard mileage rate in effect under sec14 tion 162(a) at the time of such use.
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