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Travel Nurses Must remember the One Year Rule

Travel Nurses Must remember the One Year Rule

According to the IRS your travel assignment must be less than one year in duration. If this is the case, you are eligible to receive nontaxable travel benefits including housing, meals and transportation. This limitation applies to the location, not the assignment. So, if you have multiple assignments in or near the same locale it will be necessary to monitor the timeframe and make sure you do not exceed the one year rule. The IRS has not provided a timeframe for restarting the one year clock in any given area.

One of the many benefits of travel nursing is that you get to spend a longer amount of time in any given place and you can explore and enjoy much more of the area than if you were there on a vacation of one or two weeks. Typical assignments are three months and sometimes can be extended if it works out well. But you must always be aware of the one year rule or else all your benefits will become taxable income to the IRS. Each assignment must be temporary. This rule says it is not temporary if you spend more than 12 months in one metropolitan area. The travel nurse must always maintain a tax residence or tax home in order to receive these benefits tax free and always come home before the one year rule is met. You and your staffing agency should be keeping track of this for many reasons. They key is to keep your status as temporary. The best rule to follow is to not work more than 12 months in one location in a 24 month period.

Of course, we are not offering tax advice and you should always discuss these issues with your accountant. We are just putting some info out for your review. Safe travels!

Mary Crawford, HealthCare Employment Network

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