The 50 Mile Myth Debunked

I learned something new today that applies to relocation and business travelers. Perhaps I can put the kibosh on this myth once and for all:

Question: Do you need to travel a minimum of 50 miles from your primary residence before your housing and meal allowances can be provided on a tax free basis?

Answer: NO – The IRS simply says an overnight stay is required and has no reference to the distance of 50 miles. Remember, however, that in an audit the burden of proof will always be on you, the individual taxpayer.

When should I care about 50 miles? Any one who is relocating should be mindful of the 50 mile rule. Moving expenses are only allowed as a deduction under section 217(c) when a person’s new job is 50 miles farther away than the distance of the old commute.

When in doubt always seek the advice of a professional. To learn more go to

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