You’ve decided to take the plunge and try out a travel position in another state. But with all the excitement of seeing new locations and making an impact, there is the worry about the increased cost of temporarily living in another location. That is where travel stipends come in.
To help break down travel stipends, we talked with Victoria, Davin’s Human Resources Compliance and Engagement Manager.
What is a travel stipend?
[Victoria] A travel stipend is the amount offered to clinical employees for their housing and meals while working an assignment.
The travel stipend is made up of Lodging and Meals & Incidentals.
These are set amounts based on location and we use the General Services Administration (GSA) to determine those amounts. Cost of living varies, so following the GSA guidelines ensures that the stipends being paid out to caregivers are realistic.
Do you have to pay taxes on a travel stipend?
The travel stipend is tax-free so long as the travel assignment requires you to travel away from your permanent tax home and you have not worked at the same assignment for 12 months or longer.
Who qualifies for a travel stipend?
You are eligible for a tax-free travel stipend if you maintain a “permanent tax home” while you are away on assignment. It is designed to offset the costs that arise from duplicate living expenses.
The IRS uses various factors to determine if your residence qualifies as your tax home.
How long can you receive a travel stipend?
You can receive a stipend for a long as you are traveling, however, you are not able to receive a stipend at the same location for 12 months or longer.
How do you receive the stipend?
Stipends are processed as a reimbursement, and they are included with your regular, weekly direct deposit.
Should you keep receipts?
We advise that you consult your Accountant/Tax Professional to determine the documentation you should retain to prove that you are maintaining a permanent tax home and incurring duplicate living expenses.
Any last thoughts about travel stipends?
In a nutshell, to qualify for a stipend:
- Caregiver must truly be traveling for the assignment and duplicating living expenses as a result.
- Caregiver must be taking different assignments and not staying at the same location.
Taking a travel assignment is a great way to visit new locations, meet new people, and make an impact wherever you go. Travel stipends help to ease the financial burden that comes with traveling, so you don’t have to worry.
If you have any further questions, reach out to your recruiter today in the chat below and they will help you out.