I have a house in one place and found a job in another place that pays very good rate. Since I don't want to live separately from my family I want to rent a house near work place and live together with family until contract ends.

Since I will keep paying mortgage and utilities for my own house together with living in rented house, can I deduct all my family living expenses (rent, food, utilities, doctors, pre-school) ? Is there a limit to such expenses ?

  • Seems like this is a matter for reading your contract. Unless you're working for a company that must follow Federal (or State government) rules on per diems, anyway, in which case you'd need to state what country and/or state you must follow the rules of.
    – Joe
    Commented Sep 23, 2015 at 20:28
  • I thought it's just a matter of tax deduction regardless of company that I work for.
    – alpav
    Commented Sep 23, 2015 at 20:30
  • If your question is about tax deduction of living expenses, what does it have to do with per diem?
    – BrenBarn
    Commented Sep 23, 2015 at 20:40
  • 1
    No, you're not going to be able to deduct your family's living expenses. Perhaps start with IRS publication 463
    – mkennedy
    Commented Sep 23, 2015 at 21:55
  • 1
    @alpav Per diem is Latin for "per day." This refers to a way of getting reimbursed for expenses at a fixed rate per day. It is an alternative to "actuals" where you would need to keep detailed records for reimbursement based on your actual costs. Either of these, by the way, preclude a tax deduction because you would be getting reimbursed for the expenses and therefore not have an expense to deduct. That being said, see the answers to your question - You cannot deduct in this case anyway for the reasons that other have provided.
    – user32479
    Commented Sep 23, 2015 at 23:58

1 Answer 1


You cannot deduct anything. Since you're actually moving, your tax home will move with you.

You can only deduct the moving expenses (actual moving - packing, shipping, and hotels while you drive yourself there).

  • What if I just rent a condo commute to that condo weekly without relocating my family, is this considered move or not ? Can I deduct (or apply as per diem) full condo rent and utilities ? Where is the margin between move and not move ? Is it required to live separately from family to deduct anything ?
    – alpav
    Commented Sep 24, 2015 at 13:02
  • @alpav you should probably talk to a licensed tax adviser. If you rent a condo - you will still be moving. Generally, your tax home is where your main place of business is. Commute is non-deductible, neither is rent.
    – littleadv
    Commented Sep 24, 2015 at 14:00
  • I found that even if I regularly commute with my family to a rented house it's still not deductible for them. Explicit answer to my question is in the link you provided, see section "Travel expenses for another individual". Now I see that there are no loopholes here.
    – alpav
    Commented Sep 24, 2015 at 14:59

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