I'm exploring a new job opportunity. The position will require me to be on-site at a location about ~2hrs away from my home and working 12-14 hour days for 3 days per week. As such, a hotel near the location will probably be my home away from home.
The position is a contract position but I'd be paid as an hourly employee and given a W2. The contract is for one year in duration but is expected to be extended annually for an indefinite period of time.
My understanding (from reading IRS topic 511) is that my tax home will be the city in which I work. Since I will always be working on-site and I reasonably expect to be working there for more than one year, I won't be able to deduct hotel expenses, meals, or mileage on my vehicle (I'll be driving to the city itself and my office, but I don't travel during the day for the job).
My questions are:
- Am I correctly interpreting the tax situation in that I'm not going to be able to leverage my travel costs to receive any tax break?
- Taxes aside, what would be the best way to manage the financial outlays of frequent self-funded business travel? I'm looking at the potential hotels in the town to find the one with the best rewards program and comparing it against using a site like Hotels.com with a fixed free night punchcard. I'm also looking at credit cards with hotel booking bonus categories.