How to deduct expenses when consulting abroad?
May 1, 2012 2:28 PM   Subscribe

received 1099-misc. i earned this income over 8 months while consulting for an american company abroad.any special deductions for me?easy way to deduct daily expenses?advice?

An American consulting firm paid me to go abroad to work on a project for them, as an independent contractor. I stayed there for 8 months on the project.

Now, I am doing my taxes (yes, I got an extension). I had food expenses, rent, communications expenses, travel expenses, health insurance expenses, internet, employer didn't pay for any of these.

Was this entire 8 months considered travel for business?

Is it possible to do this type of estimating somehow, so I do not have to provide proof of every single purchase I made over this time period? Such as, I was on business for 8 months, the standard per diem for this country from the US Dept of State is $45 a day, and deduct that somehow?

Any insight appreciated, I am a bit confused, I am using TurboTax Deluxe if it matters.
posted by calm down to Work & Money (5 answers total)
I have to believe that the amount you earned justifies doing it the right way: consult an accountant, and all your questions will be answered. Properly.
posted by yclipse at 2:36 PM on May 1, 2012

Seconding getting an accountant. Mine saves me considerably more than he costs me.
posted by smirkette at 3:44 PM on May 1, 2012

Have you looked at the foreign earned income exclusion? If you made less than around 90k or so abroad, you do not have to pay US taxes on it, if you were living in that country at the time.
If you made more than that, you should probably hire an accountant. Working overseas you are eligible for foreign housing deductions, but other things like internet and travel expenses and health insurance fall under deductions you make as an independent contractor as part of your business, not as part of living overseas.
posted by ke rose ne at 5:02 PM on May 1, 2012

Response by poster: I am not eligible for the foreign earned income exclusion since i was there only 8 months and my tax home is still usa.

i was a temporary worker in an international setting, I can use a standard meal allowance!

exactly what i was looking for!
posted by calm down at 9:20 PM on May 1, 2012

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