Travel within the United States
If you travel on business away from home, you can deduct not only the cost of transportation but also personal costs, such as your food, lodging, and incidentals. You must be away from your tax home (defined earlier) for more than the day. You usually must be required, because of the distance or the length of the business day, to get sleep or rest away from home in order to meet the demands of your work. This is called the sleep or rest rule. The away from home rule is being eased in certain cases. The IRS has said that the sleep or rest rule will not apply to an employee if the lodging is necessary to participate in or be available for a bona fide business meeting or function of the employer and the expense would otherwise be deductible by the employee if he or she had paid it (being away from home is not mandatory). And the Tax Court has allowed a ferryboat captain who had layovers of between 1 and 6 hours to deduct meals and incidental expenses even though he docked at his home port (it was impractical to go home during layovers, and sleep or rest on the company cot was necessary for him to do his job).
And your travel away from home must be considered temporary (discussed later in this chapter).