Q. The Development Team's main responsibility is to travel to fulfill its core mission of visiting face-to-face with alumni, donors and friends across the country. Mileage is reimbursed for these meetings as necessary. Employees are generally leaving from their home to travel. The individuals do not typically drive to a work place first. Often they are required to come into the office for a monthly meeting with respective Director or staff meetings etc. A question was brought up and I want to make sure I'm reimbursing correctly:
Is it allowable to charge mileage from each individuals home to travel to the office for these meetings? Some individuals are 5 min away and some of 60 min away from the home office/campus. I do not believe they have a work space set up at the office but is they do would this make a difference?
A. Are the members of the Development Team employees, contractors or volunteers? If I understand you correctly, they are home-based, and only travel to the office for the occasional meeting?
Q. Yes, the Development Team consists of employees, and yes, they are home-based, and only travel to the office for the occasional meeting.
A. I spoke with IRS information agent Mr. Hull (ID# 1002444893) on this topic, and he stated that travel to and from the home office is not deductible, even if the employees do not have an assigned workspace there.
Of course, it is up to you whether to give these home-based employees a travel allowance for this, but that would need to be reported as income on their W-2.