Law School Case Brief
Commissioner v. Flowers - 326 U.S. 465, 66 S. Ct. 250 (1946)
For a traveling expense deduction, 26 U.S.C.S. § 23(a)(1)(A): (1) The expense must be a reasonable and necessary traveling expense, as that term is generally understood. This includes such items as transportation fares and food and lodging expenses incurred while traveling. (2) It must be incurred while away from home. (3) It must be incurred in pursuit of business. There must be a direct connection between the expenditure and the trade or business of the taxpayer or his employer. The expenditure must be necessary or appropriate to the development and pursuit of the business or trade.
The taxpayer resided in Jackson, Mississippi. When he was offered a job by a company whose main office was located in Mobile, Alabama, he was unwilling to move to Mobile. He made an arrangement with his employer whereby he could continue to reside in Jackson on condition that he pay his traveling expenses between Mobile and Jackson and pay his living expenses in both places. On his tax return, the taxpayer deducted as traveling expenses amounts incurred in making trips from Jackson to Mobile.
Are the travelling expenses considered as allowable deductions under 26 U.S.C.S. § 23(a)(1)(A)?
The Court held the Tax Court properly concluded that the necessary relationship between the expenses and the business of the taxpayer's employer was lacking and, therefore, the expenses were non-deductible personal expenses. Before a traveling expense deduction could be made under 26 U.S.C.S. § 23(a)(1)(A), the expense was required to be necessary to the development of the employer's business. The expenses at issue here were incurred solely as the result of the taxpayer's desire to maintain a home in Jackson while working in Mobile, a factor irrelevant to the maintenance and prosecution of his employer's business. His employer did not require him to travel on business from Jackson to Mobile.
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