Patrick Johnson is a truck driver employee, who drives truck several days a week

| March 30, 2017

Question
The facts for your Tax Research Assignment 3are as follows:

Patrick Johnson is a truck driver employee, who drives truck several days a week. A typical day begins at 6:00 am where he picks up his truck from the warehouse, already loaded with supplies, and ends anywhere from 8:00 pm to 3:00 am, depending on his route.

On some nights, if Patrick’s route goes late and he is tired, he will pull off at a truck stop and sleep in his cab before returning to the warehouse early the next morning. Otherwise, if he finished earlier or feels he can make it back without falling asleep, he will drive straight back and go home for a few hours of sleep. Finally, on other occasions, particularly if he has the next day off, Patrick will spend the night in a motel along the road. Patrick’s employer has no preference as to what he does and has given him permission to either drive back or stay overnight. However, the employer does not reimburse him for his food and lodging expenses.

On the days, Patrick drives straight back to the warehouse, he eats one meal while on the road (he eats a second meal after returning home). When he sleeps overnight (either in his cab or in a motel), he eats two meals, a late dinner before going to sleep, and a breakfast upon waking up. He spends an average of $10.00 for dinner and $6.00 for breakfast. The cost of the motel averages $70.00 per night. When Patrick sleeps in the cab, he generally gets about 4-5 hours of sleep before driving back to the warehouse.

During 2015, Patrick incurred the following expenses:

Cost of meals on nonstop trips

$1,200

Cost of meals when sleeping in cab

600

Cost of meals when sleeping in motel

400

Cost of lodging

3,000

Total

$5,200

Patrick comes to you, his accountant, and asks whether he can deduct the above costs on his 2015 federal income tax return, and if so, how much of the $5,200 he can actually deduct on his tax return. He tells you that his AGI is $50,000, and he is not married and has no dependents.

Instructions:

Please research the tax law and write Patrick Johnson a brief client letterof no more than two pages, in which you communicate the results of your research, and identify any relevant statutory, administrative, or judicial authority. Remember, you are writing to a non-CPA, so be sure to explain your reasoning clearly and in layperson’s terms.

Use the format for communicating research findings discussed under “Syllabus and Course Schedule to the file named, “Tax Research Assignment How to Complete – and Sample Client Letter” in the Content area of LEO. Notice how, in that example, there are citations to authority within the body of the letter. I expect you to also cite to relevant authority, in the same citation formats that you used for your tax memoranda.

*Remember: while IRS publications are useful as secondary sources, they are not primary sources that can be cited and relied upon in your written product.

Your research assignment will be graded using the following criteria:

1. Recognition of the important facts and issues

2. Correct conclusion

3. Clarity of writing (and appropriateness of level, considering your audience)

4. Proper use of relevant sources to support your conclusion and analysis

5. Proper citation of relevant sources

6. Proper format, spelling & grammar

*Please submit your client letter as a Word or PDF document into your Tax Research Assignment 3 folder. Please put your last name somewhere in the file name. This assignment is due to me by Sunday, February 2 at 11:59 pm EST.

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