Being a travel nurse is exciting for many reasons.
In some terms, it offers flexibility, the excitement of new locations, and the feeling of freedom.
There are so many travel agencies that specialize in employing nurses and they offer great benefits for nurses who decide to collaborate.
Covered moving expenses, health insurance, retirement plans, a refund for living costs, retirement plans, and housing are the most desirable benefits that a travel nurse can enjoy.
Housing creates a lot of stress to travel nurses.
The available options depend on the company and the contracts.
In some cases, the company maintains the housing, such as apartment or duplex.
Other companies may offer a housing stipend to a travel nurse.
It can include a fixed amount of money administered each month for housing.
If you want to become a travel nurse, you need to understand the relation with the Tax home and tax-free deal.
The stipends are tax-free if they work away from the tax home.
To be able to enroll in tax-free housing, you will have to set a home tax.
If you haven’t familiar with the term, here is a short explanation.
A tax home is your primary place of work.
It can be different from the primary residence.
If your business trip exceeded one day, the IRS will consider your settings as traveling away from your tax home.
These regulations are a common reason for nurses to start temporary assignments for a limited time.
The stipends differ from agency to agency.
Therefore, you should research about living costs in the area you are traveling, including the costs for housing to make sure you got everything covered.
You can find the list by the General Services Administration (GSA) referring to the maximum costs for lodging, meals, and incidentals day in terms of business trip and expense.
Focus on the maximum.
The regulations don’t oblige the company to you the stipend.
Rather, some companies offer a higher hourly rate to compensate for the lack of housing stipend.
Some offer low amounts which are significantly different from the real housing costs of the area you are going to.
GSA rates refer to short-term travel which doesn’t exceed one month.
If you are a travel nurse, you might go on a temporary assignment that lasts three months or even more.
Nurses who are in the program which includes housing stipend can really benefit, not only in tax terms but also in financial.
If the housing stipend is significantly higher than real housing costs are, a nurse can save the money that has been left.
Let’s say, you get $2500 for a month, but you pay the rent $1200.
The difference will be left for your pockets.
On the other hand, always consider the full picture.
It is not rare that companies increase one element, and reduce others to balance.
Very often, if you have a hight housing stipend, you can end up with a lower hourly rate or lack of some other benefits.
All information about tax-free housing and all other tax-related issues a travel nurse may face along the way is available on the FAQ section of the National Association of Travel Healthcare Organizations (NATHO) website.