If you are a physical therapist, you have heard the buzz about traveling. Free private housing, bonuses, licensure reimbursement, the list goes on and on. Not to mention the ability to live in a desirable location. However, the biggest attraction of traveling is unquestionably the pay. The pay is typically substantial. Travel therapists receive considerable compensation, but before you pack your bags, consider if this opportunity is the right fit for you.
Is Travel Therapy The Right Choice For You?
A Lucrative Arrangement: Travel Therapy Pay
Travel physical therapy is financially rewarding. The salary for a travel physical therapist is undoubtedly one of the best perks of traveling. ZipRecruiter estimates the salary for a travel physical therapist to be $94,583 per year. Depending on where you travel and the types of settings you work in, it is possible to earn even more. Travel therapists make more than permanent staff therapists primarily because of tax-free money options. These therapists earn tax-free money because they follow specific rules to receive the benefit.
As a physical therapist, you undoubtedly know that travel physical therapists make more money than staff therapists. You might have heard that the money is not taxed! Well, it is a little more complicated than that. Please understand that you are not entitled to tax-free money simply because you accept a 13-week contract, and there are plenty of therapists who have their entire check taxed. There are a few tax rules for travel therapists to follow:
- You must prove that you are duplicating expenses because you pay for your tax home and temporary residence. Travelers typically either own a home and rent a second residence or rent both places. The key is to duplicate expenses at fair market value and have proof of them.
- Make sure you travel far enough away from your tax home that you need a second home. You get reimbursed for duplicate expenses while on assignment, so you must be far enough away from home that you sleep there.
- Do not abandon your tax home and try to get to your permanent residence at least 30 days per year. The time home does not need to be all at the same time. You can break it up. Keep your driver’s license, registration, insurance, and voter’s card there, and try to use your credit card while you are at home.
- Try to keep moving and do not stay in one area for more than a year. Remember that your tax home is your regular place of income. The new site will become your tax home if you build a steady income in a new location. Act as though you are on a 13-week business trip. If you are on a lengthy business trip, you will not be changing your documents, and you go home when you can.
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