Author Topic: Mileage for Non Union  (Read 4712 times)

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Candy0081

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Mileage for Non Union
« on: Apr 30, 2007, 12:15 am »
Hey All--

I am currently working though a contact with a potential employer and was wondering on everyones thoughts on mileage and how to have the conversatation that the amount offered isn't enough.  It would be a 2,300 mile drive one way for me and a car would be needed for daily transportation once I was there.  I believe the Equity or IRS rate is .44 cents a mile, does anyone know if that is correct?  What is the best way to get the mileage reimbursed?  The theatre is small and this might strain their budget, but it would break mine.  If I have to I am prepared to walk away from the job, but it would be a good job for me.

Candy

ReyYaySM

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Re: Mileage for Non Union
« Reply #1 on: Apr 30, 2007, 03:30 am »
The IRS standard mileage rate for 2007 for business transportation is 48.5 cents per mile. 

Equity transportation reimbursement for an actor who elects to drive their own vehicle in lieu of the theatre arranging for his/her transportation is usually equivalent to the cost of a ticket for the appropriate mode of public transportation (i.e. train or airplane) that would have otherwise been used.  This may be negotiated at a higher rate. 

However, as you are not working under a union contract, it is between you and your employer as to the amount of your travel reimbursement.  Are there other options: do you have to drive there; does the theatre have a company car you could use while there; what is the public transportation system like; is there someone else you could carpool with?  I'd suggest that you weigh your options before walking away from the job. 

Good luck in your negotiations. 

McShell

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Re: Mileage for Non Union
« Reply #2 on: Apr 30, 2007, 04:34 am »
If you tell them the situation, that you might have to walk away, then they might be able to find some money.  Funny, I've never actually had my milage reimbursed but a theatre, one of the cons of working non-union.  I've gotten things from parking to overtime to health benefits, and housing, but I've never had a theatre, whether it's a non-union stage management job, or non-AEA positions at LORTs, reimburse milage to get there, just for stuff once I got there.  It sounds like they're willing to meet you half-way, which is more than a lot of other theatres do that are under non-union contracts, so I would look at the contract as a whole before I made a decision on a contract based on the milage.  What else are they willing to give you that makes up for it, what your other employment options are, and what the pros of working there would be, etc.

ljh007

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Re: Mileage for Non Union
« Reply #3 on: Apr 30, 2007, 08:55 am »
The current federal mileage reimbursement rate is $0.485. It changes every year, so keep an eye on the IRS website:
http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=163828,00.html

Keep in mind that non-union employers are not required to reimburse your mileage at this rate, or at all. If it's not in your contract, you're asking for a favor - and it's always worth asking. Remember that you can claim up to the federal mileage rate on your taxes at the end of the year. If the company reimburses you partial mileage (say, $0.20/mile - unusual, but I've seen it happen), you can claim the unpaid difference on your Schedule C (if you file as a US sole proprietor for your SM work).

If it's 2300 miles away, what would they do if you did not have a car? Fly you? Could they pay you the equivalent airfare for use of your personal vehicle? By the way, you could negotiate the one-way miles to get you to the gig, but it would be extremely unusual to reimburse your local (around-town) travel while onsite. Don't push your luck!

If you do decide to get mileage reimbursed, you should show up at the office on your arrival with a printed-out Mapquest from your front door to the theatre office's front door. They will treat this document like a receipt for miles driven. Highlight the total miles. Attach a homemade "mileage summary" doing the reimbursement calculation for them - always happy to help when it gets me paid faster  ;).

Balletdork

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Re: Mileage for Non Union
« Reply #4 on: Apr 30, 2007, 05:14 pm »
The issue w/ mileage is that a non-union company doesn't HAVE to provide it! They can expect you to claim it on you taxes- which is not a terrible idea. Also, no one has to provide at the IRS rate unless the contract says so! Alabama Ballet re-imburses at $.38 per mile.

LisaEllis

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Re: Mileage for Non Union
« Reply #5 on: Apr 30, 2007, 09:56 pm »
Also, it's not uncommon to have a cap...either the cost of a plane ticket (assuming they would have otherwise bought that ticket), or up to, say $500.  I've also been reimbursed for actual receipts paid (gas, hotel, food).  If they don't generally provide anyone's travel, you're going to have a harder time getting anything.

If it's paid on a 1099, you would deduct the difference on your Schedule C.  If it's W-2, there is less opportunity for deduction (consult a tax advisor about itemizing).

But 2300 miles is a 3 or 4 day drive...are you relocating for this job, or are they providing housing?  The expectations (and deductions) change if you are actually moving.  Even though I've relocated for several jobs, we've only been reimbursed for part of one, by my husband's employer.  And it depends strongly on if you have another established tax home and how long you work in that state.
Good luck!

Candy0081

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Re: Mileage for Non Union
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2007, 12:34 am »
It is a 7 week job and they wanted to fly me at first, at their expense, but they had to other way for me to get around town and want me to bring my car.  I would be in one city for 2 weeks and then another about 2 hours away for the last 5 weeks. There is lots of public transportation in the first city and almost none in the second.  I do realize that mileage isn't a guarantee and it a bonus.  But if none is paid I would be spending my entire salary on gas/hotels and I can't afford that either.  I am not trying to make money on the mileage, but I don't want to loose money on it either. Thanks for the thoughts!

Candy

ljh007

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Re: Mileage for Non Union
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2007, 08:47 am »
It seems to me that at least they owe you the cost of the cheapest applicable flight they (or you) can find.
That might come close to equivalent mileage, but would probably be less than a mileage reimbursement.

Maybe you could ask for a gas reimbursement? Save your receipts, and depending on what kind of mileage your car gets, you might be talking about @>$500 back in your pocket. The mileage reimbursement theoretically takes into account wear-and-tear on your vehicle, so it's more than simply the cost of gas. This could be an alternative solution for you and the company.

I think you're approaching this in the right way. The company needs to realize that they will have this problem with any non-local SM they hire, and they should plan budget and travel logistics accordingly. In the meantime, you can only decide what solution and fee/reimbursement balance is best for you.
I hope it works out!

Candy0081

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Re: Mileage for Non Union
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2007, 06:59 pm »
Well they wanted to fly me and then they realized I would need a car when I was there so they asked me to drive out.  But as they looked into the cost of housing and transportation they realized they couldn't afford it.  So we came to a mutual parting that the money wasn't right for the gas and work needed.  But will try again in the future for a longer contract. 

Thank you everyone for your input!  LJH we were trying to get gas paid, but it has jumped so much this week alone it scared them off.

Candy

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