Marin I. and Anita J. Johnson - Page 1

                                   115 T.C. No. 16                                    

                               UNITED STATES TAX COURT                                

                    MARIN I. AND ANITA J. JOHNSON, Petitioners v.                     
                    COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE, Respondent                      

               Docket No. 5114-98.                Filed September 15, 2000.           

                    P is a merchant seaman who captains a vessel that                 
               sails worldwide carrying equipment of the U.S.                         
               military.  The vessel sails infrequently in the general                
               vicinity of P’s residence, which also is not near the                  
               office of P’s employer.  P’s employer furnishes him                    
               with lodging and meals without charge while he works on                
               the vessel, but P pays for his other (incidental)                      
               travel expenses.  P reported his incidental travel                     
               expenses as miscellaneous itemized deductions for 1994                 
               and 1996, ascertaining the amounts of those deductions                 
               by using the full Federal per diem rates for meal and                  
               incidental expense (M&IE rates).  The M&IE rates are                   
               referenced in Rev. Proc. 96-28, 1996-1 C.B. 686, and                   
               its progenitors, which provide that an employee, in                    
               lieu of substantiating his or her actual travel                        
               expenses, may use the M&IE rates to compute the cost of                
               meal and incidental expenses paid while working away                   
               from home.  See, e.g., id. sec. 4.03, 1996-1 C.B. at                   
               688.  P has no receipts for his incidental travel                      

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