Changing Lanes: Tax Relief for Commuters

17 Pages Posted: 11 Oct 2020 Last revised: 23 Sep 2021

See all articles by Hayes Holderness

Hayes Holderness

University of Richmond - School of Law

Date Written: October 5, 2020


Tax law reaches all parts of life, and societal expectations about life’s activities often affect how the law is applied. As those expectations change, application of the law should be expected to change in turn. This Essay highlights changing societal views about commuting, particularly as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, to demonstrate how even long-standing positions under the tax law can be quickly uprooted. Specifically, as working from home becomes standard, taxpayers should be afforded tax relief when required to commute into the workplace, despite the fact that the tax law traditionally has rejected such relief.

Keywords: Taxation, Income Taxation, COVID-19, Federal Tax, Commuting, Business Deductions

JEL Classification: K34

Suggested Citation

Holderness, Hayes, Changing Lanes: Tax Relief for Commuters (October 5, 2020). 40 Virginia Tax Review 453 (2021), Available at SSRN: or

Hayes Holderness (Contact Author)

University of Richmond - School of Law ( email )

203 Richmond Way
University of Richmond School of Law
Richmond, VA 23173
United States

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