When they like a specific residence and a certain job that are a distance apart, they will consider commuting between the two--provided that the combined benefits from that specific place of residence and that specific job minus the costs of commuting are higher than any alternative.
Suppose that living in A is worth 1000 to a taxpayer, (56) working in B is worth 1000, and the costs of commuting between A and B are 300.
Treating both housing and workplace locations as variables means that in a world without taxes, taxpayers would rather live away from work (or work away from home) if the additional housing benefits combined with the additional income from their job are higher than the costs of commuting between the two places.
Assume the following: (1) living in A is worth 1000 to a taxpayer, working in B is worth 1000, and the costs of commuting between A and B are 300 (a combined benefit of 1700 (1000 + 1000 - 300)); (2) living in C is worth 1500, working in D is worth 1000, and the costs of commuting between C and D are 800 (a combined benefit of 1700 (1500 + 1000 - 800)); and (3) living in E is worth 1000, working in F is worth 750, and the costs of commuting between E and F are 50 (again, a combined benefit of 1700 (1000 + 750 - 50)).
A taxpayer commuting between his residence and a temporary work location outside the metropolitan area where the taxpayer lives and normally works can deduct daily transportation expenses as business expenses.
A taxpayer may deduct daily transportation expenses incurred in commuting between his home office and another work location in the same trade or business, regardless of whether the work location is regular or temporary and regardless of the distance.