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my mom was ill for the 2nd half of 2015, my wife and I were traveling from Texas to California back and forth and doing remote office. My mom is supposedly to be filing tax jointly with my stepdad, so we can't consider her as a dependent.
Is there a way I can just deduct my expenses (rent-a-car, flight ticket, etc)?
Thanks! (btw, my mom passed away early 2016)

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Nope. No deduction for family travel, even funerals.
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So sorry to read that your Mom had passed away, my heartfelt sympathy to you and your family.

Tax deductions are tricky. The IRS has publications to help you out, but those can be complex, too. I would call the IRS Hotline, or send them email. Time is running pretty close to April 15th so I hope you get an answer quickly.
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