I’m Traveling Away From My Tax Home. What Else Do I Need to Consider?
You also have to consider what you’re actually DOING while you’re away from home. If you’re attending a trade conference or convention, your expenses are deductible if you can prove attendance benefits your business.
But here’s the caveat.
You also need to prove that the majority of your time was spent in the pursuit of business. For example, let’s say you’re attending the Find Your Brilliance Leadership Conference (FYBLC) in Honolulu. (FYBLC isn’t real. But it should be.)
From 7 AM to 8 PM, you’re in meetings, seminars, and networking sessions. When you have a few minutes, you steal away to the beach bar for a quick Mai Tai. But as soon as you’re done, it’s back to Finding Your Brilliance you go!
This conference improves your business by expanding your network of potential clients and sharpening your leadership skills. In this case, you are free to claim your travel, hotel, meals, tips, and other similar expenses. But make sure to keep excellent documentation of how you spent your time, i.e. flyers from your conference, email or call logs showing you were working.
There’s No Conference, But I’m Having a Business Dinner While Vacationing in Hawaii
Sorry, no dice. If your trip is primarily for leisure, then the trip itself is nondeductible. But you CAN deduct any expenses that are directly related to your business while traveling.
Was your dinner with a client who directly supports your business? Were you discussing “businessy” things? The whole time? Deduct away!
Talk To a Pro
If you want to gain a deeper understanding of how to make the IRS tax code work for you (and your vacations!), talk to your trusted tax pro. Ultimately, hiring a professional will give you more time to invest in what matters most to you, whether that’s booking client meetings OR enjoying mai tais on the beach!