Tips To Gain More In Business Travel Write Off

Business Travel Write off

A recent AAA survey predicts the average amount spent by a family of four for vacation this year will be $692, down 14 percent from last year’s $809. Here are some tips for your business travel write off planning:

Business Travel Write Off Starts By Getting There:

If the trip is primarily for business and within the U.S., the cost of your transportation is fully deductible both ways. If it’s international, the trip has to be at least 75 percent business in order for your plane ticket to be a business travel write off. (Less than 75% and you can only deduct the percentage related to business.)

Cruise Travel:

To be deductible, a business-related cruise has to be aboard a ship registered in the U.S. and avoiding foreign ports. There are way around this, but you need your CPA for it.

Overstay is OK but not covered:

You don’t have to work all day, party all night, and leave when your business is done. A few extra days on either end of the business purpose won’t disqualify you for deductions. Just make sure the primary purpose of the trip is business, you have documentation, and you don’t do a business travel write off for any expenses related to the recreational part.

Fitting in the family:

You can’t deduct expenses for anyone who isn’t involved in the business of the trip, unless they’re employees. The trick is to find overlap with what you would have to pay for yourself anyway. However, there are ways of combining business and pleasure trips. For instance, if you drive everyone in one car (yours or a rental), your deductible transportation got the entire family to the destination. And if everyone shares a single hotel room, it’s deductible too. Avoid doing any upgrades to a larger room for a family, as the upgrade isn not deductible.

Other fees:

Any kind of travel tends to rack up several incidental costs – taxi fares, Internet access fees, phone calls, tips, laundry charges. If these are in any way business-related, you can do a business travel write off, including seminar and conference fees.

Track everything:

This part of tax law is where lots of abuse takes place. That means, the IRS is likely to ask you to justify your deductions. So if you travel for business, keep meticulous records. You will want to keep receipts and anything that helps prove your business purpose like itineraries, agendas, and programs.

Bottom line?

If you like the idea of budget travel, learn what’s tax deductible. Remember to be reasonable. Don’t overdo it, otherwise you’ll be asking for an audit! Don’t claim a vacation was a “business trip” just because you kept up with work emails or popped into a branch office in Orlando on the way to Disney.

Let us help you keep all your business accounting and payroll in order every month. Contact us today and let’s start talking! We specialize in small businesses in Canton, Woodstock, Marietta, Roswell and Alpharetta, GA.