Business Travel Expenses

Stephen Ganns,, discusses tax deductions for business travel.Employees and business owners alike have the luxury of being able to deduct certain travel expenses that are incurred in their field. Basically, travel expenses fall into one of two types:

  1. Local Transportation
  2. Overnight Travel

Local transportation refers to daily travel around the city or area you work in to meet clients or go from jobsite to jobsite.

In order to determine whether travel away from home is deductible, you must first establish what is called your “tax home.” Your tax home is the entire city or general area where you maintain your place of business, or where your work is located.

When you must travel outside the “tax home” area and that travel requires a sleepover, (a time for you to rest in order to perform your job), these travel expenses can be deductible:

  • Travel to the destination, whether by plane, bus, train, or your own car
  • Transportation while at the location including your car, taxis, trains or buses
  • Lodging
  • Meals
  • Tips for the services related to any of the above expenses
  • Dry cleaning and laundry service
  • Equipment rental such as LED projectors, computers, etc.
  • Shipping of any supplies such as baggage or display materials that you will need

As with any business deduction, it is extremely important that you keep receipts and checks or credit card statements that show you paid for those expenses. Also, it is important that you keep a log (in your outlook calendar, for instance) of the business purpose for the travel.

Meals are a special category in that you do not have to necessarily keep receipts them. There is a per diem amount that the IRS allows, depending on the city that you are in. (Per Diem Allowance Reference)

Business travel expenses can be deductible for you and for any other employees who are away on business with you. However, spouses, children, friends, or significant others who accompany you on the business trip are not necessarily deductible. There are some instances where they could be, but those are few and far between. Look for a future blog on that topic.

Do you have a question about whether a travel expense is deductible or not? Please give me a call and let me help you determine that.

Stephen J. GannsStephen J. Ganns, CPA


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