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TAX TALK: Combining Business and Vacation Travel: What Can You Deduct?

Posted by Hal Zemel, CPA, J.D., LL.M. on Aug 22, 2016 1:00:00 PM
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Mixing business and pleasure? If you go on a business trip within the United States and tack on some vacation days, you can deduct some of your expenses.

Here’s a quick list as to what you can deduct:

  • Transportation costs to and from the location of your business activity. But business must come first: If vacation is the primary reason for your travel, then generally no transportation expenses are deductible.
  • Costs for rail travel or the use of your personal car.
  • Other out-of-pocket expenses, such as lodging, hotel tips, meals (subject to the 50% disallowance rule), seminar and convention fees, and cab fare.

Remember, these deductions are allowed as long as the primary purpose of your travel is for business.

Here’s a quick list as to what counts as a business travel day:

  • All days devoted to business, including weekends and holidays if they fall between days devoted to business.
  • Standby days when your physical presence is required, even if you are not called upon to work.
  • Days when you intended to work but could not due to reasons beyond your control (transportation delays, etc.).

You should be able to claim business as the primary reason for a domestic trip if business days exceed personal days. But documentation is key – keep your receipts to include with your tax file.

Questions? Contact me at HZemel@berdonllp.com or your Berdon advisor if you want more information about business travel deductions.

Hal Zemel, a Tax Principal at Berdon LLP, New York Accountants, has more than 20 years in public accounting and advises businesses in the real estate, service, and manufacturing sectors.

Topics: TAX TALK

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