Which Travel Expenses are Eligible for Tax Deductions
It is imperative for you to plan your travel so that you may maximize your write-offs. Similar to other costs of doing business, it is possible to receive deductions for some of the business travel expenditures which you incur in providing services to clients.
Expenses that could be considered unnecessary will not qualify for deduction. You can solely deduct business travel costs if the costs are ordinary in nature and necessary for servicing the customer. Consider the following commonly deductible travel expenses:
Transportation costs incurred while travelling from your personal home to the client site; fuel and other automotive costs you pay while working at the client’s location; meals and hotel costs.
Your everyday commute between your residence and work is for purposes of taxation a personal expense.
You will need to journey a substantial distance in order to claim deductions for your travel expenses. During a trip, you have to depart from your “tax home,” i.e. your main workplace. And, you will need to travel more than a short distance from your workplace in order to meet a client. This most often means that you have to travel outside the city where your office is found or, for smaller towns, the general greater area. You must commute for such a amount of time that you’re away from your tax home for more than a usual work day. In general, this will mean that you have travelled far enough that you’ll have to rest or even stay through the night.
It is permissible to deduct travel costs incurred while providing your services away from your tax home. However, if you provide services at a client’s location for an indefinite amount of time or for over a year, you can’t claim the tax deduction.Keeping detailed records is key. Establish this practice to ensure easier tax prep, and support the travel expense deductions you claim on your return.
Additional info on travel expense deductions can be found at www.irs.gov (Travel, Entertainment, Gift and Car Expenses). Consult your CPA for specific, case-by-case answers.