Tax Deductible Business Travel Expenses

(a part of our Self Employed Tax Guide)

It is imperative that you plan your trips so that you can gain the maximum deduction. The same as other costs of doing business, you’ll be able to receive income tax deductions for travel expenditures which you incur in providing services to clients.

As a self-employed business owner, you might only deduct your travel expenses if the business travel expenses can be defined as ordinary in nature and essential for providing services to your small bussiness’ customer. Costs the Internal Revenue Service may deem extravagant adn lavish, don’t qualify for the deduction. While not an absolute guarantee, these subsequent business travel expenses are often deductible:

Laundry costs occurred in business travel. 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.

The day-in-day-out commute between your residence and the office is in the eyes of the IRS a personal expense.

Deductible travel expenses demand that you travel more than just a short distance from your business location to provide service to a customer. This will usually mean you must go beyond the city in which your business is located or, for smaller towns, you’ll have to leave the general surrounding area. Usually, travel expenses are eligible for a tax deduction when you’ve travelled far on long enough that requires you must stay at a hotel.

It is allowable to deduct for business travel expenses incurred while servicing clients away from your tax home. However, if you provide services at a client’s location for an indefinite period of time or for over a year, you cannot claim the deduction. Maintaining exact records is key. Establish this practice to ensure easier tax prep, and confirm all tax deductions you claim on your return.

Additional information on travel expenses and deductions are at www.irs.gov in Publication 463 (Travel, Entertainment, Gift and Car Expenses). You might also want to talk with your CPA to devise a tax plan.

Redmond CPAAbout Redmond CPA
Redmond CPA+John Huddleston has written extensively on tax related subjects of interest to small business owners. He is a graduate of Washington State University and the University of Washington School of Law.

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