Travel: Deducting Expenses for Business Travel

Deducting Expenses for Business Travel

There is a lot of confusion about writing off business travel expenses. The rules for deducting domestic travel are not that complicated. But when you combine business and personal activities, the travel-related expenses are only deductible if the trip is primarily for business (this is for domestic travel only -- foreign travel has different rules). Start by comparing the number of days you spend on business and the number of days you spend on personal activities. Generally, a "business day" is one in which you work more than four hours (this includes travel time or a combination of work and travel). 
You can deduct 100% of your transportation expenses to and from your destination if you have more business days than personal days. And you can also deduct the costs of sustaining life for each of the business days (food, lodging and sundries). Keep in mind that meals are always subject to the 50% deductible rule.
Deductr’s time-tracking feature makes record keeping for business vs. personal days easy!   
The question that naturally follows is how you handle the expenses of bringing your non-employee spouse and/or other family members on the trip. You can only deduct the amounts that you would have incurred if you were traveling alone. So if the hotel room is the same for single or double occupancy, you can deduct the entire cost even if your spouse was there.

(Note: Consult with your tax professional to see if this pertains to your current circumstances.)
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