Tax Benefits of Pleasure in Business Travel 

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The summer months often mean business travel and if the destination is a city with a historic downtown or near a beach or lake, your clients may want to tack a few vacation days onto the end of the trip.

In the case of mixing in leisure time with business travel, you can still write off the majority of your expenses while you’re away, as long as you do it the right way. However, if the IRS declares a business trip to actually be a vacation in disguise, they could loss the write-off completely – even if they spend some of the time away on business matters.   

The Basic Tax Deductions

For travel within the U.S., the basic tax deductions are relatively straightforward. If the primary purpose of travel is related to business, you can deduct 100 percent of your qualified expenses – including airfare or other costs for getting there and back – plus 50 percent of business meals. Although the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) eliminates the 50 percent deduction for entertainment and meal expenses allowed under prior law, most tax experts believe this repeal doesn’t apply to your own meals while traveling away from home on business.  

Note that other special rules apply to travel to foreign countries. In this limited space, we’ll stick to a discussion of domestic business trips.

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About Ken Berry

Ken Berry

Ken Berry, Esq., is a nationally known writer and editor specializing in tax, financial, and legal matters. During his long career, he has served as managing editor of a publisher of content-based marketing tools and vice president of an online continuing education company. As a freelance writer, Ken has authored thousands of articles for a wide variety of newsletters, magazines, and other periodicals.           


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