Can my business pay for my cruise?

My family and I took a cruise this summer and it was awesome.  We went to a lot of different places and ate and drank too much.  We started at Miami, went all around the Caribbean and came back to Miami.  My little girl swam with dolphins, we snorkeled and zip lined.  I also read a lot (I read Stephen King’s IT—that’s around 1,000 pages…).

So, during the cruise I was curious: if there was a seminar during the cruise I attended, would I be able to have my business pay for all or part of the cruise…

Here’s the skinny on the deductibility of cruise ships that include a business activity:

  1. There is a $2,000 maximum deduction amount per year,
  2. The seminar/meeting must be directly related to my business (I cannot take a gardening seminar and claimed it helped me with my accounting career),
  3. The cruise ship must be registered with the United States,
  4. All of the port of calls must be in the United States or possessions of the United States,
  5. You have to attached a statement with the tax return with details on the trip (i.e. total days of the voyage, # of hours per day for the business activity, a program of the scheduled business activity),
  6. You also have to have a statement signed by an officer or sponsoring group which conducted the business activity which includes: a schedule of business activities for each day and the # of hours you attended the business activity.

So, while it’s not impossible to deduct a cruise which had some business activity, there are a lot of hoops you have to go through and rules you must follow.

Brent Bracht



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