Can my business pay for my trip/travel within the United States?

Well, you can typically deduct all travel and business-related expenses if the travel is 100% business in nature.  For example, when I go to Indianapolis for a couple of days of CPE, that is all deductible (there is nothing more exciting than a room full of accountants learning about the latest trends in depreciation).

But what happens if there is a mixture?  For example, what happens if I had a business activity in New Orleans which lasts 3 days (Wednesday, Thursday and Friday) but then I wanted to stay the weekend (an extra 2 days) to enjoy the city (Zombie, Vampire and Ghost tours).

Well, here you go:

  1. ALL of the transportation getting to and coming home from New York is deductible,
  2. ALL of the business-related expenses for the days in which I had business activities would be deductible (meals are still at 50% of course),
  3. The expenses for the days in which had no substantial business activity would NOT be deductible.

What would happen though, if I was on a very clear personal vacation and I conducted business?

Well, the trip is still personal and generally non-deductible.  However, any expense that I incurred for business while on that vacation would be deductible.  For example, if there were some documents which needed signatures immediately and I incurred some printing/faxing fees, those fees would be deductible.

There is a saying in the accounting profession:  pigs get fat and hogs get slaughtered.

Remember, these rules only apply to travel within the United States.  The rules for travel outside of the United States are much more complicated and are totally outside the scope of a blog post.

Please let us know if you have any questions and have a great day!

Brent Bracht



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