Deductions For Business Travel Expenses

If you travel away from home overnight on business, you can deduct these travel expenses:

  • Airline, train, or bus fares — This includes first-class.
  • Operation and maintenance of an automobile, like:
    • Actual expenses or standard mileage rate
    • Business-related tolls and parking

You might rent a car while you’re away from home on business. If you do, you can deduct only the business-use portion of the expenses. To learn more, see the Car and Truck Expenses tax tip.

  • Taxi, commuter bus, and airport limousine fares for transportation:
    • To and from the airport or station
    • From one customer to another
    • From one place of business to another
  • Transportation from your temporary lodging to your temporary work assignment
  • Baggage charges and transportation costs for sample and display materials
  • Lodging and meals. If the meal is related to business, you can deduct 50% of the cost of:
    • Your own meal
    • Another person’s meal

To learn more, see the Meals and Entertainment tax tip.

  • Dry cleaning and laundry expenses
  • Phone, fax, and Internet expenses
  • Tips relating to deductible travel expenses
  • Other expenses, like public stenographer’s fees or computer rental fees

You can’t deduct expenses if they’re lavish or extravagant.

If your trip is mainly for business but includes some personal activities, you can deduct these expenses:

  • Travel expenses to and from the business destination
  • Food and lodging during the business portion of the stay

However, if the trip is mainly for personal reasons, you can’t deduct those expenses. This is true even if you conduct some business at the destination. You can deduct business expenses you incur at the destination, regardless of the purpose of the trip.

If you attend a convention that benefits or advances your business, you can also deduct appropriate expenses. These include:

  • Round-trip travel
  • Meals and lodging
  • Tips
  • Display costs

Travel outside the United States

You can deduct the cost of travel outside the United States if your entire trip is devoted to business activities. You could take a trip mainly for business, but engage in some personal activities there. If so, you have to prorate travel costs between your business and personal activities. Prorated costs include meals and lodging en route.

You can’t deduct expenses for travel as a form of education. Ex: If you’re a professor of Asian history, you can’t deduct the cost of a tour of Japan, even though the trip will enhance your lectures.

Special rules apply for conventions held outside the North American area and on cruise ships.

To learn more, see Publication 463: Travel, Entertainment, Gift, and Car Expenses at www.irs.gov.

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