Including Your Travel Budget in Your Taxes

September 8, 2017

“I need a vacation.” What working professional hasn’t heard that refrain echoed off the hallways of his or her office building nearly every day? The trouble is, needing time away from work and actually being able to afford it are two entirely different things. However, whenever your will to get away is high yet your travel budget is low, you can always try to plan a working vacation.

Now wait a minute: Isn’t the purpose of a vacation to get away from work? While yes, you may be looking to escape some of the stresses of the office, the best CPA firms in Los Angeles will also tell you that being able to deduct some of your vacation expenses from your taxes relieves many of the concerns you may have over the cost of traveling. You just need to know how to plan your vacation accordingly.

Planning a Working Vacation

Here are some tips that allow you to turn personal travel into a working vacation:

• Plan business meetings before you go: The IRS only allows deductions for travel for which the business purpose has been established prior to you leaving.

• Schedule meetings accordingly: Weekends in between appointments count as business days (as do travel days). Thus, if you leave on Thursday, meet with clients on Friday and Monday, and return on Tuesday, the expenses from all six days are deductible, including:

• Transportation

• Lodging

• Meals (up to 50 percent)

• Optimize your family travel: While only your expenses are deductible, you can still get some of your family’s travel costs included in your deductions. If you drive rather than fly, all of your fuel costs are covered (as opposed to the cost of just your plane ticket). The same is true if you all stay in the same hotel room.

Let Our Expertise Assist You

We all worry whenever the time for Los Angeles tax preparation rolls around about whether we’re doing everything appropriately so as to avoid added scrutiny from the IRS. Trying to include your vacation expenses amongst your deductions can amplify those concerns (especially if you’ve never done it before). Not to worry; as professional Encino tax consultants, we here at Wallace & Associates can help ensure your tax data is formatted and submitted correctly (yes, even with your eligible vacation costs). To find out how, just give us a call at 818.995.2928.