Business Trips vs. Vacations

Charlene M. Ives, CPA, PC

Charlene M. Ives, CPA, PC

A business trip or convention must be connected to your business, meaning that the primary purpose is of a business as opposed to a personal nature. You can\'t deduct, for example, the entire cost of a trip that only involves one client phone call and the rest of the time spent on the beach.

If your business trip qualifies as a necessary and reasonable business expense, you can deduct the cost of travel and lodging, and 1/2 the cost of your meals. Personal activities will compromise your ability to deduct these expenses. You cannot deduct the cost of a spouse or other family members\' expenses, unless they are employees of your business and there is a business purpose for their travel.

If you go on cruise ship convention, you can only deduct the cost of the convention if the cruise involves a United State flagship and all ports of call are in the U.S. There is a $2,000 annual limit on deductions, and you must attach a statement to your tax return that includes details about the convention (purpose of the convention, relevance to your business).

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