Earlier in the week the Roni Deutch Tax Center – Tax Help Blog posted a new entry in their deduction of the week series. The new article explains the travel and meal deductions available for business owners and self-employed taxpayers. You can find an excerpt of the entry below, or click here to sign up to the Tax Help Blog RSS feed.
Travel Expenses = Fully Deductible
All travel expenses that you incur as a small-business owner are tax deductible. This includes the cost of travel (plane fare, train tickets, etc.) as well as hotel charges, rental cars, taxi fares, tipping the bellboy, and even dry cleaning fees while traveling.
Food & Meals
As with typical meal and entertainment deductions, you can only write off 50% of your meal expenses. However, when you are traveling for business you do not need to be entertaining a client in order to claim the deduction. You can deduct the 50% of all food purchased, including room service, fast food, and even meals from expensive restaurants.
According to the IRS, “you cannot deduct expenses that are lavish or extravagant or that are for personal purposes.” Additionally in order to qualify as a travel deduction you must be “away from the general area of your home for a period substantially longer than an ordinary day's work.”
Claiming the Deduction