Can I Claim Travel as a Business Expense?

By Michael Ferguson

Travel is a necessary part of doing business. Whether it’s to attend conferences and seminars, meet with clients or suppliers, or check out locations for expansion opportunities, every business needs to invest in travel expenses. But can you claim travel costs on your tax returns?

The answer is yes – you may be able to deduct certain travel expenses from your business income if they are deemed ‘ordinary and necessary’. This means that the costs must be reasonable for the type of business you are running and directly related to your profession.

The cost of airfare, hotel accommodations, meals and car rental are all examples of deductible travel expenses. If it was an overnight trip, then the hotel room will qualify as a legitimate expense.

Any meals purchased while traveling can also be deducted, as long as they meet the IRS guidelines for ‘reasonable’ amounts. Be sure to keep any receipts or invoices as proof in case of an audit.

If you drive your own vehicle for business related trips, you may also be able to deduct some of your fuel costs. However, there are restrictions on how much you can deduct based on the current federal mileage rate.

Mileage outside the United States is not eligible for deduction either. Additionally, if you choose to use public transportation over driving your own vehicle, then any associated fares will typically qualify as a deductible expense.

Reimbursable Expenses: Some employers will reimburse employees for their travel expenses if they were incurred for approved business activities. Reimbursable expenses are not subject to taxation since they have already been paid in full by the employer – so make sure to check with your employer first before claiming any deductions on your taxes!

Conclusion: Ultimately, determining whether or not you can claim travel as a business expense depends on what type of expense it was and if it fits within the IRS guidelines for “ordinary and necessary” expenses. Generally speaking though, most airfare, hotel stays and meals associated with business trips should be eligible for deduction – just make sure that you keep receipts or invoices handy in case of an audit!