What Business Travel Expenses Are Deductible?

By Robert Palmer

Business travel expenses are the costs incurred by employees for trips taken on behalf of their employer. These expenses may include transportation, meals, lodging, and other related costs. Business travel expenses can be deducted from taxable income if they meet certain criteria.

To be eligible for a deduction, the travel must be considered “ordinary and necessary” for the business. This means that the trip must be directly related to the business’s operations and not simply a personal vacation or pleasure trip. The expense must also be reasonable in amount, meaning it is not excessive compared to similar trips.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) allows deductions for certain transportation costs associated with business travel. These include airfare, car rentals, taxis/rideshares, and train tickets.

In addition, tolls and parking fees are also deductible if they are incurred during business trips.

Meals are generally deductible when taken while away on a business trip. However, only 50 percent of meal expenses can be claimed as a deduction. This includes meals with clients or other individuals related to the business as well as meals taken alone while traveling for work.

Lodging is often required when traveling for work and is deductible from taxable income. The cost of hotel rooms or rental units may be deducted as long as they are considered reasonable in terms of price and quality.

Other expenses may also qualify as deductible business travel costs depending on the situation. These may include items such as dry cleaning bills, internet access fees, phone bills, tips paid to service personnel during a trip, and any other expenses that are deemed necessary for conducting business.


Business travel expenses can provide significant tax savings to employers if they meet certain criteria set forth by the Internal Revenue Service. Eligible expenses include transportation costs such as airfare and car rentals; meals; lodging; tolls; parking fees; internet access fees; telephone bills; dry cleaning bills; and tips paid to service personnel during a trip.