Jobe Dupre’, CPA

Here are four ways to make your required business travel a little less stressful:

Saturday night stay-overs:  Your out-of-town business chores conclude on Friday and you would like to extend your business trip to take advantage of a low-priced fare requiring a Saturday night stay-over.  The IRS says that if the savings in airfare are higher than the costs of the weekend meals and lodging, then you can deduct your Saturday meal and lodging expenses.

When a personal day may not be a personal day:  An away-from-home business trip may straddle a weekend. For example, you may have to attend business meetings on Thursday, Friday, and Monday. You are too far away to travel home and then come back, so you spend the weekend relaxing at the out-of-town location. Because you must remain at the location for business reasons, the weekend days should be treated as business days for which the expenses are deductible.

Tax break for weekend travel home:  You are on an extended out-of-town assignment and decide to fly home for a weekend to be with family or friends. The cost of the weekend trip home is deductible up to the amount you would have spent on meals and lodging at the out-of-town location.

Tax breaks when spouse or companion comes along:  Your spouse’s or other companion’s travel expenses will more than likely not be deductible, but a tax benefit may still be salvaged from traveling together. This is because your deduction isn’t based on 50% of the trip expenses. Your deduction is based on what it would have cost you to travel alone. This rule can be a huge money saver on accommodations. For example, the cost of a hotel room is $200 whether you have one occupant or two therefore, the entire cost of the hotel room is deductible.  Similarly, where you travel out of town on business via rental car, and your spouse or other companion accompanies you for non-business purposes, the entire cost of the rental is deductible, because the cost would have been the same for the taxpayer even if his spouse did not join him on the trip.

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