Skip to main content

Is Travel Deductible When It Is For Both Business and Personal Purposes?

Can you deduct your travel expenses for a trip where you combine business and personal activities? The answer of course is it depends on facts and circumstances.  It depends in part on where you travel to, how long you were there, what you did on the trip, etc. Your trip may be entirely business related or "considered entirely for business" if you pass a test for an exception.  

In many cases, you will need to figure the percentage of your trip that was for business versus personal and you may be able to deduct the business portion of your trip based on the IRS directions for the calculation of the percentage.  Then the worst-case scenario is if your trip was primarily for personal reasons and the business portion was incidental then none of your trip may be deductible.  So again, if your trip or a portion of it is deductible for business purposes depends on facts and circumstances.  

The details of the consideration of business travel expenses are included in IRS publication 463 and I am sure in other publications too.  An entire consideration of the subject consists of 50 pages in the IRS publication 463 so it is too much for a single blog post.  Who would have thought travel would be so complicated?  Well now you know.

You probably don't want to read the 50 page IRS publication 463 but just in case here is a link to it: 

By the way, you might want to put yourself in the shoes of an IRS auditor when considering your deductions for travel.  An auditor might want to see your pictures from your trip but he will definitely ask to see your records to substantiate the business portion of your travel.  So make sure you keep good and detailed records of your trip and of all your business expenses.

Before you take that part business part personal trip you ought to have a conversation with your CPA, or me the CPA Superhero, to figure out how much of the trip you will be able to deduct if any.  I would be happy to help you with your business and your taxes and your travel expense deduction issues.  Please don't hesitate to contact me using my information below.

Contact the CPA Superhero for help with your business and your life goals. For over thirty years I have worked with many different successful and unsuccessful business owners and that experience has given me unique insight that you can tap into as one of my clients. So email me at to arrange an initial conversation to discuss your situation. Remember, while taxes and business are complicated, I have been through it numerous times and I can help you. So contact me today.

Jeff Haywood, CPA
The CPA Superhero
The above information is general information and is not all inclusive and as always in your tax situation everything "depends on facts and circumstances." So call me to talk about your specific facts and circumstances.

Popular posts from this blog

The Dreaded IRS Audit...The Reality

Updated May 31, 2018

There is a fear of an IRS audit.  People have heard all kinds of stories and have many ideas about what will cause an audit and how to avoid it.  For example some fear that taking a deduction that they are entitled to will make them the target of an IRS audit.  I have also heard clients say both that filing on time will prevent an audit and also that filing an extension will avoid an audit.  So what is the reality of IRS audits.  

Who gets audited and why
The IRS audits aroud 1% of tax returns they receive.  That sounds like random selection but there are things that increase your chances of selection.  Ordinary taxpayers with ordinary income and deductions if audited are usually just a random and very unlikely selection.  In fact none of my cleints that can be described this way have ever been randomly selected for an audit.  Most audits are triggered by the unusual or areas of suspect by the IRS.  The IRS itself indicates there are randomly selected audits but m…

Who Is Watching Your Business? Someone Is. Hopefully It Is You.

Who Is Watching Your Business A few employees from the office went out together for dinner and a movie. It was interesting when the charges at a local restaurant and movie theater showed up on the next business credit card bill. It was reported to me as suspicious and I took it to the owner. Upon investigation it looked like the employees from the office had charged their night out on a company credit card. But how did they do that? Had the owner given them permission? No, he had not. It was discovered that one of the accountants had, without authorization, requested an additional credit card which she used for personal expenses.

Later, at tax time, a local tax-preparer called to ask about an employee's W-2. I could not give information about an employees salary but the preparer found two things interesting. One, some one from the firm I worked for would come to him to have their taxes done rather than have them done in house. Second, the salary and of course the taxes withheld s…

Year End Tax Moves to Reduce Business Profits

Here are some tax planning strategies to help you reduce profits for the year and thus reduce the taxes you will pay you. (Keep in mind if you want to accelerate profit into this year do the opposite of the strategies listed below)

Delay Revenue If your business is an accrual basis tax reporting business delay sending out invoices until next year. For a cash basis tax reporting business delay receipt of income. You may need to call people you have already invoiced to request that they make sure you don't receive their payment before the year end. In reality they can send you a payment before year end and you could receive it after year end so this could benefit both you and your clients/customers.

Accelerate Expenses On the Expense side for an accrual basis tax reporting business make sure you enter all the bills you receive before year-end and make sure they are dated this year. For a cash basis tax reporting business pay as many bills by year-end as possible. If cash is tight m…