Vacations are fun and usually for your personal pleasure.  However, sometimes you use part of your vacation to explore or expand your business opportunities.  If you do this, and keep good records, you will be able to write off at least part of your vacation.

To define your business part:

  1. Record where you go and why, the business reason.
  2. Record whom you meet with and where.  Get business cards and/or brochures.
  3. If you are attending a conference, keep your paperwork.  If the conference is the reason you are going and you spend an extra day or two, the entire trip may be deductible.
  4. If you take your spouse or family with you, you can only write off your portion of the trip unless they work in the business.

It is very important to show that you were working on your business so the more materials, addresses and names that you have the better.  Photos can be helpful as well; for example, if you are a realtor looking for houses to sell.

Discussing these issues with your tax consultant BEFORE your trip can help make compliance much easier than trying to go back and get the documentation later.

Sandra Vincent, The Bookkeeping Company