Tax Planning Strategy 168 | Business Trips for Employees and Spouses
Business travel involves being away from home for at least one night for business purposes. This is to be contrasted with other types of private travel such as for leisure purposes or regularly commuting between one’s home and workplace. Reasons for business trips include visiting customers or suppliers, meetings at other company locations, professional development and attending seminars, networking, etc.
Where the business travel is partly for business purposes and partly for private purposes (say a holiday), then the expenses will need to be apportioned. This is normally done on a time basis by working out how many days in the trip relate to business purposes, and how many private.
Business travel days include:
- Travel days.
- Weekend days which are sandwiched between business days.
- Days where more than 50% of the day was spent on business activities.
Strategies to increase travel deductions and add more fun:
- Hire your spouse. If they are involved in the business and there is a legitimate business reason for them being on the business trip then their expenses will also be deductible.
- Attend seminars and conferences interstate and overseas. Hawaii, Las Vegas, London, California are always popular!
Take your business car for family travel. A business trip that involves taking along family members in the car will still be a business trip and the motor vehicle expenses 100% deductible.
A travel diary is required to be kept where the overseas travel is greater than six nights. In addition, a travel diary is required for local travel where the trip is not exclusively for business purposes i.e. part private purposes.
"You’d be stupid not to try to cut your tax bill and those that don’t are stupid in business"
- Bono: U2