IRS information to help all business travelers properly claim travel expense tax write-offs.
Business travel deductions are available when employees must travel away from their tax home or main place of work for business reasons. A taxpayer is traveling away from home if they are away for longer than an ordinary day’s work and they need to sleep to meet the demands of their work while away.
Travel expenses must be ordinary and necessary, and can’t be lavish, extravagant or for personal purposes. Employers can deduct travel expenses paid or incurred during a temporary work assignment if the assignment length does not exceed one year. Travel expenses for conventions are deductible if attendance benefits the business. There are special rules for conventions held outside North America.
Self-employed individuals or farmers with travel deductions
- Those who are self-employed can deduct travel expenses on Schedule C (Form 1040), Profit or Loss From Business (Sole Proprietorship).
- Farmers can use Schedule F (Form 1040), Profit or Loss From Farming.
Travel deductions for the National Guard or military reserves
National Guard or military reserve service members can claim a deduction for unreimbursed travel expenses paid during the performance of their duty.
Well-organized records make it easier to prepare a tax return. Keep records such as receipts, canceled checks and other documents that support a deduction.