There are a huge number of business deductions that people should be able to take off their taxes – when they’re legitimate. Unfortunately, a lot of people try to take them when they aren’t legitimate, so the IRS will generally scrutinize these deductions more closely to make sure they’re on the up and up! The first tax-write off the IRS will look at?
This is a write-off that can be confusing because it’s difficult to know just where to draw the line. Yes, you can deduct the actual travel expenses, gas, flights, hotel, rental cars, and 50 percent of the meals and entertainment on that trip – if the travel is reasonably related to your business. Can you deduct the cost of taking a client to see a show in San Francisco when you’re traveling there for business? Yes, as long as you justify it as a business expense. What about taking your husband or wife along? No, unless – your spouse is a partner or employee of your business and attended the same meetings, conversations, etc. as you did. Then the same thing applies for his/her travel expenses and meals.
How to do it right – bring an envelope, or better – take an envelope from the stationary that’s in your hotel room, and put all your receipts from that trip in it. Label the envelope with a name and date to help you remember the trip. The more accurate your records are, the more likely the IRS will accept them if you’re audited.