Plan a Deductible Summer Vacation

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My annual travel itinerary includes at least one totally tax-deductible vacation. I attend a conference held by the National Association of Tax Professionals in a different U.S. city each year .

Over the years I have visited cities from coast to coast as a registrant of this annual event, and have deducted every penny of my hotel, meal and travel expenses.

You can deduct expenses that are “ordinary” and “necessary” for your trade, business or profession. One “ordinary and necessary” business expense is the cost of education that is (1) expressly required by an employer, by law or by government regulation, or (2) maintains or improves skills required in your current trade or business. If attending a conference will provide education to improve your job skills, the associated registration and travel expenses are deductible.

To be deductible, you must show that your attendance benefits your job or business. If the convention is for investment, political, social or other purposes unrelated to your job or business, you cannot deduct the expenses.

Deductible expenses include:

  • The registration fee and books or materials.
  • Round-trip transportation. If you drive you can claim the standard mileage allowance.
  • Taxi fares to and from the airport, train or bus station.
  • Hotel lodging expenses, including tips to bellmen and maids and the cost of laundry services.
  • All meals (although only 50% is deductible).

After I deduct my travel expenses, I often save enough in taxes to cover the registration fee and some of the travel expenses. I get a free quality education, which benefits my practice, and I save on the actual cost of the trip.

New Jersey tax pro Robert D. Flach has been preparing 1040s for individuals since 1972.

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