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For business travelers, deducting travel expenses can be a great way to lower your income tax amount. Although there are some great allowable tax deductions available for business travel, the traveling businessperson needs to be aware that there are certain rules under federal income tax law defining the scope of these allowable deductions.
Deductible travel expenses are those which are ordinary and necessary expenses for traveling away from home for trade or business.
Essentially, if we're painting with large brush-strokes, you can deduct travel expenses when they are made pursuant to a work-related necessity and they are away from your usual place of business.
Keep records. Try to have a journal where you log your expenses. Separate your expenses (i.e., food, lodging, transportation) and keep track of each one meticulously.
The trip must be primarily for business reasons. If it is primarily for personal reasons, you can't deduct the cost of the travel to-and-from. You can, however, still deduct the business related expenses you incur. If the travel is primarily for business but also for personal reasons, you can deduct the portion of your travel expense (your plane ticket, for example) that is allocable to the business purpose.
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.