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Small Business Travel Expenses Soar: Report

By Betty Wang, JD on August 07, 2013 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Small business travel expenses have soared higher than big business travel expenses, according to a new report. That could mean big deductions for your company come tax time.

On average, small businesses spend 24 percent more per year on travel expenses than their big-business counterparts, according to Concur, a business travel and expense management company that recently issued its "Expense IQ Report" for 2013.

Where is all that money going?

Big Ticket Items

According to Concur, here's how small business travel expenses add up:

  • Hotels: Small business travelers spent $736.69 on average for hotels per quarter in 2012, while employees from larger companies spent, on average, $732.59 per quarter.
  • Car rentals: Small business travelers spent $143.04 per quarter, on average, in 2012, while larger companies only spent $91.31.
  • Airfare: Small business travelers paid an average of $832.55 per flier in 2012, while larger businesses spent an average of $732.59 per traveler.
  • Dining and entertainment: Employees from smaller businesses spent an average of $340.60 on dining and $295.24 on entertainment each quarter in 2012, while larger businesses reported an average of $289.23 and $168.62 for dining and entertainment costs, respectively.

Travel Expenses Can Be Tax-Deductible

While your small business may spend more or less on travel than what's listed in Concur's report, remember that you may be able to deduct much of these travel expenses in your business taxes.

Deductible travel expenses are defined, under the Internal Revenue Code, as those that are ordinary and necessary expenses for traveling away from one's tax home or workplace/business.

These commonly will include expenses like lodging, airfare (that you've paid for, not that you get for free with frequent flier miles), meals and other necessary costs incurred while away on business, including mileage and gas expenses.

To learn more about the tax consequences of your business travel expenses, it may be wise to consult an experienced tax lawyer near you.

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