Business travel can be costly. Hotel bills, airfare or train tickets, cab fare, public transportation – it can all add up fast. The good news is business travelers may be able off-set some of those cost by claiming business travel deductions when they file their taxes.
Business travel deductions are available when employees must travel away from their tax home or main place of work for business reasons. The travel period must be substantially longer than an ordinary day's work and a need for sleep or rest to meet the demands the work while away.
Travel expenses must be ordinary and necessary. They 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 and there are special rules for conventions held outside North America.
Deductible travel expenses while away from home include the costs of:
Travel by airplane, train, bus or car between your home and your business destination
Fares for taxis or other types of transportation between an airport or train station to a hotel, from a hotel to a work location
Shipping of baggage and sample or display material between regular and temporary work locations
Using a personally owned car for business which can include an increase in mileage rates
Lodging and non-entertainment-related meals
Dry cleaning and laundry
Business calls and communication
Tips paid for services related to any of these expenses
Other similar ordinary and necessary expenses related to the business travel
Self-employed 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.