Business Travel Tips - When Dealing With Business Travel Expenses

These business travel tips will approach the topic of business travel expenses in general terms. You must always follow your local laws and regulations and seek professional advice as applicable.

Business travel expenses are cost that occurs while you are travelling on business. Sounds simple enough... but unfortunately it isn't. When is the cost of a trip deductible as allowable business expenses? Can you deduct all the cost of getting there and while there? What if you take your family with you?

What Are Business Travel Expenses?

The first golden rule of business travel expenses is that they must be ordinary and necessary. This leaves some room for interpretations but in principal its typical travel expenses that you need to incur in order to operate your existing business or to satisfy your job duties.

Secondly your business travel expenses must be reasonable. This again leaves some room for interpretations as first class flights and limousines can be very reasonable for some but not for others.

The business travel tips remind you that the expenses must be for business purposes only. Like expenser incurred in order to gain new customers or meet current customers, or to seek new investors, etc.

Allowable business expenses must be incurred for an existing business only, i.e. you can't deduct travel expenses related to acquiring or starting a new business. Those travel expenses should be treated as part of the capitalized startup cost.

When you travel on business internationally then all your travel expenses related to getting to and from your business destination are deductible. If you spend part of your time abroad on personal business then you must check if you are can deduct all your travel expenses or if you must allocate them proportionally between business and private expense.

When you travel on business domestically it makes difference if your travel includes an overnight stay away from your tax home or not. If it doesn't include an overnight stay then it's considered a local same day business excursion and you must make sure your trip qualifies as such, i.e. must be a reasonable distance from your tax home and for clear business purposes.

Your tax home is generally the entire area where your main place of business or work is located, regardless of where you maintain your family home. So if you live in one place and work in another then your travel cost is not for business purposes.

You might want to combine travelling for business and pleasure. That's fine as long as you know what allowable business expenses is and what isn't. Business travel tips reminds you that all tax authorities do look out for taxpayers that might be tempted to classify a nondeductible personal trip as a deductible business trip so always make sure you follow your local rules to the letter.

Normally you can deduct your travelling expenses to and from the destination only if the trip is primarily related to your business. If your trip is primarily personal in nature than you can't deduct any of your airfare, accommodation and other travelling expenses... even if you engage in some business activities while there. You can however deduct any particular normal business expenses you incur while there and are directly related to your business, i.e. taxi fare for your business appointment.

It's the facts and circumstances that decide if your trip is primarily for business or pleasure. The amount you spend on your business activities compared to your private activities is usually the deciding factor. Always play by the rules.

Few Practical Business Travel Tips

Keep your records up to date and in perfect manner. In order to claim business travel expenses you must keep adequate records of your travels and be able to show the invoices and prove the existence, amount, and business purposes of your expenses.

Business travel tips recommend keeping all business receipts in one place when travelling, you might want to use a special wallet or envelop for them.

Make a habit of organizing / claiming your business expenses as soon as you get back. That way you are less likely to lose any receipts or mix your expenses up with your next business trip.

Asa Gislason and her husband are the founders of, a website that offers relevant, accurate and practical international travel tips and advice. Their focus is to provide you with relevant travel information that can save you both time and money when planning your next trip. They also provide information about products and services that can enrich your travel experience even further.