To maximize the deduction for travel expenses, keep in mind the expenses that generally can be deducted while traveling away from home:
· Transportation fares or the actual costs (or a per mile rate) of using your own vehicle (including transportation costs of getting around in your work area, e.g., to and from hotels, restaurants, offices, terminals, etc.)
· Baggage handling
· Meals (subject to a 50% limit)
· Expenses of entertaining business contacts (subject to a 50% limit)
Gratuities related to the above expenditures are also deductible (subject to the 50% limit for gratuities connected with meals and entertainment).
· Phone and fax charges
On the other hand, the following expenses cannot be deducted:
· Costs of commuting between your residence and a work site.
These costs may be deductible if your residence is also your principal place of business.
· Travel as education
· Job hunting in a new field or looking for a new business site
The "travel and entertainment" provisions of the tax law are, of course, more complex, but the above discussion will serve as a basic review of the rules.
If you have any questions relating to whether a particular travel expense is deductible, I'd be happy to discuss it with you.
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