As you gear up for The NATSO Show, remember that business-related travel expenses are tax deductible. According to the IRS, you can deduct your convention-related expenses if the convention is directly related to your trade or profession. To make tracking deductions easier, keep track of all receipts and records and jot down key information on the back of each slip of paper, such as the reason for the expense, the person you were meeting with, the location and the date.
What can you deduct? Here are three typical deductible expenses you incur when traveling:
Meals: Meals and entertainment expenses are deductible, but are limited by 50 percent.
Transportation: Whether it is airfare, train tickets or mileage, keep track of your transportation expenses so you can deduct them.
For airfare, rental cars, valet, taxi, trains and tolls, save receipts because you can deduct 100 percent of the costs.
Auto-related expenses are deductible, but are handled somewhat different than other travel expenses. There are two options for deducting vehicle costs—either mileage or actual expenses. Most small business owners opt for the mileage method. For 2012, this was 55.5 cents per mile, the IRS said on its website. Keep a written record of expenses, which not only helps you track them, but also creates a written record.
Lodging: Hotel expenses are 100 percent deductible.
Discuss all deductions with your accountant. Learn more about the deductible business expenses on the IRS website.