Tax Tips For Trade Shows

If you will be participating in any trade shows this year, here are a few tips you need to keep in mind. You want to get as many legal write offs as possible, but be careful… don’t cross the line with write offs that aren’t allowed.

“The IRS is always looking for excessive or unsubstantiated deductions when it comes to travel expenses,” cautions Tom Ochsenschlager, vice president of taxation at The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), Washington, D.C. “It’s the low-hanging fruit for auditors.”

  1. Is  it a legitimate trade show? “If a trade show serves a legitimate business purpose, then the related travel expenses are tax deductible,” says Patrick Anderson, principal of Anderson Economic Group in Lansing, Mich.
  2. Meal expenses: “You can deduct meals when you are traveling over-night away from home or if the meal is business-related,” says Andrew Benedict, tax manager at RGA Advisors in New York. But don’t forget that is only for 50% of the bill. (Meals must be reasonably priced and not outlandish)
  3. What about my spouse? “Generally, you cannot deduct travel expenses of a spouse who does not play a substantial business role,” says Anderson. “This is a common area of abuse and one at which the IRS looks closely.”
  4. You must have a backup! remember to create a log. I know it is a hassle to do so but it is worth it. The following info is required if you are claiming to take a meal deduction:
    • What was the total dollar amount?

    • Where and when did you go? (List the time and place)

    • Why did you go? (What was the business purpose?)

    • Per diem rates

What about combining business and pleasure? While it can be done, there are a few things you need to know. We will save this for another post.

If you are looking for a Suwanee Ga CPA to help you with your bookkeeping then please give us a call. We would love to be of assistance.

Article source : article on trade shows.

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