Traveling for business can be costly. Write-offs help you keep expenditures under control. When taking a trip centered on business, keep in mind that you can travel very affordably. It may require effort initially but once a few systems are in place, you’ll be able to write off more and more of your expenses.
Here are some tips that will help you keep track of what you spend and what you can and cannot deduct while traveling for business:
1. Download an app like Expensify and use it to record expenses– With the ability to sync credit cards or a bank account to pull in expenses directly, you can also log any mileage expenses and set rules which will automate all recurring spending. This is a great tool to use when keeping track of any expense you have while traveling.
2. The use of your vehicle during business– It is crucial to keep very detailed records of your traveling and use of your vehicle or company vehicle for business related travel. Mileage is the most common way used to determine your travel deductions.
3. The receipts are important– Everywhere you go while traveling, make sure you get a receipt. Then once you have that receipt, keep it in a safe location and put other receipts in there. I like to keep 2 pens with me – 1 Red, 1 Blue. I usually write on the top of each receipt if it’s business which would be in red or personal if it’s blue. This makes it much easier to determine what goes into what and then you can work on your deductions faster.
4. Keep track of everything– This is probably the most important thing that will be stressed here. You must keep a record of everything; from gas in your vehicle, food you consume, hotel expenses, tipping the bell hop, valet driver, office supplies, etc. etc. The list is quite lengthy. But in doing this you will make your accountant’s work load significantly less while preparing your taxes.
5. Use FujistuScanSnap for lots of receipts and paperwork– If you do a lot of traveling, then you know that means lots of receipts and paperwork. I might be smart to invest in the Fujitsu ScanSnap. This is a great tool to have on the road to scan receipts and with a USB port you can then load everything directly onto the computer. This is a great backup in case you lose a receipt.
Traveling is fun until you get into figuring out what can be deducted for business related work. But with the help of some of these tips, your next business travel will be much smoother and more enjoyable.