Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tax Deductable Business Expenses - Travel & Meals

Overnight business travel for the artist is a tax deductible expense.  Some of the associated expenses that are deductible are airfare, hotel and lodging, tips, phone calls and meals, though meals are only 50% deductible.  Deductible direct travel expenses include the cost of art fairs, visiting galleries, delivery of artwork, etc. 

When traveling, the IRS allows a meal “allowance” instead of having to keep records for all meal expenses.  Visit www.gsa.gov to find the rate that applies to your destination.  While you don’t have to keep receipts for meals to take the allowance you do have to be able to substantiate the travel.  Also, if you have traveling companions, their expenses are not deductible unless they are employees of your business. 

Remember, meals are deductible (50%) as a business expense when you are not traveling as long as the purpose is business related.  You may be meeting with a gallery owner, other artists or with professionals such as your accountant and lawyer.  For your records, keep a log of who was present and the nature of the meeting.  Business cards are good for documentation as well.  You will want to keep receipts for business meal expenses unrelated to travel.

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