Tax man cometh with deductions for you - Backing it up

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Tax man cometh with deductions for you
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So long as the trip is “primarily” for business purposes and, while at the convention or trade show, you extended your stay for a vacation, made a non-business side trip or had other non-business activities, you may still deduct your business-related travel expenses. Among the expenses directly related to attending a trade show or convention are such things as the travel costs of getting to and from the convention destination and any business-related expenses at that destination.

If, however, the trip was primarily for personal reasons, such as a vacation, the entire cost of the trip is a non-deductible personal expense. Naturally, you can deduct all expenses incurred while at your destination that are directly related to attendance at the trade show or convention.

Backing it up
In order to claim any tax deductions, every shop owner and woodworking professional must be able to prove that the expenses were actually paid or incurred. In fact, the following expenses, which have been deemed by the IRS as particularly susceptible to abuse, must generally be substantiated with adequate records or sufficient corroborating evidence: expenses with respect to travel away from home (including meals and lodging), entertainment expenses and business gifts.

Meals and incidental expenses while away from home on business, especially those related to attending a trade show or convention are a legitimate tax deduction — either the actual amounts spent or the standard M&IE rate provided by the government. Remember, however, although the actual amount of the deduction can be taken from tables provided by the IRS, it remains necessary to prove (through adequate records or sufficient corroborative evidence) the time, place and business purpose of the convention travel.