If you’re getting ready to plan your next vacation to Florida to visit the beautiful beaches and take a thrilling, adventurous airboat tour in the Everglades, chances are you’re considering your finances. Any trip comes with expenses, just as they do memories, so it’s a good idea to question what is and what isn’t considered a tax write-off. If approached properly, the IRS allows business owners and those who are self-employed to write off certain aspects of their travel expenses, even if the vacation is not for a business purpose. Below is a guide on ways you can write off a vacation on your taxes so you can legally make your trip to Florida a business expense.
Use Your Trip to Florida Primary for Business Purposes
If your trip is for business purposes and you’re traveling away from your business, you can deduct 100% of your airfare or mileage costs. If you fly to Florida on a Thursday, have a meeting on Friday, stay the weekend, meet with clients on Monday and Tuesday, and fly home Wednesday, you’ve actually accrued seven business days. This means you could spend another six days in Florida on vacation and still expense your transportation costs.1
Consider “Ordinary and Necessary” Expenses
In the term used by the IRS, the expenses should be “ordinary” for business, given the industry it’s in, and “necessary” for the sake of being able to carry about business-related activities. For example, if you need a car for sightseeing in Florida, a Ford Explorer would be considered a necessary expense; however, a Mercedes-Benz GLS may be a bit tougher as a tax write-off.
Some “ordinary and necessary” expenses include:
- Car rentals
- Hotel rooms
- Meals (up to 50%)
- Baggage fees
- Personal grooming
Writing Off Business Meals
Meals related to business are tax-deductible, with a 50% write-off of your meal. Personal meals are not deductible, and family meals and entertainment cannot be deducted unless they’re actively engaged in the business. This also comes down to the expenses considered “ordinary and necessary.”
Create a Detailed Itinerary
Wedge your “vacation days” in between your workdays. For example:
- Thursday: Fly to Fort Lauderdale, Florida
- Friday: Meet with clients to take them on an Everglades excursion
- Saturday: Take the family on an Everglades animal encounter
- Sunday: Take the family on a group airboat tour
- Monday: Meet with clients for lunch
- Tuesday: Fly back home
Laundry, dry-cleaning, and shoe-shining expenses can be deducted if you take care of these chores within a reasonable amount of time after returning home from your vacation to Florida.
Things to Keep in Mind When Writing Off a Vacation on Your Taxes
You can only deduct your own personal expenses. This means that you cannot deduct the expenses incurred by your family members. These rules also only apply to travel within the United States; there are different rules for tax deductions when traveling overseas. Make sure you are carefully documenting all of the travel expenses you plan to write off in order to stay organized throughout the entire process.
Source:  Forbes – Own A Business? Here's How to Write Off Your Next Vacation
Disclaimer: The information above is a tax guide and tips meant for informational purposes regarding a vacation as a tax write-off and should not be considered tax advice.This entry was posted in Everglades Holiday Park Blog on .