Combine my business and personal trips?

A great question that I get from my bookkeeping and payroll savvy clients in San Diego is how to combine business and personal vacations you always wanted to take.  It has big tax implications and is important to have a financial guide like Hoffman and Associates walk you through the process. While it’s possible to pull this off there are some very important factors to consider.  Careful planning and preparation can help you save on your trip by allowing you to write off a significant portion of the cost of the overall vacation.

To start with the primary purpose needs to be a business trip and your simply integrating your personal one too.  Doing it the other way around can cause more trouble than it’s worth.  Keep that in mind!  If you’re traveling in the United States, and the primary reason is business then your good so far.

Next you should be prepared to keep record of every transaction that occurs for the trip.  It can be burdensome for many, but good recordkeeping pays off!  Keep in mind this just applies to business travel domestically. Here are the four details that you will want to have a paper trail for.

1. Destination

2. The dates of the trip

3. Reason for travel and what is to be gained from it

4. Costs of travel, meals and lodging.

When it comes to planning the trip there is nothing wrong with you staying the weekend and enjoying the area.  You use that long weekend and enjoy a theme park or go camping.   If done this way your airfare is fully tax deductible and mileage becomes deductable at 55.5c per mile.  The benefit to using mileage is it allows you to take more people with you at no additional cost.  Flying would incur another expense that can’t be used as a deduction! So you can see the clear benefit of driving if the family is coming too.

Another way to have a business and personal trip together is to plan it around some continued learning program.  If its educational then it is a legitimate business expense.  Even if a conference is held in a resort area it doesn’t matter because the purpose is business.  You are free to work all day and play that evening!

I hope this helps you understand how to integrate business and personal trips, it’s all about how you do it.

For small businesses in San Diego that need this kind of insight in their bookkeeping and payroll simply give Hoffman & Associates a call!