How to Write off Your Travels This Tax Season

As #BeautyTravelers we’re constantly on the go, searching for new and exciting places to check off our bucket list. A lot of us look forward to tax season to get a little money back to put towards our Around the World Beauty adventures. Others dread tax season. Always have, always will.The truth is, knowing what you can deduct is crucial, and also will save so much money when filing your taxes. It also takes the pressure off when you’re organized and know exactly what to do. With the tax deadline right around the corner, we’re sharing some expert advice from Turbo Tax CPA Lisa Greene-Lewis on how to make the most of your travel expenses.

Business-Related Travel Expenses

If you travel to a destination primarily for your business you may be able to deduct your travel-related expenses.  This can include travel costs for getting to and from your business destination, as well as any business-related expenses upon arrival. This includes round-trip airfare, car rental, mileage when using your own vehicle, and any fees paid for cab services, bus or train rides, Uber, or Lyft. “Also, you may be able to deduct your hotel expenses,” says Greene- Lewis. “And don’t for get about your meals. Those are deductible too—but only at 50%.” Greene-Lewis says that costs for air travel, hotel, transportation, passport fees, and incidentals like tip fees for business trips, may be tax deductible.

Tax Secrets for a Travel Blogger

Now, we all know that one of the perks of being a travel or beauty blogger is having the opportunity to visit luxury spas for posts on resort amenities. Turns out those can be accounted for too! “This expense may be deductible as an entertainment expense, but it would only be deductible at a 50% limitation. You would also need to make sure you keep documentation including dates visited, the business purpose, and publish a blog on your site about the spa you visited.”

If you’re not a blogger or travel writer, bet that makes you want to start a new side hustle, no? Not so fast. “The IRS considers whether you are blogging with a purpose to make a profit and whether you are regularly and actively involved with blogging.  If you don’t make money for three out of five years then your blogging business may be considered a hobby, and you may not be able to deduct travel expenses.” Unfortunately, that means family vacays do not apply. Sorry, folks!

Record-Keeping

As you can see, it is possible to rack up helpful tax deductions as a #BeautyTraveler.  Just be sure to keep a log of everything that you plan to write off throughout the year like the business purpose for each trip, receipts for each purchase, and of course a link to any published posts if you’re a writer. “When you sit down to file your taxes, have your receipts, mileage logs, and copies of travel documents all in one place,” says Greene-Lewis who also recommends separating business-related expenses from your personal expenses. “That’s key. No double dipping allowed. If done right, you can get ahead professionally and enjoy some tax breaks while being on a fun getaway.”

Now—are your taxes filed? Time’s ticking!

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