Travel Expenses: What Can and Can’t be Deducted

August 23, 2023

Hello, fellow entrepreneurs and business moguls! Today, let’s take a detour from our usual route and venture into the exciting and somewhat confusing world of travel expenses. Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Great, another boring accounting topic.” But trust me, this journey is more ‘Fast and Furious’ than ‘Driving Miss Daisy.’

Travel Expenses and Deductions

First off, let me tell you a little story. Picture this: I’m sitting in beautiful Jefferson, New Hampshire, surrounded by nature at its finest. You might think I’m on vacation, but nope, I’m actually here on business. That’s right, folks, even amidst the breathtaking scenery, I’m brainstorming and making future plans for our accounting firm. And guess what? This trip is all deductible!

The Rules of the Game

Now, before you start packing your bags for an ‘all-expenses-paid’ business trip to Hawaii, let’s pump the brakes a bit. There are rules to this game, and Uncle Sam is a stickler for them.

What Constitutes a Deductible Trip?

Travel expenses, like hotel stays, airfare, or campsite fees (if you’re an adventurous entrepreneur like me), can be deducted as long as your primary reason for travel is business-related. So, if you’re planning on visiting Aunt Sally in Ohio with a quick pit-stop at a client’s office, I hate to break it to you, but you can’t deduct the whole trip. However, if you’re visiting clients primarily and drop in to see Aunt Sally, voila, you’ve got yourself a deductible trip!

Meal Expenses

“But what about meals?” I hear you asking. Well, hold onto your lunchbox, because we’ve got a whole other video coming up on that topic. But here’s a quick bite: If it’s for business purposes, you’re good to go.

Mileage Tracking

And speaking of going, don’t forget to keep track of your mileage when you’re out of town. Apps like MileIQ can be your best friend here. Yes, it may cost you a few bucks, but the amount you’ll save on taxes will have you doing the ‘happy dance.’

Entertainment Costs

Now, for the party poopers among us, I regret to inform you that entertainment costs are no longer deductible as of 2021. So, if you’re planning a business meeting at a golf course or a football game, only the hot dogs and drinks are on Uncle Sam.


With Calculated Moves, we aim to navigate the choppy waters of business finances together. We’re here to relieve you of the headache of accounting work, help you avoid expensive mistakes, and let you focus on what you love doing. Remember, strategic planning and financial preparedness are key to smooth sailing in the sea of entrepreneurship.

Travel Expenses
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Donna Bordeaux, CPA with Calculated Moves

Creativity and CPAs don’t generally go together. Most people think of CPAs as nerdy accountants who can’t talk with people. Well, it’s time to break that stereotype. Lively, friendly, and knowledgeable can be a part of your relationship with your CPA, as demonstrated by Donna and Chad Bordeaux. They have over 50 years of combined experience as entrepreneurial CPAs. They’ve owned businesses and helped business owners exceed their wildest dreams. They have been able to help businesses earn many times more profit than the average business in the same industry and are passionate about helping industries that help families build great memories.