Your Summer Travel Can Be a Business Trip – Part 1

Recently I participated in a wedding of a very good friend of mine. I knew I wanted to write off the travel expenses, the lodging, and the meals, but how? For me it turned out to be relatively easy. Not only am I a certified Pathfinder Coach, but I am also an event planner (with my wife) and a personal financial counselor. Therefore, before the trip I contacted the hotel where the wedding was to be held and set up a meeting with the event coordinator. This meeting was for a tour of the facility and information about booking an event there. I also had several meetings with the wedding party; which I could offer counsel on financial issues.

Sound odd? Feel there is no way you could legitimately write off a short trip like this? Don’t dismiss it so soon. It is very possible. And here is how…

Travel

Taxpayers who travel away from home on business may deduct related expenses, including the cost of reaching their destination, the cost of lodging and meals and other ordinary and necessary expenses. Taxpayers are considered “traveling away from home” if their duties require them to be away from home substantially longer than an ordinary day’s work and they need to sleep or rest to meet the demands of their work. The actual cost of meals and incidental expenses may be deducted or the taxpayer may use a standard meal allowance and reduced record keeping requirements.

Days of the week make a big difference – you can treat weekend days as business days by having business meetings planned on either side. For instance:

If Monday is a federal holiday and you have meetings scheduled for Friday and Tuesday then the three days in between are considered business days. They would be deemed business days and all your on-the-road and transportation expenses are deductible.

Note: An IRS private letter ruling allows for Saturday and Sunday to be considered business days if the costs of staying over are less than the airfare to travel after Saturday.

Transportation vs. On-the-road expenses –

o Transportation expenses are those costs that you incur in getting to and from your destination.

o On-the-road expenses include all costs necessary to sustain life while on the road.

Take the family car and save even more. Traveling with non-business family members allows you the same benefit of traveling in the car all by yourself. Whether the car is full or not you still get to deduct the same amount of mileage – $.505/mile this year.

Lodging

A basic definition is, “sleeping away from home.”

Only actual costs for lodging may be claimed as an expense and receipts must be kept for documentation. Expenses must be reasonable and appropriate; deductions for extravagant expenses are not allowable.

Some odd rules you need to know about…

o Strange bed rule – Even if you could make it home, but have traveled say 200 miles from your residence you can get a hotel room for the night and have the business pay for it. If you are going to a convention and the convention is just across town, you still can deduct your lodging expenses for the hotel.

o Pay your family to let you stay with them – your business can take a tax deduction if you stay with family members – but you must pay them something. There is a two week per year allowance.

By Coach Jeff Earlywine

More information can be found: www.helpmybusinesstoday.com

Serviced Apartments Can Take the Strain Out of Business Travel

The way that many professional people conduct their working day has changed over the past decade. Many businesses require employees to be less office based and require them to travel great distances to see clients and spend time away from home as part of their jobs. To many the thought of spending anything from one night to several weeks away from home in a hotel room can be unappealing particularly if the budget does not allow for a more luxurious booking. An alternative, which has experienced an increase in demand, is the serviced apartment industry.

City centres are regularly frequented by the business traveller visiting a wide range of companies and corporates. Serviced apartments located in both city central and residential locations, offer many additional features that hotels of equal standards offer and often for less cost. What could be better than a home away from home just when you need it the most?

Benefits of Serviced Apartments

The cost of staying in an business stay apartment is often less than a hotel, one reason of which is based on the fact that there isn’t a reception desk as all bookings are done through an office that manages a number of apartments. But, despite this most reputable serviced apartment companies have security systems to ensure that safety and security is paramount for all their guests. This could be via secure video entry systems, a twenty-four-hour concierge service as well as site wide CCTV to ensure that guests have total peace of mind for the duration of their stay and can feel relaxed knowing that their possessions are safe.

By choosing serviced apartments you can remain close to all of the amenities that you need such as the railways station and restaurants. Apartments are generally stylish and of an open plan design, with a fully equipped kitchen or kitchenette, which offers much more than just the standard tea and coffee making facilities found in many hotels. Colleagues can share a two or three bedroom apartment together, saving the cost of having to pay for a second hotel room while sharing all of the amenities without incurring any added extras.

Consider the cost incurred when relocating staff from one part of the country to another; using serviced apartments could be the answer to a lot of relocation problems. It would mean that you would have your staff where you need them, in comfortable accommodation where they can stay until permanent accommodation is organised.

A Real Alternative

Serviced apartments do offer a viable alternative to hotel accommodation, particularly when staying for more than a couple of nights. They offer high quality accommodation with all of the convenience of a home away from home. As with hotels they range in price and therefore what they offer from luxurious accommodation through to modest, affordable apartments. They are also available from one through to three bedroomed with en-suite bathrooms for the master bedrooms, a separate bathroom for a second guest and plenty of space in the living/dining area. Business travellers have reported that they find serviced apartments to be business accommodation at its very best. Some also offer the benefit of a residents’ only gym facilities and private courtyards or balconies. They offer many features required to make a business trip as comfortable and relaxing as a short city break. Apartments offer the flexibility and freedom that is lacking in hotel accommodation, as well as much more space in which you can actually live, work and relax.

Why Your Business Needs A Corporate Travel Company

As a business owner, you know that your time is limited. So, you need to make sure that you employ it the best way you can.

If there is one thing that most business owners tend to do that take them too much time is traveling? Even though you might need to do is frequently, the truth is that when you use a regular airline, the most unexpected things can happen, leading you to even more time waste. So, one of the best things you can do is to hire a corporate travel company. Here’s why:

#1: Save Time:

As we already mentioned above, this is one of the main reasons why you absolutely need a corporate travel company. When you have a more efficient booking process, you’re leaving your employees with more time for their actual tasks.

#2: Get The Best Fares:

Even though you may already have your personal agent working on your travels for you and your business, the truth is that when you hire a corporate travel company, you’ll be able to enjoy even more savings.

#3: The Best Support:

When you work with a corporate travel agency, you can be sure they will be there, for you, round the clock. The truth is that these companies have local representatives that can help your staff to get everything they need in case there is any travel interruption.

#4: Dealing and Overcoming With Travel Problems:

If you have been handling travels alone, you know problems can come up anytime. From having your flight canceled with or without a reason, cabin strikes, among so many others, are becoming more frequent and can jeopardize your business. When you already have a corporate travel company, you just need to call them and they will make all the necessary changes so that you can still have your flight.

#5: Professional Service:

When you work with a corporate travel you can be sure you will have the best professionals working with you. One of the best things is that you will have an annual meetings with them. This meeting is extremely important for both parts since it will allow you to tell the corporate travel agency your feedback, and for them, this is a great way to keep improving their quality.

To make sure that you stop wasting your precious time and money, just give corporate travel a call or fill out the form. You can be sure they are one of the best and that they will take good care of you and your business.