Finance Blog

Writing Off the Family Vacation

Written by Eva Rosenberg on June 1, 2011 in Tax  |   No comments

Writing Off the Family Vacation Eva Rosenberg, EA Ever since I heard about the Harry Potter village at Universal Orlando, I’ve wanted to go there. But Orlando is an expensive place, especially if you want to be anywhere near the main attractions. How could I…

Writing Off the Family Vacation
Eva Rosenberg, EA

Ever since I heard about the Harry Potter village at Universal Orlando, I’ve wanted to go there. But Orlando is an expensive place, especially if you want to be anywhere near the main attractions.

How could I make this a tax-deductible trip? I could go to an IRS Tax Forum in July.

Practically every industry has courses, seminars, workshops, trade shows, or other events taking place in desirable vacation spots. Look at how Las Vegas, a common location for industry conferences and trade shows, has morphed into a family town. It provides unlimited entertainment and services for children.

Deducting Your Travel Expenses

Bringing your spouse and children along to a business conference or trade show can cost very little. For instance, if you drive, it will cost you nothing extra to bring your whole family—as long as you all fit into one car and one hotel room. While your room is probably fully deductible, don’t deduct any extra fees for cots, resort fees for the family, or the kids’ room service. Your meals during the business days of the trip will be deductible—theirs will not.

Note: If a double room costs more than a single room, you may only deduct the cost of the single room. However, employees have the option of using the IRS per diem rates for lodging. Often, these will be higher than the fee you paid for the room. Just remember that if you use per diem rates for one trip during the year, you must use them for all trips during the year.

Even if you diligently adhere to your business duties, you’ll likely have the evenings to spend with your family. And if you plan the business vacation properly, you might even have a weekend at the beginning or the end to spend with them. For instance, if the event starts on a Monday, you can arrive the Saturday before and perhaps arrange to meet with colleagues for an hour or two on Saturday and/or Sunday.

Deducting the Family, Too

If your children and your spouse actively work in your business, you can deduct their expenses as well. But they have to be working during your event or registered to take courses with you.

Think of them as you would any employee who comes along to a conference or trade show. At a conference, they have duties to perform, courses to attend, continuing education to earn. At a trade show, they should be working your booth, named in your brochures, and picking up contacts or clients or customers for later follow-up.

For instance, I used to attend an affiliate marketing conference each year. Tony Fiore, another attendee, would bring his entire family to the conferences in the Bahamas. He was a speaker at the event and a sponsor with a booth. His family worked the booth, and they also did something special. Each year, they would set up a scavenger hunt where conference attendees could win prizes. The family worked. They had fun. And everyone at the event knew the Fiores.

Read More:

Skip the Allowance and Hire Your Child
Celebrity Tax Scandals
Temporary Work for Fun, Profit, and Retirement
How to Ensure You Get Audited
Medical Tax Deductions Are Worth More Than You Think

Eva Rosenberg, EA is the publisher of TaxMama.com, where your tax questions are answered. Eva is the author of several books and ebooks, including Small Business Taxes Made Easy. Eva teaches a tax pro course at IRSExams.com.

No comments yet

Leave a Comment

Name :

Commenting guidelines

We welcome your interest and participation on this forum, but be aware that comments will be published at Equifax's sole discretion. Please don't use this blog to submit questions or concerns about your Equifax credit report or raise customer service issues. Instead, you should contact Equifax directly for all such matters and any attempts to do so in this forum will be promptly re-directed.

Some other factors to consider when commenting:
  1. Registration and privacy. While no registration is required to visit our forum, participants wishing to post a message must register by creating an account. All personal information provided by forum members incident to registration is governed by our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.
  2. All comments are anonymous. We'll delete your name, e-mail address, and any other identifying information, including details about your investments.
  3. We can't post or respond to every comment - As much as we'd like to, we can't post every comment, nor can we guarantee that we will respond to each individual message. All questions or comments about your Equifax credit report or similar customer service issues should be handled by contacting Equifax directly.
  4. Don't offer specific legal, tax or financial advice. All of the materials on this Site are for information, education, and noncommercial purposes only and this forum is not intended as a means of expressing views or ideas regarding any specific legal, tax, or investment advice. While offering general rules of thumb is both permitted and encouraged, recommending specific ideas or strategies regarding investments, taxes, and related matters is prohibited.
  5. Credit Repair. This blog is not intended as a venue for the discussion or exchange of ideas regarding credit repair or other strategies intended to assist visitors and community members improve or otherwise modify their credit histories, ratings or scores.
  6. Stay on topic. Your comment should be concise and pertain to the specific post in question.
  7. Be respectful of the community. The use of profanity, offensive language, spam, and personal attacks will not be tolerated and egregious or repeat offenders will be banned from future participation. We encourage disagreement and healthy debate, but please refrain from personal attacks on our WordPresss and contributors.
  8. Finally: Participation in this forum may be terminated by Equifax immediately and without notice for failure to comply with any guidelines or Terms of Use. As such, you should familiarize yourself with all pertinent requirements prior to submitting any response through the blog or otherwise. All opinions expressed in this forum are solely those of the individual submitting the comment, and don't necessarily represent the views of Equifax or its management.

Equifax maintains this interactive forum for education and information purposes in order to allow individuals to share their relevant knowledge and opinions with other members and visitors. We encourage you to participate in discussions about personal finance issues and other topics of interest to this community, but please read our commenting guidelines first. Equifax reserves the right to monitor postings to the forum and comments will be published at our discretion. Do you have questions or comments about your Equifax credit report or customer-service issues regarding an Equifax product? If so, please contact Equifax directly. All opinions and information expressed or shared in blog comments are solely those of the person submitting the comments, and don't necessarily represent the views of Equifax or its management.

Tax Archive

Stay Informed Sign up for our FREE Equifax email Newsletter