Let’s assume you are self employed and need to visit clients or vendors somewhere. Or perhaps you need to attend a job related conference. Well, take your family along and let them have some fun while you are working and you still get to spend evenings together.
If the main purpose of the trip was your work (or seminar/conference/etc) then you can deduct the following:
- the vehicle mileage for the car, if you drove
- the rental car, if you rented a car
- your plane ticket (but no one else’s)
- the hotel room
- 50% of your food (but not your family’s food)
- incidentals like taxis, dry cleaning of your work attire, internet costs, etc
If you add extra days onto the trip, you will have to take just a percentage of the above.
The same thing would apply if you are an employee and your employer requires you to make a trip and doesn’t reimburse you, but that normally doesn’t happen. If it does, you will need to itemize your deductions AND report them under the category “misc. deductions exceeding 2% of your income”, so it normally will not work out for employees. Sorry
For your reading pleasure…the IRS Travel, Entertainment, Gift, and Car Expense Publication 463