Was Your Trip To The Olympic Games Tax Deductible?

I received one email asking if a person went to China to see the Summer Games if their trip would be considered a tax deduction. No, it would not. The basic rule of thumb for business is that the travel has to be related to business. It has to be documented. The time, date and duration of the trip as well as the intent, are all required pieces of information that should be tracked. If you can, make notes as to the result of the meeting or business seminar. If the meeting resulted in you getting the sale, great.

In case you are audited by the IRS or your respective state tax agency, you will need to be able to substantiate the deductions that you are claiming.

Now, if as part of the trip you decided to go see a swimming event and were fortunate enough to get tickets, you could see the event but not write anything off. If the nature of your trip was predominantly to go to have a business meeting, no problem. The Olympics were a one day side trip.

If, however, you are one of the millions of people who have gone to China I hope that you are giving the IRS and the state agencies some credit. Do you think that they aren’t aware that the Olympics are going on?

What do you think the chances are that they will go ahead and really burrow to see if you actually had a business trip or were just trying to run a fast one on them if you are claiming a trip to China from July thru August? If you thought that your chances were pretty good, you win the gold medal for avoiding audits. Please let common sense prevail. It will save you hassles in the long run.

For more information check out the Internal Revenue Service website and search on business deductions. You might find Publication 463, Travel, Entertainment, Gift and Car Expenses, to be of some interest. I also touch on some good ideas in my tax book, “Bad Tax Idea, Good Tax Idea“. Tax laws change so it pays to stay current on what can be deducted for your business expenses. Consult a tax professional if you don’t like doing the research yourself.

If you are parents or a relative of an Olympic contender, congratulations to you and your relative! Think of the trip as an adventure, supporting your loved one and I hope you are having (or had) the time of your life! To all my domestic and international readers, please keep the spirit of competition on a friendly level and thanks for reading.

Kim Greenblatt

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One Response to “Was Your Trip To The Olympic Games Tax Deductible?”

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