What Travel Expenses Are Tax Deductible For Self Employed?

What Travel Expenses Are Tax Deductible For Self Employed? Answered Here

Do you want to know what travel expenses are tax deductible for self employed? We have summarised it in a short and simple article here.

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Self-Employed Travel Deductions

Being self-employed comes with many benefits, like making your own schedule.

But it also has disadvantages, like not having someone to reimburse you for travel expenses. 

However, travel costs can be deducted by self-employed workers on their tax returns.


What Can I Deduct?

The IRS defines a business expense as ordinary and necessary in your trade or business. 

Any travelling you will need to do for business meets that criteria and can be deducted as a self employed mileage deduction.

You can deduct for travel expenses but the degree of which depends upon if you stayed overnight.

Mileage can always be deducted, however, in scenarios where you must stay overnight, expenses for lodging and meals can be deducted as well.


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Track Vehicle Usage

If you are required to use your own vehicle for business, a few of the expenses spent on the car can be deducted. 

When it comes to deducting for mileage, there are two choices.

The first is to employ the standard mileage rate of 53.5 cents a mile to all mileage accrued. 

The second is to list actual costs of gas, oil, insurance, maintenance of your car or truck, etc.

It is important to be aware that only mileage accumulated specifically for work-related events qualifies. 

This is the reason it is important to have detailed logs of those trips and expenses.


Deduct Parking and Tolls

Based upon your location, parking fees and toll roads might not be relevant. 

However, for those who do have to deal with them, they can accumulate quickly. 

When travelling for work, maintain records of them and file them as travel expenses on your tax return.


What Can I Deduct Beyond Mileage?

Bear in mind, the trip must require overnight lodging to deduct more than just mileage. 

Therefore, it must not be in such close proximity that the engagement could occur in a workday.

As long as that is the case, any ordinary and necessary expenses can be deducted. 

Including airfare, car rentals, rideshares, subway tickets and hotel costs.

You can also deduct dry-cleaning costs and the cost of transporting things like marketing materials or large displays.

You can even deduct some of your phone bill and internet access charges that you receive on the road. 

All these expenses can be deducted 100%.

The only expenses that aren’t 100% deductible are foods, which are 50% deductible.


Travelling For Business and Pleasure

As stated before, one of the advantages of being self-employed is using a flexible schedule. 

This means having the ability to turn a business trip into a mini-vacation simpler than most.

Combining business and pleasure is certainly not forbidden but, if you are planning to deduct the costs of a trip with both, be sure to keep detailed records to differentiate them. 



In summary, you must be able to prove why the trip was necessary for business and which expenditures went towards that, and just that. 

I hope you have a clearer idea of what travel expenses are tax deductible for self employed.


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