If you’re unsure about whether you can write off a business travel expense, you might find it prudent to err on the side of caution — especially if the charge is negligible. Still, it’s hard for you and your organization to remain competitive if you routinely leave money on the table in the form of unclaimed deductions and unreimbursed expenses.

Business travelers should be familiar with their organization’s reimbursement policies for expense management, according to Business Insider. But they should also familiarize themselves with business travel expenses that they can deduct on their own personal income tax returns.

Business Insider lists several expenses that business travelers might not realize are tax-deductible.

  1. Communication charges. Fees for calls, Wi-Fi and faxes may be deductible. If you need to rent a computer in an emergency, that can also be considered a business travel expense.
  2. Laundry. Dry-cleaning and laundering professional wear while on the road can be expensive and should be tax-deductible.
  3. Shipping charges for business materials. If you’ll need products, brochures and similar business materials for a trade show, you can deduct the shipping cost for sending these items ahead.
  4. Conference and convention travel. You might think that traveling to a workshop comes out of your own pocket, but it can be deductible as long as you prove its direct business purpose.
  5. RV ownership and maintenance expenses. If recreational vehicle travel is ordinary and necessary in your line of work, many related expenses can be deducted.

With so many potential business travel deductions, it may seem difficult to keep up with your organization’s travel expense management policies, not to mention the ever-changing tax regulations. Applications like Chrome River EXPENSE can help to ensure that you’re not charging anything outside the tax code’s allowances or your company's policies.

What are some business travel write-offs that caught you by surprise? Please share your experiences in the comments section!


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