Death and taxes will continue
Connecticut tax holiday Aug. 16-22

Vacation help -- or not -- from Uncle Sam

If school hasn't started in your neck of the woods and you're looking to squeeze in a last-minute vacation, Uncle Sam might be able to help.

Specifically, the tax code could be a good travel companion.

Suitcases_brown Robert D Flach, better known on the Internet as The Wandering Tax Pro, chose his nom de blog because between his regular tax work, he likes to hit the road. And, being a tax pro, he likes to let the feds help him pay for his journeys.

Now such tax help in covering travel costs is not without its rules. To be able to write off the expenses, make sure the travel is legitimately work-related. And you better hang onto every receipt.

But if you do have your own business (this situation produces better tax results than if you're simply an employee) and can arrange some valid company meetings with a client in a relaxing locale, then you can tag on some personal days to the trip. That way, your transportation and part of your lodging, the two biggest expenses, will be tax deductible.

Robert has all the details in How to Enjoy a Tax Free Vacation, a guest post he wrote for our personal finance blogging colleague Jim at Bargaineering.

Don't mix too much business and pleasure: The flip side of this business-vacation combination coin is that if you're taking a business trip, make sure that's primarily what you do once you arrive at your destination. Have a little too much fun, and you could lose your deductions.

Just ask Sherman Miller.

Joe Kristan, who regularly writes Tax Update Blog, recounts Miller's story of business travel deduction drama in his article Will the IRS help pay for your vacation? It's posted on Iowa Biz.

Here's a quick overview of Miller's tax issue itinerary. Miller claimed that his trips to check on a condo he bought in a Wisconsin resort town were all business. The IRS balked and the case ended up in Tax Court.

Apparently, the IRS found some golfing buddies who didn't remember talking as much business as Miller did as they traversed from tee to green.

So the Tax Court judge teed off on Miller and disallowed his deductions.

Check out Joe's post for tips on making sure your next business trip meets IRS deduction muster.

No travel, no tax trouble: As for me, I'm about to take a Friday afternoon staycation in my den. The popcorn is almost ready and some movies I've been meaning to watch are awaiting.

The best thing about this in-house interlude is that it costs me nothing and has no tax implications whatsoever!

Comments

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Term Papers

Very nice write up. Easy to understand and straight to the point.

Kay

PK,
In doing my state tax holidays, I learned that apparently in TN some schools started earlier this month, before the back to school sales tax event was held. http://dontmesswithtaxes.typepad.com/dont_mess_with_taxes/2009/08/10-tax-holidays-on-tap-today.html

Also, some friends in Florida have kids in private schools that have already headed back to the classroom.

So there are a few places that get started before Labor Day.
Kay

PK

I've only read the first line so far, but who has STARTED school yet? It's most of the time state law to wait until after Labor Day.

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