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Tax considerations of combining business, personal travel

It's been one of those days -- don't ask, or I'll never stop! -- so I'm really looking forward to the upcoming Memorial Day break.

Summer vacation image by digitalart via Free Digital ImagesThe hubby and I aren't going anywhere, but a lot of folks are hitting the road or boarding planes, trains or buses on this traditional beginning of the summer vacation season.

Vacation is the operative word here. When any of us take a pleasure trip, it's totally on our dime.

But if you sometimes combine business and personal travel, your Uncle Sam could help cover some of your on-the-road costs. 

Of course, you must be careful in claiming business expenses when you piggyback a bit of personal time onto the trip. Just how to do this and what to watch out for is the topic of today's Weekly Tax Tip.

The key to getting travel help from the tax code is to make sure that your main reason for travel is work. That way those legitimate expenses, including transportation and lodging and some meals, can be deducted.

Then when you stay a day or two to see the sights, you only have to cover those personal costs out of your own pocket.

So carefully track your trip, detailing the separate business and personal expenses. Good documentation will help you substantiate your legitimate business travel claims just in case an Internal Revenue Service auditor ever has questions.

Now get packing.

And be sure to enjoy a little help from the tax code the next time a trip is for both business and fun!

Summer vacation image by digital art via FreeDigitalImages.net

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