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5 Ways To Deduct Travel From Your US Federal Taxes

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It is that time of year again, when we Americans must prepare and file our Federal Income Tax returns. Depending upon your personal situation, it can be a fairly easy process or mind-numbingly complicated. The one bit of joy is finding ways to save money with tax deductions. The more you educate yourself, the more deductions you may be able to find that apply to you. One often missed category of deductions are those that are related to travel. Here are five deductions, that you may or may not know about, related to travel, which could reduce your tax bill and/or get you a bigger tax refund.

5 Ways To Deduct Travel From Your US Federal Taxes

  1. Car Mileage for Work-related Travel.  If you take the time to log your mileage when you drive for something related to work, you can get a deduction for every mile. It is a good idea to keep a small notebook in the glove box to log the details. Be sure to note the purpose of the trip and the beginning and ending odometer readings.  Keep the logbook for your tax records.

  2. Mileage to and from Charity Work. If you volunteer your time to a charity, you can count the travel as a deduction. Currently this deduction is 14 cents per mile.

  3. Job Search Mileage. If you are conducting a job search keep track of all the mileage related to your search. You can deduct a hefty 57.5 cents per mile.

  4. Working Vacations.  If you are an independent contractor or business owner and find some legitimate business to do while you are on vacation, then you can deduct most of the cost of that vacation, including airfare, hotel and lodging. Just be sure to keep records of the business activities and meetings, to justify the deductions to the IRS, should you ever be audited.

  5. A Per-Diem for Travel Days. Most people realize that your food and drink on a business trip is deductible. What you may not realize is that you have a choice of itemizing the expenses or taking a flat amount. The flat amount manner of deducting those expenses does not require receipts.  The amount you can deduct varies from city to city, based on the cost of living of that place.  Check with your accountant, tax software, such as TurboTax, or the IRS website for these deduction amounts.

If you are like most people, there are probably dozens of tax deductions you could qualify for, but do not take advantage of, simply because cause you don’t know they exist.  If you prepare your own tax forms, do your homework and read about deductions on financial websites or at the IRS.gov website. You will be glad that you did.