NEW YORK — Trade shows are great for bringing together the industry’s most important players and prospects. But all that product-seeking and hand-shaking comes at a cost. Airfares, hotels and restaurant meals represent a hit to your bottom line.
Uncle Sam does offer some respite for the trade-show traveler, however. Prudent and thorough deductions of travel expenses on your income-tax returns can help soften the financial blow.
As attractive and necessary as these deductions are, though, you must be careful how you proceed. Experts advise deducting only those expenses permitted by law.
“Travel expenses are red-flag audit triggers for the IRS—particularly in the areas of meals and entertainment,” says Suzette Flemming, president of Flemming Business Services, a financial-management company based in Great Falls, Mont. “Unfortunately, the burden of proof for these deductions is on individuals, not the IRS. And the proof must be in the form of documentation.”