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Gimme A Break

Don't forget last-minute travel tax savings.

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This story appears in the December 1998 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Sometimes the rewards of business travel seem few and far between. There's the ever-present benefit of accumulating frequent-flier miles, the occasional free trip, and maybe an upgraded hotel room from time to time. But one place most business owners who travel regularly don't look for a dividend is on their tax returns, according to Jeff Schnepper, author of How to Pay Zero Taxes (McGraw-Hill). "There are a lot of things that get overlooked," he notes.

Such as? Perhaps the single most glossed-over deduction, says Schnepper, is your car. Or, more precisely, your cars. Many entrepreneurs will deduct only one of the personal automobiles they use for business travel, even though they may use a second one for work as well. Schnepper says it may be more cost-effective to write off a percentage of one car and a percentage of another instead of basing your deduction on one car only. The government also allows you to deduct depreciation and numerous other expenses, such as maintenance costs or even the price of an audio entertainment system, in certain cases.

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