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Power of Deduction

Get your expenses in order.

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This story appears in the December 2001 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Now's the time to squeeze every possible tax deduction out of your travel expenses. Tax expert Robert Wilensky says paperwork is the key. "Keep records of all business travel expenses-written notes on receipts, any kind of log, appointment book or other record," says the Atlanta accountant. Other suggestions:

  • Leave no stone unturned. Some business travel expenses, such as transportation, car or cab fares, and meals and entertainment (limited to 50 percent), are obvious. But don't forget smaller outlays like baggage, shipping for samples or display materials, laundry, phone calls and tips.
  • Mix business and pleasure. If your trip is primarily personal, you can't deduct transportation costs. But you can deduct business lunches and business equipment you buy as well as lodging for the nights following days during which you do a significant amount of business.

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