Personal Travel Expenses of a Spouse, Dependents(s) and Others

Shopping, sightseeing, viewing videos in your hotel room, and any other expenses for nonbusiness purposes are not deductible while on a business trip.

Expenses of a Spouse, Dependent, or Other Individual

Generally, if a spouse, dependent, or other individual accompanies you on a business trip their expenses are not deductible. However, expenses for your employees or even nonemployees who accompany you on a business trip may be deductible under certain conditions.

A deduction is allowed if the person is your employee and that person's attendance serves a bona fide business purpose that would justify claiming a deduction had the person taken the trip on his or her own.

Non-Employees

Even if the person is not your employee, a deduction for dining and entertainment expenses may be allowed for goodwill entertainment.

If a non-employee spouse, dependent, or other person accompanies you on a business trip for purely social reasons, you may deduct what the trip would have cost had you gone on the trip alone.

In other words, figure out the total cost of the trip for you and the other person then subtract any additional costs attributable to the other person's attendance.

Example:

  • You're self-employed.
  • You live in New York City.
  • You maintain a home office which qualifies as your principal place of business.
  • You attend a business-related convention in Las Vegas.
  • Your spouse accompanies you for purely social purposes.
  • You rent a double occupancy room for two nights at $175 per night ($350).
  • A single occupancy room would have cost you $150 per night ($300).

You may deduct $300 for the hotel (2 x $150, the single occupancy rate). The additional $25 per night ($50) attributable to your spouse's attendance is not deductible.

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