Is Travel to a Shareholders' Meeting Tax Deductible?

Is Travel to a Shareholders' Meeting Tax Deductible?
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As a shareholder of a corporation, you are considered a part owner of the business. When you need to travel for business-specific purposes such as a shareholder's meeting, you may be eligible to deduct the travel costs if they're not reimbursed by your company. Since corporations can have differences in structure, you may want to consult with an IRS adviser or professional tax accountant to ensure you're taking all travel deductions properly for your corporation's meetings.

Business Travel Defined

For the purpose of income tax deductions, the IRS defines business travel as being at least 50 miles from your normal work and business area. If your shareholder's meeting is within your local area, certain travel deductions such as lodging are not applicable.

Travel Specific Deductions

If travel to a shareholder's meeting is outside your normal business area, you can deduct expenses that are directly related to the business travel. You can deduct the cost of your airline ticket, for example, and the fees for parking your car at the airport. If you rent a vehicle at your destination, you can deduct the car rental fees and costs for gasoline.

Related Business Deductions

While you're at the travel destination for your shareholder's meeting, you can deduct business-related expenses you incur. You can also deduct hotel charges if you stay overnight, for example, and related business support fees such as dry cleaning, telephone and computer charges. You can also deduct 50 percent of your meals while on a business trip, and if you have entertainment costs associated with business purposes, you can deduct 50 percent of those as well.

Separating Business and Personal

If you mix personal activities with business activities while traveling to a shareholder's meeting, you must separate the types of expenses. You can only deduct the business portion of all eligible deductions. If, for example, you rent a double hotel room so you can take your wife on the trip with you, you're only allowed to deduct the cost of a single, since that is the largest room you would have needed had you taken the trip alone.