Tax Breaks for Continued Education

By Christen Brummett

No matter what industry you are in, it is imperative to stay on top of any trends. One of the best ways of staying on top of these trends is to attend trade shows. Many professionals utilize tax write-offs for trade shows and educational trips to assist with paying for the trips. However, it is important to follow all necessary guidelines to get your maximum deductions, and more importantly, to ensure you do not have any negative repercussions from the IRS.

Here are are a couple guidelines for tax write offs:

  • Know what you can deduct beforehand. Deductions should include items such as your registration, required materials for the event, round trip airfare, mileage on your car, taxi fares, lodging, and meals
  • Certain items should only be 50% written off. Those items include entertainment and meals. Also, items that are considered to be “extravagant” can only be written off up to 50%. For instance, a penthouse hotel room can only have up to 50% used as a tax deduction.
  • Another option is to use the per diem method which allows you to write off a certain amount each day, depending on the zip code you are in.To see the recommended per diems you can go to
  • In general, you do not need to keep documentation of expenses less than $75 however all items over $75 should have documentation to accompany them. And if ever in doubt, keep your documentation.
  • You cannot write off expenses for non-business workers such as your significant other or friend who tag along with you.
  • Oversees or cruise business trips have slightly different regulations. Most recommend only $2,000 per trip.

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