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Quarterly: Oct 17

Deducting Your Business Travel 

If you travel as part of your business or you have employees who travel you have several options for how you deduct those travel expenses. Typically you can either track and deduct the actual cost of travel or you can use standard allowance amounts provided by the IRS to simplify the record-keeping requirements. If you choose to use standard allowance amounts to deduct your travel expenses it is important to keep up-to-date on what the allowance rates are as they are typically updated on an annual basis.

Vehicle Expenses

If you use your personal vehicle for business-related travel you can deduct either a portion of your actual vehicle expenses or a standard rate per mile driven. Actual vehicle expenses would include gas, insurance, repairs and depreciation on the cost of the vehicle. For 2022 the standard mileage rate is 58.5 cents per mile, up from 56 cents in 2021. For more information on the vehicle expenses deduction read Deducting the Business Use of Your Vehicle.

Meal and Lodging Expenses

If you travel overnight for a business-related trip you can deduct your meal and lodging expenses as well as other miscellaneous travel expenses. If you would like to deduct the actual cost of meals, hotel rooms and other miscellaneous expenses you will need to keep copies of receipts for each expense in your records as well as document the business purpose of the trip.

If you would prefer not to keep track of each receipt you can instead use the IRS per diem rates to deduct a standard amount for meals and lodging expenses for each day of your trip. You will still need to document the destination, length and business purpose of your trip but will not need to maintain receipts for your expenses.

The per diem rates vary depending on your travel destination. You can lookup the rates for your destination at These rates are typically updated every October. The current rates will be effective until September 30, 2022.

If you choose to use per diem rates to deduct your business travel, do not have your business directly pay the cost of meals, lodging, etc. Instead, pay for these costs personally and then submit an expense report to your business using the per diem rates and reimburse yourself.

If your business is structured as a sole proprietorship, you do not need to reimburse yourself through an expense report. Instead you can simply use the per diem rates to claim a business travel deduction on your tax return at the end of the year. Please note that if your business is a sole proprietorship you can only use the per diem rates for meal expenses, not lodging.


Traveling can be expensive. But if you know how to maximize the tax benefits of your business-related travel you can reduce some of that cost. Using the standard mileage and per diem rates can simplify your record-keeping requirements and in many cases can provide a greater tax benefit than deducting your actual costs. To maximize your business-travel deductions read How to Deduct Your Vacation Travel as a Business Expense.

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