Owning and running a business takes long hours and dedication and most retail bakery owners prefer to run the business onsite. Business travel is hectic, exhausting and removes you from the place you need to be most to ensure success.
When retail bakery trade shows and seminars present themselves, it’s often the owner or manager who is either enlisted, or enlists themselves to attend, but you can deduct an employee’s travel, and it can produce tremendous, albeit sometimes intangible, benefits to the store.
“When they [employees] can take ownership of something like that, and they feel special about going, it’s just a win, win situation to send your staff out on certain things like that,” says Kirk Rossberg, owner of Torrance Bakery in Torrance, CA. “It’s a great idea. Business owners should do that all the time.”
Often an owner returns from a trade show or seminar bursting with excitement over new ideas and can hardly wait to implement them. However, the staff lacks that same enthusiasm, understandably. Not having been there when a new idea was presented, for the staff, it’s just something additional to their daily responsibilities.
A business owner can deduct everything from an employee’s business trip including airfare, taxi rides, lodging and meals, as long as there is documentation. “We just had a thing in Long Beach, which wasn’t a big travel thing, but there were some expenses that were incurred with that as far as the admission and stuff like that,” Rossberg says. “That was all deductible.”
Keeping receipts for your records, as well as to give to your accountant, if you use one, are a necessity. And so there is never any confusion or question, it’s best to be detailed and thorough. “What we’ll do is just scan it all so that we have places to write notes as well.” Use the notes with regard to each individual receipt to document what the expenses for each receipt were.
Deductible travel expenses while away from home include, but are not limited to, the costs of:
- Travel by airplane, train, bus, or car between your home and your business destination. (If you are provided with a ticket or you are riding free as a result of a frequent traveler or similar program, your cost is zero.)
- Using your car while at your business destination. You can deduct actual expenses or the standard mileage rate, as well as business-related tolls and parking fees. If you rent a car, you can deduct only the business-use portion for the expenses.
- Fares for taxis or other types of transportation between the airport or train station and your hotel, the hotel and the work location, and from one customer to another, or from one place of business to another.
- Meals and lodging.
- Tips you pay for services related to any of these expenses.
- Dry cleaning and laundry.
- Business calls while on your business trip (This includes business communications by fax machine or other communication devices).
- Other similar ordinary and necessary expenses related to your business travel (These expenses might include transportation to and from a business meal, public stenographer's fees, computer rental fees, and operating and maintaining a house trailer).
- Shipping of baggage, and sample or display material between your regular and temporary work locations.