I have a number of book signings coming up all around my state. How much of what I spend can be deducted as business expenses?
Deduct your mileage. Record the date, place, purpose and miles driven. The rate may change, but for 2016 it’s $0.54 per mile.
Deduct the actual cost of your hotel.
Deduct the cost of meals. Self employed people can take a per diem expense for meals and incidentals (water, a drink, snack, etc) when they travel away from their “tax home” (i.e. out of town requiring an overnight stay). Or you can deduct actual meal expenses.
The per diem can vary by city ($51-&$ for 2016), but it is a minimum of $51/day for meals and incidentals. $51 a day is a lot to eat for me, but that’s what you can deduct and not mess with receipts!
The meal per diem for various cities can be found at Per Diem Tool. Some cities go as high as $74/day. On the day you leave and return home, you can deduct 75% of the per diem rate.
Congratulations on the book signings!!
Carol Topp, CPA