If you’re self-employed and travel for business, your spouse might travel with you. Are their travel expenses tax deductible?
The short answer? Probably not, unless your spouse is an employee of your company.
If that’s the case, their travel costs can be deducted if their presence on the trip serves a bona fide business purpose. This is more than just typing up notes from a meeting or attending social functions to generate goodwill for your company – their presence on the trip must be necessary for your business. If that’s the case, their travel expenses can be deducted just as they could be for any other employee (read our blog on the rules for employee business travel here).
Even if your spouse’s presence on the trip doesn’t satisfy a bona fide business purpose, you can still deduct your own expenses that may benefit him/her. For instance, your hotel room may cost the same whether it’s occupied by one or two people, making your spouse’s lodging expenses free and yours tax-deductible. If you drive your own car or rent one, the cost is the same regardless of how many people are riding in it. Of course, any additional costs for your spouse such as meals, entertainment, and other incidentals need to be accounted for separately and are not tax-deductible.
Questions? Contact us to discuss your individual situation.