What determines if Travel Days are Business or Personal?
When travelling to a business location where you spend the night, you are in travel status. You can deduct the cost of travel in addition to costs of sustaining life for the day, such as meals, snacks, lodging and taxis. However, can you deduct 100% of these expenses?
Days traveling within the 50 States and D.C. are 100% deductible if the majority of days are business days while away. If the majority of days are personal, then the transportation costs are non-deductible.
Days traveling to or returning from a destination outside the United States are treated as business days if you use a “reasonably direct route” and do not engage in “substantial diversions for non-business reasons” that prolong your travel time. If you are outside of the United States for seven days or less and worked only one day excluding the day of departure then you can deduct the cost of your direct-route transportation costs of getting to and from your business destination.
If you are outside of the United States for more than seven days, then you need to spend more than 75% of the days on business to qualify for the 100% deduction. You do not exclude the day of departure. If you do not meet the qualification for the 100% then you deduct the business percentage of the travel.