Sunday, January 18, 2009

Spouse On A Business Trip


June --

I am a Medical Physicist. I started part-time independent consulting in 2004 while still employed full-time. Consulting has increased and as to Jan 2008, I will be full-time independent (sole-proprietor). I just found your website--what a great resource, Thank You.

In Sept 2008, I attended a professional conference in Boston. My wife joined me on the last day and we spent the next several days in New Hampshire. I have employed her to handle finances and admin since 2006. Naturally we discussed some of the business aspects of the conference while we were in NH but that was not the purpose of the trip for her. Are any of her expenses deductible?

Is there a best mechanism to substantiate deductibility for spouse/employees for business conferences?

Thanks, Joe
Dallas, TX


Dear Joe,

I assume from your email that your wife is your employee. If she is then you
may deduct all the costs of your employee's travel expenses in the exact same manner as you may deduct yours as the employer. So, if Boston were the business portion of your trip and New Hampshire were the fun, or personal, portion, then you cannot deduct the New Hampshire costs nor could you deduct the cost of your employee's New Hampshire travel.

When you take an employee on a business trip you must be able to show the necessity of having that person with you. Whether it's to transcribe notes, schedule appointments, wine and dine associates, there must be a clear business reason for attendance. This is especially so if the employee is your spouse.

If your wife-employee handles only your recordkeeping and secretarial chores then you must find a reason for her to accompany you. For instance, is she a good researcher? Can she investigate primary source documents for you at the university's library for non-circulating material while you attend the conference?

Best,
June

1 comment:

sarah said...

I just graduated from Optometry school and started working 2 months ago as a Contracting Optometrist...so i just fill in days for docs who want a day off or are taking a maternity leave...so I am considered self employed. My question is: how much should I put aside from each daily check I get to help pay my taxes next year. Also, are there any receipts I should keep for deductions. I've been in school for the past 10 years and am now in the work force and am clueless! please help.
Thank you!
sarah