Freelance / self-employed tax deduction for reimbursed travel expenses?
February 9, 2014 9:48 PM   Subscribe

Can a freelance / self-employed person (filing Schedule C) deduct from her taxes the cost of business travel (airfare, lodging) that she was later reimbursed for?

It seems like the answer should be 'no,' but Googling has not been able to turn up anything relevant to my situation so far.

In the course of conducting freelance business, I took several out-of-state trips this past year. Each time, I spent a few hundred dollars on airfare and a hundred, give or take, on meals. I was later reimbursed for those expenses, but the reimbursements came as separate checks from the checks I received as payment for the work itself. And the reimbursed amount wasn't reflected on the 1099-MISC's I later received for the work.

Again, it seems like this $ shouldn't be deductible, but if by some tax loophole they are, then I darn well want to deduct them.

Obviously, you are not my accountant. Thanks.
posted by toomuchkatherine to Work & Money (3 answers total)
No that's not deductible.
posted by dfriedman at 10:27 PM on February 9, 2014

Best answer: This is covered in Chapter 6 of IRS publication 463.

Basically if you keep "adequate records" of your expenses and give an "adequate accounting of these expenses to your client" then you do not report the reimbursements as income and also do not deduct the expenses.

It's different if you fail to either keep adequate records of the expenses or give an adequate accounting of them to your client. If you fail to do both you are required to report the reimbursements as income (whether or not you got a 1099 for the reimbursements) but you are, in turn, permitted to deduct these expenses.
posted by RichardP at 10:36 PM on February 9, 2014 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: Thanks, folks. That's about what I expected. I'm glad you confirmed it.
posted by toomuchkatherine at 10:27 AM on February 10, 2014

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