According to the IRS, deductible travel expenses while away from home include, but are not limited to, the costs of:
- Travel by airplane, train, bus, or car between your home and your business destination. (If you are provided with a ticket or you are riding free as a result of a frequent traveler or similar program, your cost is zero)
- Using your car while at your business destination,
- Fares for taxis or other types of transportation between the airport or train station and your hotel, the hotel and the work location, and from one customer to another, or from one place of business to another
- Meals and lodging
- Tips you pay for services related to any of these expenses.
- Dry cleaning and laundry.
- Business calls while on your business trip (This includes business communications by fax machine or other communication devices)
- Other similar ordinary and necessary expenses related to your business travel (These expenses might include transportation to and from a business meal, public stenographer’s fees, computer rental fees, and operating and maintaining a house trailer)
Once you have figured out which expenses are deductible, however, the task of keeping track of those items still remains. Luckily many employees and business owners now have access to smartphones and tablets. Here are several iPhone/iPad apps to help simplify the documentation required for deducting business related travel expenses (descriptions supplied from the app creators):
- Expensify – Use our app to sync with your credit cards and bank accounts to track purchases as they happen. We’ll even pull in eReceipts, digital copies of the paper receipts you normally have to carry around, for most purchases under $75.
For any purchases that are made with cash or are not eligible for eReceipts, turn your phone in to a receipt scanner by snapping a picture of the receipt! Our app will SmartScan the image and pull out the merchant, date and amount of the transaction. We will use this information to either create a new cash expense or attach the receipt to its matching credit card purchase.
- Shoeboxed Receipt Tracker and Receipt Reader – Easily store and organize your receipts so you’ll never lose a deduction again. Save time on tax return preparation, expense reports, budgeting and bookkeeping. Snap pictures of receipts, Shoeboxed enters date, total, payment type, store and category. Create and send expense reports from your iPhone/iPad. Export expenses to QuickBooks, Quicken, CSV, FreshBooks and more.
- ProOnGo Expense Tracker – Real-time employee expense tracker; you and your team’s expenses are always up to date on all of your mobile devices, and the web. Includes: Receipt Reader – auto-extracts Vendor, Date and Total Amount; Mileage Tracking via GPS; Time Tracking by Client; Expense Allowance (Income); Download Credit Card Transactions; eReceipts – Forward them from your inbox; Bulk Receipt Upload from your Email.