Travel agents enjoy not only more common tax deductions enjoyed by most other business owners, but there are some that specifically benefit individuals in the travel industry. In preparing your annual income tax return, it is crucial that you are up to speed on all of the expenditures that you legally can write off--and be forewarned about potential deduction-related problem areas.
A significant benefit of being a travel agent rests in the reality that you can deduct travel as a business expense. You can deduct most aspects of your travel--transportation, lodging, car rental and even the costs associated with visiting attractions. The primary purpose of the trip must be related to your profession as a travel agent. However, that includes research and investigation of destinations that your current or future clients might desire to access.
Some travel agents offer discounts of different types to their preferred clients. Many times these discounts are underwritten by hotels, airlines and other providers. In some cases, travel agents directly offer such incentives. The costs associated with client discounts borne by a travel agent is deductible at tax time.
Any costs incurred by a travel agent for leading group trips (that are not reimbursed) generally are deductible. As with other business related travel this includes transportation, lodging and costs related to attractions accessed while traveling.
Travel agents are entitled to deduct more common business expenses as well. This includes office expenses, including supplies, equipment and services (telephone and Internet, for example).
Advertising is an important part of maintaining a growing client base in the travel industry. Advertising expenses are tax deductions available to travel agents.
Some travel agents host events throughout the year to promote their services to a broader audience. Additionally, some travel agents hold functions for their current clients as well. In either cases, the costs associated with these types of events are tax deductible.
Conventions and Conferences
Conventions and conferences frequently are held in the travel industry. A travel agent is permitted to deduct the costs of traveling to and attending these industry-related functions.
Rent or Mortgage
A travel agent is permitted to fully deduct the costs associated with the rent or mortgage of an office. If a travel agent works from home, she can deduct a percentage of the rent or mortgage attributed to the specific area of the residence dedicated exclusively to a home office.