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What is a Convention, and why is it important to document it correctly?

No opportunity for you to attend an organized convention by an association, group or franchise? Well, Now you can attend a your own small self-directed convention retreat. The IRS defines a convention as a group of meetings applied to an agenda that is specific to your business and all about your business. Now traveling away from the day-to-day activities of your business, for the betterment of the business, is possible and deductible.

According to IRS when you attend a convention if you can show that your attendance benefits your trade or business you can deduct it:

- Prepare an agenda » or program that clearly shows the purpose or intent of the convention

- Record your attendance and discussion content to the convention on an agenda

- Show that your attendance benefits your trade or business



Convention Too

Convention Too Tool provides you with the ability to create your discussions for your meeting agenda. The agenda builder tool's reporting system ensures that you have the necessary documentation to support your convention travel expense claim.

Learn more about Convention deductions at the IRS - Link to IRS document IRS Publications and Notices (PDF) 463


Where can I attend a Convention?

American Samoa, Antigua & Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Bermuda, Canada, Costa Rica, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guam, Guyana, Honduras, Howland Island, Jamaica, Jarvis Island, Johnston Island, Kingman Reef, Marshall Islands, Mexico, Micronesia, Midway Islands, Neterlands Antilles, Northen Mariana Islands, Palau, Palmrya Atoll, Puerto Rico, Trinidad and Tobago, USA, Us Virgin Islands, Wake Island.




Tax Advisors

Contact us for assistance in locating an advisor specific to your needs.

postheadericon USA Tax Criteria - Conventions











 
1. Does your business file taxes in the Ubited States?

If Yes, then proceed to Question #2

If No, Canada is the only other country at this time that may qualify for the convention expense. If you are not from Canada, please contact your own tax practitioner to determine if you may utilize Convention Business Travel packages as a tax deduction.

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2. Does your convention plans involve travel?

If Yes, then proceed to Question #3

If No, although your cost for Convention Business Travel agendas may be simply claimed as a supply expense for tax purposes, the income tax assessment process allows for travel costs to be part of any business convention plans. You must explore the opportunity to obtain objectivity and betterment of your business or job description by increasing the distance between your convention and the normal routine of your business or job description.

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3. Will your convention have an agenda with detail topics that will benefit your business or job description?

If Yes, then proceed to Question #4

(Note: Convention Too Tool provides you an agenda that you can create your own topics and/or you can utilize Agenda Packages preloaded with discussion topics specific to the needs of your business.)


If No, then you may not enjoy possible tax deductions awarded to you or your business if you chose to attend a convention with out an agenda. Do visit your tax practitioner to explore opportunities to claim travel expenses.


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4. Is it your intent to record your attendance to the convention agenda?

If Yes, then proceed to Question #5

(Note: The Convention Too Tool automatically records and reports all attendance.)


If No, then you may not enjoy possible tax deductions awarded to you or your business if you chose to not record your attendance to the convention on an agenda. Do visit your tax practitioner to explore opportunities to claim travel expenses.

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5. Is it your intent to keep the paperwork of the convention agenda with attendance and all receipts for claim on your taxes?

If Yes, then proceed to Question #6

(Note: Convention Too Tool records all discussions, time and participants and stores the report for your convenience.)


If No, then you may not enjoy possible tax deductions awarded to you or your business if you chose to not keep your records and your attendance to the convention agenda. Do visit your tax practitioner to explore opportunities to claim travel expenses.

IRS Publication 583 (12/2011) Keeping Records

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6. Is the time of your normal work day going to be the daily time devoted to the betterment of your business at the convention?

If Yes, then proceed to Question #7

If No, then consider including more agenda topics or tasks that provide betterment to your business or job description. Please do contact your tax practitioner to determine if 100% of your travel would still be deductible may you chose to decrease your hours of your normal work day while on convention.

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7. Is this convention planned in a north American area? Click on the link below to view a list produced from IRS publication 463 titled travel, entertainment, gift and car expenses / travel / what travel expenses are deductible / conventions / north American area page 9

If Yes, then proceed to Question #8

If No, please contact your tax practitioner to determine if your travel destination and costs may still be deductible for tax purposes.

IRS Publications and Notices (PDF) 463 e

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8. Is the convention planned on a cruise ship?

If Yes, then proceed to Question #9

If No, then please contact your tax practitioner to determine if your travel destination and costs may still be deductible for tax purposes.

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9. Is the cruise ship a vessel registered in the United States? Is all of the cruise ships port of calls in the United States or in possession of the United States? Is there a written signed statement by you and the organizer and an attendance record completed?

If Yes, then proceed to Question #10

If No to all or any, then please contact your tax practitioner to determine if your travel destination and costs may still be deductible for tax purposes by utilizing the Luxury Water travel claim. There is a way, to take a Caribbean cruise and deduct more than $2,000 in travel expenses: simply find a convention or seminar held in any of the North American Areas sanctioned by the U.S. Department of State and travel there by cruise! The luxury water travel per diem may be applicable.

IRS Publications and Notices (PDF) 463

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10. What is the difference between a 'travel' expense and a 'convention' expense? Aren't they the same?


A 'travel' expense is allowable when the travel is a result of when the purpose was for the company to increase revenue or for the purchase of equipment and operating expenses which may be harder to justify when away for several days.
The criteria for a 'convention' expense is more flexible; the government allows this expense claim when you prove it was for the betterment of your business.
That may include a “fact finding” trip for research and development of your business that does not actually result in additional income or equipment or supplies for your business; this is not allowed under travel expense but may be allowed with the proper agenda notes as a convention expense.

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