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Turning a trip into a tax write-off

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ATLANTA -

With a little planning, you can turn a vacation into a business trip, and have it tax deductible!

"I think a better way to approach it is to take a business trip, and turn it into a vacation," said CPA Chris Smith with C.B. Smith and Associates.

Smith says that's an important distinction. In order to make expenses for the trip tax deductible, the purpose of the trip must be business. It all hangs on the amount of time you spend doing business.

"Maybe it's a seven day trip, if you are spending four days - maybe two days at a conference and then two more days meeting with business associates - four of those days are for business purposes and it becomes primarily a business trip," said Smith.

That means all your travel, lodging and meals are tax deductible. Smith says to make sure you get to enjoy some downtime, and schedule your business meetings strategically.

"Because you have been able to sandwich a trip in between two business days, a weekend, the law allows you to deduct your lodging and meals for that weekend," Smith said.

Smith says to keep a log of your time, including who you met with and why. But, there's no reason you can't have a little pleasure with your business. He says save your receipts, and the easiest thing to do is log your meetings directly on the receipt.

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