THE SHOP

October '21

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68 THE SHOP OCTOBER 2021 SPECIAL REPORT: TRADE SHOWS NOTE: The ideas in this article are intended to provide initial guidance relating to tax deduc- tions from trade shows. Always confer with qualified legal and accounting professionals to make sure you deduct expenses properly. I f you attend trade shows on a regular basis, you've probably noticed that travel costs keep going up. Sending several people to an event can result in a serious hit to your bottom line. Luckily, Uncle Sam allows you to soften the financial blow by deducting your travel expenses on your income tax return for any legitimate show. And what qualifies as legitimate? The answer is basically that the event must relate directly to your business. "As long as you are expecting to generate business from the trade show, then expenses for attending are legitimate deductions," says Richard R. Rhodes, an enrolled agent with Hinckley Tax Service, Medina, Ohio (hinckleytaxservice.com). "Even if you do not generate revenue directly from the event, you might be anticipating doing business in the future with someone you have networked with." SUPPORTING MATERIAL You can take specific steps to establish that your trip is legitimate for tax purposes. "The IRS wants to know the intent behind your travel," says Suzette Flemming, president of Flemming Business Ser- vices, a financial manage- ment company based in Great Falls, Montana (flemmingbusinessser- vices.com). "Take notes that support the busi- ness nature of your trip. Who did you see? What subjects did you discuss? How did activities during your trip support your operations?" Retain any materials such as show badges or seminar workbooks that help prove you were actually at the event, Flemming suggests. Other helpful materials include How to cut the costs of travel and lodging. By Phillip M. Perry As long as you are expecting to generate business from the trade show, then expenses for attending are legitimate deductions. Trade Show Tax Deductions

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