SMEED CPA, Inc | 201 Sand Creek Road, Suite F | Brentwood, CA 94513 | Phone: 925-634-2344

       

 

 

Michael Uadiale, CPA, ACA, CGMA

SMEED CPA, Inc.

 

Call our Testimonial Hotline & give us your feedback at:

 

800-609-9006 extension 3638

 


 

Other Articles

Click here to review


This Month's Feature Articles

- Paying Off Debt the Smart Way
- Travel & Entertainment: Maximizing Tax Benefits
- Tips for Safeguarding Financial Records
 

Tax Tips

- Managing Tax Records After You File
- Best Filing Status for Married Couples
- Injured or Innocent Spouse Relief: The Facts

 

QuickBooks Tips
- How to Create a Progress Invoice from an Estimate

 


 

If you have not subscribed to our newsletter and want to receive our 20-page financial magazine
Eye On Money
, click here to have our current issue & several back issues sent to you.

 

July-August 2013

 

May-June 2013

 

March-April 2013

 

Jan. - Feb. 2013

 

Nov.-Dec. 2012

 

Sept.-Oct. 2012

 

July-August 2012

 

May-June 2012

 

March-April 2012

 

January-February 2012

 

November-Dec. 2011

 
 

 

 



 

 

Travel & Entertainment: Maximizing Your Tax Benefits

Tax law allows you to deduct two types of travel expenses related to your business, local and what the IRS calls "away from home".

First, local travel expenses. You can deduct local transportation expenses incurred for business purposes, for example the cost of getting from one location to another via public transportation, rental car, or your own automobile.

 

Meals and incidentals are not deductible as travel expenses, although as you will read later in this guide, you can deduct meals as an entertainment expense as long as certain conditions are met.

Second, you can deduct away from home travel expenses-including meals and incidentals; however, if your employer reimburses your travel expenses, your deductions are limited.

Local Transportation Costs


The cost of local business transportation includes rail fare and bus fare, as well as the costs of using and maintaining an automobile used for business purposes. For those whose main place of business is their personal residence, business trips from the home office and back are considered deductible transportation and not non-deductible commuting.

You generally cannot deduct lodging and meals unless you stay away overnight. Meals may be partially deductible as an entertainment expense.

Away From-Home Travel Expenses


You can deduct one-half of the cost of meals (50%) and all of the expenses of lodging incurred while traveling away from home. The IRS also allows you to deduct 100% of your transportation expenses--as long as business is the primary reason for your trip.

Here's a list of some deductible away-from-home travel expenses:

 - Meals (limited to 50%) and lodging while traveling or once you get to your away-from-home business destination.
 - The cost of having your clothes cleaned and pressed away from home.
 - Costs for telephone, fax or modem usage.
 - Costs for secretarial services away-from-home.
 - The costs of transportation between job sites or to and from hotels and terminals.
 - Airfare, bus fare, rail fare, and charges related to shipping baggage or taking it with you.
 - The cost of bringing or sending samples or displays, and of renting sample display rooms.
 - The costs of keeping and operating a car, including garaging costs.
 - The cost of keeping and operating an airplane, including hangar costs.
 - Transportation costs between "temporary" job sites and hotels and restaurants.
 - Incidentals, including computer rentals, stenographers' fees.
 - Tips related to the above.


Entertainment Expenses
 

There are limits and restrictions on deducting meal and entertainment expenses. Most are deductible at 50%, but there are a few exceptions. Meals and entertainment must be "ordinary and necessary" and not "lavish or extravagant" and directly related to or associated with your business. They must also be substantiated (see below).

Your home is considered a place conducive to business. As such, entertaining at home may be deductible providing there was business intent and business was discussed. The amount of time that business was discussed does not matter.

Reasonable costs for food and refreshments for year-end parties for employees, as well as sales seminars and presentations held at your home are 100% deductible.

If you rent a skybox or other private luxury box for more than one event, say for the season, at the same sports arena, you generally cannot deduct more than the price of a non-luxury box seat ticket. Count each game or other performance as one event. Deduction for those seats is then subject to the 50% entertainment expense limit.

If expenses for food and beverages are separately stated, you can deduct these expenses in addition to the amounts allowable for the skybox, subject to the requirements and limits that apply. The amounts separately stated for food and beverages must be reasonable.

Deductions are disallowed for depreciation and upkeep of "entertainment facilities" such as yachts, hunting lodges, fishing camps, swimming pools, and tennis courts. Costs of entertainment provided at such facilities are deductible subject to entertainment expense limitations.

Dues paid to country clubs or to social or golf and athletic clubs however, are not deductible. Dues that you pay to professional and civic organizations are deductible as long as your membership has a business purpose. Such organizations include business leagues, trade associations, chambers of commerce, boards of trade, and real estate boards.

 

Tip: To avoid problems qualifying for a deduction for dues paid to professional or civic organizations, document the business reasons for the membership, the contacts you make and any income generated from the membership.


Entertainment costs, taxes, tips, cover charges, room rentals, maids and waiters are all subject to the 50% limit on entertainment deductions.

How Do You Prove Expenses Are "Directly Related"?


Expenses are directly related if you can show:

 - There was more than a general expectation of gaining some business benefit other than goodwill.
 - You conducted business during the entertainment.
 - Active conduct of business was your main purpose.
 

Record-keeping and Substantiation Requirements
 

Tax law requires you to keep records that will prove the business purpose and amounts of your business travel, entertainment, and local transportation costs. For example, each expense for lodging away from home that is $75 or more must be supported by receipts. The receipt must show the amount, date, place, and type of the expense.

The most frequent reason that the IRS disallows travel and entertainment expenses is failure to show the place and business purpose of an item. Therefore, pay special attention to these aspects of your record-keeping.

Keeping a diary or log book--and recording your business-related activities at or close to the time the expense is incurred--is one of the best ways to document your business expenses.

If you need help documenting business travel and entertainment expenses, don't hesitate to call us. We'll help you set up a system that works for you--and satisfies IRS record-keeping requirements.

 


 

SMEED CPA Adds Financial Services To Help Clients With Investments & Insurance Needs

So often we here at SMEED CPA are asked about financial issues that impact our clients investments and their portfolios. 

We always offered our opinion and suggestions but in order to help our clients actually execute the changes we suggest, SMEED has created a Financial Services division.

 

SMEED Financial Services, Inc. will be able to work with both individual and business clients on their investment portfolios and manage assets on their behalf.

 

SMEED Financial will include Michael Uadiale, ACA, CPA, CGMA; and Pablo Blanco who has recently joined SMEED and comes with over 18 years of financial sales and advising experience with affluent investors.

Watch your inbox and mail boxes for more specific information on services SMEED Financial Services, Inc will make available to you.

 


 

Would You Give Me Your Feedback & Testimonial on Our Hotline?

 

Hello its Michael Uadiale, CPA of SMEED CPA Inc.  Weve just installed a toll-free number that I would like for you to call and tell me how you think we are doing as your CPA firm.

 

Just dial 800-609-9006 extension 3638 and follow the instructions.  If weve done a good job please let me know.  And if we can improve on anything, please mention that too.

 


 

Help Us Be Found on Yelp & Google!

 

Also as we expand our business, we find more and more people are using YELP and Google to look for us by searching Brentwood accountant or Brentwood CPA.

 

When they do this we want to be FOUND on GOOGLE.  One way you can help us is to give us an ONLINE REVIEW on our Google Maps/Places listing --->

or on our YELP local listing below.

 

Just click here to go to our Google Listing for SMEED CPA and click on the YELP link to go there.  Scroll down to the Review area.

 

On either site it may say:  Been here? Rate and review

You will click on the Rate and review link and then log in, then give us a review!

 

You can choose between 1 and 5 STARS and write in what you think about the tax or accounting work we have done for you.

 

It's that simple.  Thank you in advance for your help and cooperation!

 


 

As always you can call our offices if you have any questions about these or any other accounting related issues, at 925-634-2344. 

 

Regards, Michael Uadiale, CPA, ACA, CGMA

Managing Partner, SMEED CPA, Inc.

 
 

 

SMEED CPA, Inc | 201 Sand Creek Road, Suite F | Brentwood, CA 94513
The Next Frontier CPA Firm | www.SmeedCPA.com | info@smeedcpa.com
Phone: 925-634-2344 | Fax: 925-634-2346 | Cell: 925-207-6771