Home – New Forums Money matters overseas travel expenses for self employed

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  • #972928
    hotbmw
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    Hi all
    I just found this site and i must say its great :) I looked back for over a years worth of pages and could not see a thread about my question.

    I am a self employed sole trader.
    I run an online retail store and fly out to China next week to visit my suppliers and source new products and new suppliers.

    I will be there for 5 nights, 6 days.

    I understand i can claim the flights and hotel costs but am i entitled to claim anything else?

    I saw an ato website which had a list of cost groups per international region and it said for China i could claim up to $190 a day for meals and incidentals without keeing receipts. but then i saw a notation that this is only for companies and employees, and NOT for SELF EMPLOYED poeople???

    So then i searched for what self employed people as sole traders can do and i found nothing.

    Does anyone know? Why are self employed people singled out?

    I would have thought i could claim: taxi fares, meals, incidentals…

    Thanks
    Rob

    #1058599
    JanF
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    You have stumbled on the “Reasonable Allowance” guidelines for travel expenses. This was created to make life easier for businesses and applies where employees are paid an Allowance for the trip.

    Otherwise the following guidelines apply:

    http://www.ato.gov.au/businesses/content.aspx?doc=/content/00266008.htm&page=14&H14

    #1058600
    Tracy
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    What happens if you are being paid to review a destination from a travel perspective? Part of the job is going to attractions, trying restaurants etc? How does that apply? And to take it one step further, what happens if you take your children as the client wants you to review the travel experience from a family experience? So, what was kid friendly, what did the kids enjoy etc etc??

    #1058601
    JanF
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    As long as you can prove the expense is work related, you can claim it.

    As for taking your kids, I think the ATO may query the validity. If your clients specifically request you look at child friendliness, you may have enough evidence.

    I would suggest you talk to your accountant. The ATO can be requested to make a ruling for you if necessary.

    #1058602
    RapidEntryBiz
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    Tracy , post: 72600 wrote:
    What happens if you are being paid to review a destination from a travel perspective? Part of the job is going to attractions, trying restaurants etc? How does that apply? And to take it one step further, what happens if you take your children as the client wants you to review the travel experience from a family experience? So, what was kid friendly, what did the kids enjoy etc etc??

    Wow, who is this client and what business are you in? I’m changing to that industry!

    But seriously, the ATO has (in past rulings) wanted the taxpayer to be very clear when he is claiming these sort of expenses as they are the sort of expenses you would expect to see from a holiday, which is not deductible.

    Jan is right, the bottom line is that you can claim expenses if they are expended to gain assessable income. The question is, will the ATO challenge you and if they do, are you prepared?

    I came across a really interesting ATO rulling a whiile ago but I dont have the ref number, sorry. It involved a couple of policemen who took a trip to Canada to review police proceedures in that country. They claimed it as an educational expense. This was challenged by the ATO but because of the documentation they had prepared, the claim was allowed. Briefly, from memory they had a detailed itinary, all receipts, learning expectations and outcomes documented etc.

    I recommend you search the ATO website (the legal database) for this and other rulings to give you an idea of what you’re up against.

    Cheers

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