Looking to learn something new in your industry? Business conventions are a great way to expand your knowledge and network while you learn. Or maybe you’re setting up a booth at an upcoming business convention. Whatever the reason, going to conventions can give you a tax deduction based on the costs of the trip.
What Are Convention Expenses?
Convention expenses are the costs you incur while you’re attending a business-related convention. They need to be reasonable expenses to qualify for a deduction. These expenses include transportation, lodging, entry costs, and booth fees. You may need to prove that you actually attend the convention, and you may need receipts to show those expenses.
In Canada, taxpayers can deduct eligible convention expenses incurred for up to two business-related conventions per year. To qualify for a tax deduction, the convention expenses have to be for an event that relates in some way to your business or to the professional activities you conduct. Conventions sponsored by local organizers must be held in the geographical area where the organizers conduct their businesses. This geographical restriction doesn’t apply to conventions sponsored by foreign organizers.
The costs of your food, beverages, and entertainment are considered meal and entertainment expenses and can’t be deducted as convention expenses. If the costs for these items are included in the convention fee, you may know exactly how much of your fee goes toward your food. In those cases, you subtract $50 from the fee per day. As an example, assume that you pay $600 to attend a three-day business convention, and lunch is included in the fee. The amount of convention expense you can claim is $600 – ($50 x 3) = $450.
When you run a small business, you have lots of expenses to track. You can make that process easier when you use cloud-based accounting software. With QuickBooks Online, you can organize your business finances and stay ready for tax time. Try it free for 30 days.