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Deductibility of Conference Expenses - What can you claim?

Written by Sarah Pogson . May 16, 2019
2 min read

In any industry it’s necessary to attend events that form part of your training or offer useful industry and business information. You’ll be happy to know that conferences that require a cost to attend can be claimed as a tax deduction as long as they relate to your business or work activities.

Here’s a run down of what types of event costs can be claimed as a tax deduction and what records are required to be kept.

What can be claimed?

You can claim the cost of attending the following events if they are sufficiently related to your work activities (ATO website), such as:

  • Conferences
  • Seminars
  • Education workshops
  • Formal education courses provided by professional associations

The claimable expenses related to the above events you attend include:

  • Cost of the conference/event/training
  • Transport costs, including airfares, train, buses and taxi fares
  • Tolls, parking fees and short-term car hire
  • Meals and accommodation costs (if your trip includes an overnight stay)
  • Expenses incurred that relate to motor vehicle travel e.g. petrol and repair costs for a hire car

It is important to remember that any private/personal portion of your event and travel costs are not tax deductible and you need to show that your claim excludes any private part of a trip.

In addition, you can only claim travel expenses that you have paid – you will not be able to claim expenses that have been reimbursed.

What records need to be kept?

Whether your conference is domestic or international, written evidence needs to be kept for all conference-related expenses incurred. Written evidence simply means keeping your receipts (e.g. conference, airfares, accommodation, taxi fares and hire-car expenses).

If a conference or business-related event requires you to be away from home for six or more consecutive nights, you will need to use a travel diary (or a similar document) so a higher level of detail can be recorded.

A travel diary needs to record the following:

  1. The nature of the activity
  2. The day and approximate time the business activity began
  3. How long the business activity lasted
  4. The name of the place where you engaged in the business activity

Have you incurred conference or other travel expenses this year? We have a number of long-term medical specialist clients we work with and we know your time is valuable.

Find out more about what you can claim and further details that can assist your situation prior to the end of financial year. Get in touch with our team at BLG Business Advisers online or by calling (02) 4229 2211 today.

*This information is correct at the time of publishing and is subject to change.*
Written by Sarah Pogson . May 16, 2019
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