Can travel expenses be deducted from taxes?

Deduct business trips & travel expenses from tax

A day trip to a business partner in another city or a flight to a conference in another country - this is what everyday work can look like. If you don't have a 9-to-5 job, you have to love the variety and the many business trips. If the employer then pays for all costs incurred as part of such a business trip, then everything is fine.

However, if the boss does not pay for the costs, it can quickly become very expensive for the employee. Expenses for hotel stays, fees for training seminars and costs for flight tickets - if the supervisor does not pay - at least the tax authorities contribute.

What is a business trip from a tax law perspective?

The tax office considers the expenses for business trips as income-related expenses. However, three conditions must be met for this. On the one hand, of course, the basic requirement must be met: it must be a trip in the interests of the employer.

These include, for example:

  • Field service trips
  • Trips to customers
  • Mission change activities
  • Advanced training
  • Meetings
  • Congresses
  • Visiting trade fairs, exhibitions, etc.
  • Excursions
  • Study trips
  • Research trips
  • Expeditions

On the other hand, the route must not be covered in a company car. The costs will only be recognized if the journey is started by public transport or in your own car.

Last but not least, a prerequisite is that only those costs can be stated in the tax return that the employer has not reimbursed.

Business trip: Deduct travel expenses from tax

Business travelers can choose from two options when it comes to claiming travel expenses for tax purposes. You can choose the mileage allowance for business trips or the individual mileage rate as the basis for calculation.

If you drive your own car, you can set a flat rate of 30 cents per kilometer traveled. Incidentally, this applies to both the way there and back.

Deduct food and accommodation costs from tax

The tax authorities grant business travelers a flat rate for meals. For days of arrival and departure of a multi-day trip, taxpayers can claim 14 euros each. If a business trip lasts for several days, EUR 28 per full-day absence can be stated in the tax return. A one-day business trip lasting at least eight hours costs 14 euros.

Accommodation costs can be set in full. It is important that the receipts are kept so that they can be presented when requested.

Other deductible costs are:

  • tickets
  • Toll and parking fees
  • Public transport tickets
  • Telephone calls with the employer and business partners
  • Transport and storage costs for luggage
  • Luggage insurance

If the employer pays at least part of the costs, this part must be deducted from the costs in the tax return.