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Business Travel Documentation and Automation

Business Travel Expenses

When a winery employee travels overnight for business, the reimbursable expenses incurred are generally deductible by the employer and non-taxable to the employee, provided the employer requires adequate accounting for the expenses. 

Expenses deductible by the employer include:

  • the entire cost of lodging and incidental expenses
  • 50% of meal expenses
  • the round trip cost of traveling 

Documentation

According to the IRS, your employee should keep proof in an account book, diary, log, statement of expense, trip sheets, or similar record along with documentary evidence such as receipts, canceled checks, or bills, to support their expenses.

Documentary evidence isn’t needed if any of the following conditions apply: 

  • The expense, other than lodging, is less than $75.

  • They incur a transportation expense for which a receipt isn’t readily available.

Documentation will be considered adequate evidence if it shows the amount, date, place, and essential character of the expense.

For example, a hotel receipt is enough to support expenses for business travel if it has all of the following information.

  • The name and location of the hotel.

  • The dates you stayed there.

  • Separate amounts for charges such as lodging, meals, and telephone calls.

 A restaurant receipt is enough to prove an expense for a business meal if it has all of the following information.

  • The name and location of the restaurant.

  • The number of people served.

  • The date and amount of the expense.

Automation

Mobile APPS like Expensify take the pain out of documenting travel expenses, filing expense reports and even managing employee reimbursements. Using Expensify, the employee simply takes a photo of their restaurant expense, attaches notes to the receipt, and then associates it with a credit card transaction (if connected). When the trip is complete, they create an expense report with receipts attached and email it to their employer for reimbursement.  Corporate versions of the application simplify the process even further by including workflows, approvals, and reimbursement capabilities. 

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