Writing off summer travel?

IMG_0804 If I understand my tax laws correctly*, I can write off some of my vacation travel expenses if I incorporate some writing research into my travel plans. For instance, if I drive to Gettysburg, PA, and spend part of my time researching material for a book on the Civil War, I can deduct the cost of travel to and from Gettysburg.

This seems like such a financially savvy move that I’d really like to make it work.

Last year I decided to research learning to ride a horse so I could incorporate the details into a book. My sister and niece generously loaned me their horses and instructor, and by the end of two weeks I’d collected pages of notes on the down-and-dirty of learning to ride.

I even learned to round pen, which is very cool because it uses what people know about horse behavior to train the horse.

I saved all my receipts—and when tax time rolled around, I didn’t deduct any of it. Why not? Because although I did all the research, I never actually used it in a book, book proposal, or article. I’d still like to incorporate learning to ride into a novel someday, but probably not for a while, since I have one novel in the rewrite stage and another waiting in the wings, both conspicuously horse-free.

Now summer is rolling around again, with its various trips and travel expenses, and I’m brainstorming article ideas and character research I use to couple business with pleasure. Anyone else do this? Any suggestions?

I’ll let you know how it turns out!

:) Cheryl

*Please note that I am not an accountant, have never been an accountant, never played one on TV, never even dated one. To my knowledge, I’m not even related to any—the point being, if you want *actual* tax advice, look elsewhere :)

The hidden price of "productivity" every writer needs to know - www.cherylreif.com

You’ve probably read the same tips I have: Have a smart phone? Check Facebook while standing in line at the post office! Respond to Twitter messages while waiting for your dentist! Catch up on your news feed while sitting on the pot! For years, I thought the path to increased productivity was to squeeze in MORE–more […]