Trade shows and expense deductibility

Imagine an enjoyable and educational trip paid for by Uncle Sam. According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), owners and employees of companies (including shareholders) can legitimately claim an income-tax deduction for expenses incurred while attending trade shows, conventions and meetings.

The government will pay for many of your expenses incurred while attending a trade show or convention if you follow certain rules. Usually all that is required to qualify for convention-related tax deductions is that you be able to demonstrate that your attendance at an event benefited your business. However, there are restrictions.

Meal expense deduction

When it comes to meals, the IRS imposes quite a few restrictions—as well as a number of loopholes. Generally, expenses for meals include all amounts spent for food, beverages, taxes and related tips. Meals are labeled by the IRS as "entertainment," and the tax deduction generally is limited to 50 percent of the amount spent.