By Garrett Sutton, Esq.
Most professions offer some kind of continuing education. By state or industry rule the courses are required for professionals working in medicine, accounting, law, engineering and other fields. In addition, many industries have their own trade shows and conventions or conferences and seminars, where you can go and meet people who do what you do, attend panels with experts in your field, network and catch up on what’s going on in your professional world.
If you travel to attend continuing education seminars or conferences in your field, the same rules for business travel apply. You also need to have a purpose in mind before you go. If you happen to be on vacation and there’s a seminar in the area, you can probably deduct the cost of registration, but the rest of your travel expenses won’t be deductible.
Internal Revenue Code Section 162 allows you to deduct 100 percent of your expenses for business-related seminars, including your registration, meals, lodging and transportation costs. The corporate entity takes the deduction and the costs are not considered part of your income (so you’re not taxed on the benefits).
Your corporation can also deduct the price of magazine subscriptions, so long as the magazines are for your industry, and you can deduct the cost of membership in professional organizations in your field. If your profession requires periodic testing and licensing, your entity can pay those fees and deduct the costs as well.
If you’re looking to learn more about your chosen field, the Internal Revenue Code Section 127 allows you up to $5250 in educational assistance each year for educational expenses, which is also not included in your gross income.
Get smarter and deduct it.