I feel the need to take a step back from the everyday demands of the projects I'm working to evaluate where I want to go with my business and my career. It's hard to make myself take the time to do that when I know I can sit down at my desk and be billable.Do any of you set aside time to get away and do business planning, or is that just a luxury for corporate types? (I mean that the getting away part is a luxury, not the planning part.)If so, how do you handle it? How far away from home do you go? Overnight or just a day trip? Is it a deductible business expense? Also, what if your spouse tagged along? Would that still qualify? (I really would like to get away and do planning, and I would appreciate her input about my career choices. But, if it was near an outlet mall, and my wife could shop while I was thinking deep thoughts....)Thanks!Bob
Well, I've worked for a large corporation that routinely sent large groups of people on team-building exercises and/or retreats. These included ski trips, charter sailing cruises, skydiving, habitat for humanity, resorts, and so on. IIRC, the trips usually lasted one to three days and were usually within a few hours driving distance. These trips were for the rank and file. I don't know what, if anything, rarified layers of management did.I also know of smaller companies that would take the entire company and spouses on a week-long cruise once a year. I don't know how the spousal arrangements were made.Because these trips were periodic and applied to much of the companies' employees, I have to assume that these were treated as routine business expenses for tax purposes. Admittedly, the retreats featured meetings, speeches, group activities, pep rallies, awards ceremonies, or what have you.I haven't checked the IRS regulations in a while. My recollection is that the IRS frowns on this sort of thing. But I also somewhat figure that this is one of those things that huge corporations with lobbyists can get away with, but small fry like ourselves maybe run a greater risk.-Brian
Oh, one more thing... I think my dentist sent his entire staff to a special dental training and certification program sometime in the last year or so. The training center was located in Las Vegas. It's probably a good place to locate a training center, thanks to cheap airfare and hotels, etc. But I still have to assume that was some kind of boondoggle. :-)If you're creative enough, it can probably be done within the letter of the law.-Brian
Is it a deductible business expense? ... Also, what if your spouse tagged along? How are you going to differentiate (to the IRS) all this deep thinking from a vacation?How do you prove you were thinking deep thought while skiing down the slopes?I'm sure it can be done, but I'd talk to a CPA or bookkeeper first.
Dunno if this helps, but both my parents are self-employed. Back when I was a kid, they had a company, CTC. We'd routinely go out for dinners that would be deducted. I'd sit and doodle on some paper or otherwise entertain myself, and they'd talk business. However, I don't know if the fact that they both worked for the company is a big deal here or not.Kaiti
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