If I travel somewhere for the sake of both work and pleasure, can I incorporate this into a travel expense to calculate ma’aserable income? I wouldn’t travel for pleasure alone, nor for work alone — only for the option of both (the travel is difficult physically).
Thank you for your question.
It is hard to give an exact answer without knowing the specific circumstances. However, in general, if the business reason is enough reason for you to travel, but due to the physical difficulty you are abstaining from doing so until you have the incentive of the pleasure, then you can take it the basic trip as a business expense. We will look at it as a business trip that has some pleasure and recreation as a side kick. The fact that you are enjoying yourself while on the trip doesn’t make it not a business trip.
It is important to know that you can only deduct the expenses that are needed for the business part of the trip, such as the plane ticket, and hotel stay. However, expenses that you would have regardless of the business trip, such as basic food expenses, cannot be included. This is because you would have this expense even if you were to stay at home, because you always need to eat, etc. Additionally, any other expenses that you have that are for pleasure sake, and are unrelated to the business aspect of the trip cannot be included, as they aren’t expenses needed in order to make money for the business.
On the other hand, if the trip is basically for pleasure, and you will do some business while on your vacation, it would be hard to say that the business has to pick up the tab, just because some business was done on it.
B’orach Tzedakah 12-13.