When can you claim an overseas trip?

Many of our clients travel overseas for business and sometimes for a mixture of business and pleasure so we get asked what can they claim when travelling overseas.

Essentially it’s the same answer as for domestic travelling.  You can claim any business expense which is linked to the production of your business income although take care not to claim any GST on any part of your overseas trip.  An easy way to avoid this is to code everything to international travel in your Xero file with a zero rated GST code.

However, the IRD may ask for proof that your trip was indeed a business trip so here is a good list of things to record for every overseas trip:

  • the reasons for the trip
  • the date of the trip
  • your itinerary
  • the cost of car hire, and air, bus and taxi fares
  • the cost of accommodation, meals and incidentals
  • the time spent on business and non-business activities.

Also, as for any business expense, retain copies of invoices or tickets to prove the cost.  

If you have a trip which has part business, part pleasure then simply claim the relevant % or the direct costs of that part of the trip where you can identify the link to income production.  For example, if you fly to Fiji and spend a week on the beach and a week seeing clients or suppliers in Suva, then claim all the Suva expenses and half of your travel costs to Fiji, such as the air fare.

One of our clients at Beany, Ollie Brazier from Oxygen Media, a social media marketing agency travels frequently to Melbourne for work and had this to say: “The team at Beany helped me massively with figuring out what I could claim as a travel expense and what I had to be careful with. Not having to worry about missing out on claimable expenses relieves a lot of questions I had before making the switch to Beany.”

The IRD generally take a pragmatic approach as long as you can provide the information above.  

Please contact us at support@beany.com if you have any questions or concerns about your international travel claims.