Business Travel Expense Questions:
I’m a single person LLC based in Maryland that provides management consulting and project management services. My business recently won a project in California. The project will last from 1/5/09 to 12/31/09 (a little under 12 months). I will be renting an apartment in California while I’m there, while my house in Maryland is empty, and I will fly home to Maryland once or twice a month to check on my house. I will also still be trying to win work in the Washington, DC/Maryland area while I’m in California.
1. While in California, I will be renting an apartment and claiming the monthly rent as a business expense
. Will I also be able to deduct the cost of the apartment utilities: e.g., electric, water, internet connection?
2. Can I take the standard daily meal allowance while I’m in California (and the 50% expense deduction
)? Also, do I claim the meal allowance only on workdays, or can I claim it on weekends as well?
3. If I rent a car (or take out a short-term lease) while in California, can I deduct the cost of the rental? If so, do I claim the expense only on workdays and not weekends (e.g., expense only 5/7 of the cost)?
4. If I drive my own car to California, I can claim the expense of the drive to California, but can I also claim use of the car while in California as an expense? If yes, what exactly could I claim – the miles from my apartment to work and back, or all miles driven in California (e.g., workday miles)?
5. While in California, can I claim the cost of my dry cleaning?
6. Are there any other expenses I can claim while in California (besides my monthly travel back and forth to Maryland)?
7. Can I claim the cost of expenses in Maryland that I incur only because I’m in California? For example, house sitting fees, lawn services, etc.?