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Ask Lane Your Own Question
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 12044
Experience:  Law Degree, specialization in Tax Law and Corporate Law, CFP and MBA, Providing Financial & Tax advice since 1986
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I have a California LLC that earns all its money from Japanese

Customer Question

Hi, I have a California LLC that earns all its money from Japanese clients. I try to keep an apartment continuously in Japan (for convenience, while I'm visiting) in addition to my California housing. Can I fully write off the Japanese apartment as lodging?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  ShawnA replied 2 years ago.

Hello. My specialty is focusing on YOUR Financial needs. Financial Planner/Business Owner for 20 years. Retired CPA


Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Relist: Incomplete answer.
This person answered with just one word "yes" with no detail at all.
Expert:  Lane replied 2 years ago.
I can help you here...
You can write off the portion of the cost that would cover your use WHILE there IN Japan.
This comes under the category of "Business Travel"
The logic here, (the tax policy), is that you can only have what IRS calls a "tax home."
Business travel AWAY from that home and lodging while away from that home is deductible.
See this from IRS topic 511 "Business Travel:"
"You are traveling away from home if your duties require you to be away from the general area of your tax home for a period substantially longer than an ordinary day's work, and you need to get sleep or rest to meet the demands of your work while away."
Further ...
"Generally, your tax home is the entire city or general area where your main place of business or work is located, regardless of where you maintain your family home. For example, you live with your family in Chicago but work in Milwaukee where you stay in a hotel and eat in restaurants.
You return to Chicago every weekend. You may not deduct any of your travel, meals or lodging in Milwaukee because that is your tax home.
Your travel on weekends to your family home in Chicago is not for your work, so these expenses are also not deductible. If you regularly work in more than one place, your tax home is the general area where your main place of business or work is located."
Here's the IRS guidance on this ... but again, deducting the entire cost of the apartment, so sorry, is not acceptable ... but deduction a proportionate cost for the time that you ARE there on business (and would have to use hotels, etc.) ... as well as your meal costs ... is completely deductible ... as business travel:
Let me know if you have questions ...
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