We provide guidance to business owners on what records need to be maintained to prove each deduction being claimed on your taxes.
What Are Adequate Records?
You should keep the proof you need in an account book, diary, log, statement of expense, trip sheets, or similar record. You should also keep documentary evidence that, together with your record, will support each element of an expense.
- You have meals or lodging expenses while traveling away from home for which you account to your employer under an accountable plan, and you use a per diem allowance method that includes meals and/or lodging. ( Accountable plans and per diem allowances are discussed in chapter 6.)
- Your expense, other than lodging, is less than $75.
- You have a transportation expense for which a receipt isn’t readily available.
Adequate evidence. Documentary evidence ordinarily will be considered adequate if it shows the amount, date, place, and essential character of the expense. For example, a hotel receipt is enough to support expenses for business travel if it has all of the following information.
- The name and location of the hotel.
- The dates you stayed there.
- Separate amounts for charges such as lodging, meals, and telephone calls.
A restaurant receipt is enough to prove an expense for a business meal if it has all of the following information.
- The name and location of the restaurant.
- The number of people served.
- The date and amount of the expense.
If a charge is made for items other than food and beverages, the receipt must show that this is the case.