Accounting and Tax

Claiming deductions on overseas trips

13 March 2019
2 min read

Many business owners take trips overseas this year to promote sale of their products or for other reasons and it’s important to undersand what you can claim as a tax deduction.

Provided that your trips are solely for business purposes, you will be able to claim all the costs as a tax deduction. However, if the trip is also for personal reasons, say you tacked on a few days holidaying and sightseeing, you will only be able to claim a deduction for the portion of the trip that is business related.

As with all tax deductions, you need to keep proof of all your expenses you claim as a tax deduction.

This includes written evidence of expenses such as airfares, accommodation, food, drink etc. Examples of written evidence include invoices or receipts.

If your overseas travel exceeds 6 nights in a row, you should also keep a travel diary or itinerary, documenting dates, places, times and durations of your activities while travelling.

In addition to a tax deduction, you may also be eligible for the Export Market Development Grant (EMDG).

The EMDG scheme, which is administered by Austrade, reimburses businesses up to 50% for eligible overseas marketing expenses.

To be eligible for the EMDG you need to:

  • be an Australian based business

  • have annual income of less than $50million

  • have export sales and

  • have spent at least $15,000 on oversees promotional activities during the year.

The types of expenses that you could claim include:

  • hiring overseas representatives or marketing consultants

  • marketing visits

  • communication

  • promotional literature and advertising

  • distributing free samples

  • attending trade fairs and seminars or conducting in-store promotions

  • overseas buyers and

  • registration and/or insurance of eligible intellectual property

The minimum grant is $5,000, whilst the maximum available is $150,000, with a maximum of 8 grants for eligible trips.

To claim the EMDG you will need to keep evidence of all your expenses, just as you would when claiming a tax deduction.