photo credit: battleshippretension.com
According to TripAdvisor.com, Monte Carlo, the Mediterranean town in Monaco that borders both France and Italy, is the most popular travel destination in the entire world. But Monte Carlo isn’t just for the uber-wealthy and James Bond. It’s also a top choice of middle class Americans, families and – you guessed it – business travelers. While everyone else vacationing in Monte Carlo may be throwing caution to the wind at the blackjack table, the smart small business owner will be keeping track of her business tax write offs everywhere from Larvotto Beach to Casino Square.
Monte Carlo was the first place James Bond uttered those now infamous introductory words. Y’know, last name, first name, last name. It’s also a fantastic place to put your Shoeboxed app to work, and cash in on some luxuriously legal business tax write offs. One of the most expensive parts of a Monte Carlo vacation – besides the airfare that is – is the hotel room. Unlike meals and entertainment, staying in a hotel while on a legitimate business trip is a full-blown business expense (aka 100% deductible). Now, the average price of a Monte Carlo hotel room is upwards of $400 USD, so the government’s not going to expect or require you to seek out the Motel 6 Monte Carlo. In terms of business tax write offs, the hotel room is a great place to splurge. Try the Hotel de Paris, the Monte Carlo Bay Hotel and Resort, or the Fairmont Monte Carlo. And don’t forget to scan or snap your receipts for things like printing in the hotel’s computer center, tipping the bell hop, or adding WiFi service to your room.
If you’re attending a conference at the Conference Centre Monte Carlo, your transportation to and from the conference site is 100% deductible as a business tax write off. Scan your receipt from the driver and keep track of the mileage. After the conference, you may want to enjoy dinner with colleagues at Adagio or Lo Sfizio. Snap the receipt with your smartphone using the Shoeboxed app, and take some mental notes about who was there and what you discussed. You can organize entertainment expenses in your Shoeboxed account, but labeling a business tax write off as “dinner with associates” is not enough. Get specific about what kind of business actually went down at dinner, and any meetings or plans that were made for the future.
Where does any 007 worth his weight go after dinner in Monte Carlo? To the casino, of course! And good news – even if you’re just a casual gambler, you can deduct any losses incurred at the craps table! That’s right. The IRS allows gambling losses to be deducted, as long as losses don’t exceed your gambling winnings. In order to count gambling losses as a business tax write off, you have to get receipts for absolutely everything you spend at the table or slot machine. So have your smartphone out, tip your dealer handsomely, and get a receipt for every hand. And don’t forget – you also have to claim your winnings!