Depending on the industry you work in, there are several conferences that are held throughout the year that you can attend. Let’s take the industry I work in as an example. I am a web developer/internet marketer and the types of conferences I can attend range anywhere from computers, programming, web marketing, and design. There are several tax advantages as well as business benefits to the self-employed individual when it comes to conferences.
The great thing about conferences is that they are typically held in another city or state. Sometimes even in other countries. That means that you are able to deduct your lodging costs if the conference is far enough away that would require you to stay overnight. You can even deduct a portion of your meal costs as well. Just remember that the conference must be business related. Keep a paper trail by keeping expense receipts and tradeshow workbooks. Use common sense and consult with your accountant if you are not sure what is deductible and what isn't.
Conferences also provide a great way to network with other professionals in your industry. You will pass out tons of business cards and receive just as many in return. You may land potential new clients as well and you will definitely get your name and business out there. Free marketing never hurts and you may meet people that can also help your business grow.
Many conferences are held to teach attendees new techniques or more efficient ways of growing your business. In my case, the web is in constant flux. The conferences I can attend are usually displaying the newest software or programming language that could increase my productivity. Conferences provide one centralized place for a meeting of the minds. Take plenty of notes and soak it all in!
Since conferences are typically held out of state, they are also typically held in fun cities. Popular venues include San Francisco, Boston, New York City, etc. If you have never been before, what a great opportunity to take in a little sight seeing while keeping most of your trip tax deductible!
Overall, if you have the time and the funds to attend business related conferences, take the opportunity to do so. It is a win-win situation. You get to learn more about your industry, take tax deductions, and have fun all at the same time.
Eartha Haines is the author for http://www.selfemployedblog.com . Self Employed Blog is a web site which shares ideas, services, products, and opportunities that may help others move closer to their dream of becoming their own boss.