Business trips are part of many employment relationships. You can deduct the travel costs incurred from your taxes. We will explain how to do this in the following.
What requirements must be met in order to deduct travel expenses?
Travel expenses include travel costs, additional costs for meals, incidental travel costs and accommodation costs. You can deduct these travel expenses as income-related expenses if they were incurred as a result of a business-related field work. A business trip means that you are working away from your home and your regular place of work.
In addition, you can only claim the costs if your employer has not reimbursed them. Normally, your employer pays the costs. If you had to bear the costs of a business trip yourself and claim them for tax purposes, you should be able to prove the expenses. You can keep a logbook, fuel receipts, travel tickets or hotel bills as proof.
If your employer has paid a proportion of the costs, you can deduct the excess travel costs. In this case, you must disclose to the tax office exactly what you and your employer have paid.
Deductible expenses for business trips
You can deduct travel expenses as a lump sum or as actual travel expenses.
If you travelled by bus, train or plane, you must enter the amounts that appear on your bills for tickets.
If you drove your own car, it is somewhat more difficult to prove the travel costs. In this case, you can calculate the costs with the help of the travel allowance. It amounts to 30 cents per kilometre driven. You can therefore use it for both the outward and the return journey. If you travelled by motorbike or moped, you can deduct 20 cents per kilometre.
For a business trip from Berlin to Hamburg by car, you can deduct 2 x (289 km x 0.30 cents) = 173.40 euros in travel expenses.
If you had a company car at your disposal, however, you cannot deduct your work-related travel expenses as income-related expenses.
With the Taxfix app, you can easily record your travel costs on business trips. The app automatically calculates the allowance for you. We explain exactly how this works below.
Verpflegungsmehraufwand: Additional costs for meals
Often, the employer also covers the costs of meals and determines whether you receive free meals on a business trip, whether shares are paid or whether the meals allowance applies. Your employer may reimburse this lump sum free of social security and tax.
You enter your additional expenses for meals in your tax return in order to claim them for tax purposes. A lump sum for additional meal expenses applies (Verpflegungsmehraufwand). The amount of the lump sum depends on the duration of your absence from home or from your usual place of work. If you are absent for more than 8 hours, you can claim the lump sum.
More than 8 hours
Days of arrival and departure
24 hours / overnight stay
For trips abroad, other lump sums may apply.
The Taxfix app automatically calculates your additional expenses for meals and also takes into account reimbursements from your employer that are noted in your annual payslip. All you have to do is enter the key data of your trip. Find more detailed information on this topic here.
Accommodation and incidental travel expenses
In addition, other expenses may be incurred. These are, for example:
Costs for rental cars
Entrance fees for professional reasons such as trade fairs or events
However, you cannot deduct costs for your private pleasure. This includes, for example, private telephone calls, minibar, massages or pay TV. You cannot claim the cost of clothing, suitcases or other travel equipment.
How to enter your business trip in the Taxfix app
You can enter costs for business trips in our app in the "Work" category.
The app queries all tax-relevant costs and automatically takes into account the applicable per diem and kilometre allowances based on the information you provide.
Please note that costs can only be claimed for tax purposes if they have not been fully reimbursed by the employer. Reimbursements are also queried in the app or entered via the data on your annual payslip. They are then automatically offset against your costs.
To calculate your travel costs, first enter where you travelled to and which means of transport you used. Then select the starting point and destination so that the kilometres travelled can be calculated. If you travelled by bus, train or plane, you can enter the actual costs for tickets.
The additional costs for meals are calculated automatically. All you have to do is enter the period of your trip.
Finally, you can enter accommodation costs and incidental travel expenses.