Living in Seoul, South Korea, I love spending time walking along the Han River and listening to podcasts. One of the podcasts I enjoy is Alexa Meisler's "Break into Travel Writing" podcast.
One day, about three years ago, I was listening to Episode 82 with Amy Northard, linked here. OH MY GOSH! This show saved my company!
Well, at the very least, the episode, “Bookkeeping for Travel Bloggers with Amy Northard” saved me from a heap of heartache with the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
My husband and I have, for well over a decade, had a brilliant accountant in Virginia who does our taxes. I had really great coaches and business advisers at the Alexandria Small Business Development Center. I even had an attorney, whose specialty is the travel industry, draw-up my legal agreements.
But…I didn’t realize, until listening to this episode, that I had to report to the IRS any and ALL “freebies” I was given for my business. In particular to my company, the travel and tours to Kenya, Uganda, and South Africa as a Fully Hosted International Buyer and the Travel Show Booths I ran on behalf of the Kenyan Embassy in Seoul. All expenses and costs paid for by Tourism Boards or Exhibition Companies are INCOME! That’s right, taxable income.
So, while I love my business and wouldn’t trade the lifestyle it offers for the world, my Familiarization (Fam) Trips are work and they are taxable. But, we won’t tell the Gorillas in Uganda. They think I was there simply for pleasure and to visit their remote jungle. They don’t need to know about the IRS. ;-)
Disclaimer: I am not a financial or legal professional and the above blog is from personal experience and you should seek out a Certified Public Accountant or Legal Professional for your own business.
Where I might be permanently living had I not listened to this podcast….