What to Claim

 Tax Deductible Overseas Business Seminars

Turning your next holiday into an educational – and tax deductible – trip might be easier than you think.

International Business Seminars offers international seminars that can help business owners and employees grow their skills and, at the same time, slash the cost of their airfares, accommodation and even meals and other expenses such as transport costs. You benefit from learning how you can grow your business or career while relaxing in some of the world’s most popular holiday destinations.

Our international business seminars are designed to fit in with most timetables. The starting time of most of our seminars and conferences is early, so that attendees are free to undertake their own activities outside of our scheduled programming.

Each attendee is given a certificate of attendance on arrival each day at the seminar or conference. This can be presented as proof of attendance.

And if you miss any part of our seminars or conference, we can also arrange one-on-one briefings so that you can catch up on anything that you missed out on. Certificates of participation will also be provided to participants who undertake one-on-one catch-up briefings.

While we have taken care to provide general advice only on this site, you should seek expert advice from your tax advisor about whether you would be able to lodge a tax deduction claim for attending one of our overseas conferences or seminars.

We hold seminars and conferences to coincide with most Australian school holidays and also some sporting events. We can also organise private seminars or conferences for groups depending on the size and preferred location of the event.

We have a range of seminars and conferences that could fit into the Australian Taxation Office’s tax deductibility category. Contact us anytime for a more up to date conference schedule.

Claiming Tax Deductions On Overseas Travel

The Australian Taxation Office website provides the following advice in regard to claiming a tax deduction for attending an overseas seminar or conference.

“You can claim a deduction for travel expenses (fares, accommodation and meal expenses if you are required to sleep away from home), registration and conference material costs incurred when you attend work-related conferences, seminars and training courses.” – source: click here

Our seminars are designed for business owners and working professionals who want to get the benefits of mixing business and pleasure. You benefit from learning how you can grow your business or career while relaxing in some of the world’s most popular holiday destinations.

Keep in mind that you will need to apportion any tax deductible claims. The Australian Taxation Office describes it this way:

“If your attendance at the event is only incidental to a private activity (such as a holiday) then only the expenses related to the work-related activity are deductible. The cost of accommodation, meals and travel would not be deductible. If the main purpose of your travel is attending the conference, seminar or training course, you can claim a deduction for the expenses you incurred.”

A Guide to Travel Tax Deductions

The Australian Taxation Office makes it easy to work out if you can claim a tax deduction if you travel overseas to attend a seminar or any other work-related activities. The information below should be used as a guide only and you should consult your tax advisor in regard to your eligibility for any tax deductions.

Taxpayers can usually claim a deduction for any business travel expense directly connected to their current employment or business.

Any travel that is for private purposes cannot be claimed. For example if you spend 4 days of an overseas trip at a seminar and two days sightseeing it may be that 66% of your flights, accommodation and meals are claimable.

In some instances, our seminars start on Thursdays or Fridays and continue on Monday and Tuesday. We recommend seeking specific advice on whether this also makes your weekend expenses deductible.

What Makes Overseas Travel Deductible

The Australian Taxation Office says there must be a direct connection between your current employment or business and any work related activities undertaken at your overseas destination.

As discussed above, the ATO accepts that there can be a private component to any work-related travel.  However the private (tourism) activities must be incidental to the overall purpose. In other words, if the main purpose of your trip is sightseeing and you spend a day attending a seminar your claim for a substantial deduction is weak. However, if you visit some attractions between seminars, your case for a tax deduction is strong.

Example 1

A massage therapist books a flight and pays for a ticket to attend a three-day massage conference in Thailand and decides to spend an extra week holidaying with her family. She may be able to claim her airfare, as the primary purpose for her initial travel was to attend the work-related conference. However, it is likely that she would only be able to claim the portion or her accommodation, meals and travel expenditure that related to the three-day work portion of her trip.

Example 2

A doctor who is travelling to the USA on a family holiday decides to visit a number of medical facilities while he is there. In this case it is more likely that the work-related portion of the trip was incidental to the private purpose of the trip. This means it is likely that while a portion of the doctor’s accommodation and meals may be deductible, the cost of his airfare might not be deductible.

However, if the private and income-producing purpose of the trip were equal, then it is possible that 50% of the expenses incurred for both purposes could be deductible. In other words, it is possible that half of the airfare could be claimed at tax time.

What Travel Expenses Can Be Claimed


Usually the airfares to and from the location of a work related activity are fully tax deductible if the activity was the primary purpose of your trip. If your trip is part work-related and part holiday, then only a proportion of your airfare is likely to be claimable.


Accommodation costs may only be claimed if the work-related activity is carried out over two or more consecutive days. If you decide to add on a holiday while you are away, then those extra costs are private and not tax deductible.

Travel, Meals and Incidentals

The cost of meals, travel and incidentals on the days that you attend a work-related activity are tax deductible. Deductible costs could include our seminar registration fee, taxis or car hire.

What Travel Expenses Cannot Be Claimed

Personal items

The cost of visas, passports and travel insurance are not claimable.

Expenses For Relatives

Costs incurred by accompanying spouses and/or family members are not normally claimable unless that person is also your employee or employed by the same employer and would have travelled with you even if they were not related to you.

While your spouse’s airfare will probably not be claimable your spouse would not normally have any accommodation expenses if they are sharing with you.

What Records Do I Need To Keep

Receipts for all work-related expenses should be kept including airfares, accommodation, meals, internal travel and any other incidentals such as phone calls or SIM cards.

If your trip is for more than six nights, you are also required to keep a travel diary showing the dates travelled, places visited, the people you met with, times and duration of the activities or appointments and the purpose of the travel.