In general, transportation expenses are any type of professional expenses generated due to traveling for business purposes. These can be part of a regular work routine, such as someone who often travels as a part of his or her job, or part of finding a job such as traveling to job interviews and moving locations to start a new career. Transportation expenses can be many different things, and may potentially include just about any type of travel; such expenses can include simply driving to meet with a prospective client, flying to oversee development of a new factory in another country, or taking a ferry to an island for a corporate retreat.
One of the most important aspects of transportation expenses for many people is that they can often be charged to a business or reimbursed by a business. This means that someone who is sent by his or her employers to drive to a new factory can often have fuel costs reimbursed or paid for by the company. While this can be somewhat insignificant for short trips, this type of reimbursement is especially important when dealing with international flights and other expensive trips. Sometimes expenses not directly involved in travel, but related to the process, can also be charged as transportation expenses to a business.
For example, if someone has to drive eight hours to inspect a new factory, spend the night in a hotel, and then drive back the next day, then there could be several potential transportation expenses involved. The person would likely have fuel costs reimbursed to him, which may include submitting receipts for fuel or simply a payment at a standard mileage rate that should cover the cost of fuel. He or she could also apply for reimbursement of food expenses, since the trip is a business trip, and may be reimbursed up to a maximum amount in order to compensate for his or her time.
The hotel stay will also usually be covered as transportation expenses, though other fees while at the hotel may not be covered. For example, if he or she ordered a movie or took food or drink from a bar at extra cost, then those additional charges may need to be paid by the person and not reimbursed by the business. For longer trips, a person may be given a “per diem” that consists of a small amount of money to be spent each day or for the length of the trip.
While not always reimbursed by a company, if a potential employee is very desired by a business, then transportation expenses accrued during the interview and hiring process may be reimbursed. This can even include moving expenses for the person if geographical relocation is necessary for employment. For some businesses, many of these types of professional expenses may also qualify as tax deductions, though this depends on many different factors.