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e-CFR data is current as of September 17, 2020

Title 26Chapter ISubchapter APart 1 → §1.274-4


Title 26: Internal Revenue
PART 1—INCOME TAXES (CONTINUED)


§1.274-4   Disallowance of certain foreign travel expenses.

(a) Introductory. Section 274(c) and this section impose certain restrictions on the deductibility of travel expenses incurred in the case of an individual who, while traveling outside the United States away from home in the pursuit of trade or business (hereinafter termed “business activity”), engages in substantial personal activity not attributable to such trade or business (hereinafter termed “nonbusiness activity”). Section 274(c) and this section are limited in their application to individuals (whether or not an employee or other person traveling under a reimbursement or other expense allowance arrangement) who engage in nonbusiness activity while traveling outside the United States away from home, and do not impose restrictions on the deductibility of travel expenses incurred by an employer or client under an advance, reimbursement, or other arrangement with the individual who engages in nonbusiness activity. For purposes of this section, the term United States includes only the States and the District of Columbia, and any reference to “trade or business” or “business activity” includes any activity described in section 212. For rules governing the determination of travel outside the United States away from home, see paragraph (e) of this section. For rules governing the disallowance of travel expense to which this section applies, see paragraph (f) of this section.

(b) Limitations on application of section. The restrictions on deductibility of travel expenses contained in paragraph (f) of this section are applicable only if:

(1) The travel expense is otherwise deductible under section 162 or 212 and the regulations thereunder,

(2) The travel expense is for travel outside the United States away from home which exceeds 1 week (as determined under paragraph (c) of this section), and

(3) The time outside the United States away from home attributable to nonbusiness activity (as determined under paragraph (d) of this section) constitutes 25 percent or more of the total time on such travel.

(c) Travel in excess of 1 week. This section does not apply to an expense of travel unless the expense is for travel outside the United States away from home which exceeds 1 week. For purposes of this section, 1 week means 7 consecutive days. The day in which travel outside the United States away from home begins shall not be considered, but the day in which such travel ends shall be considered, in determining whether a taxpayer is outside the United States away from home for more than 7 consecutive days. For example, if a taxpayer departs on travel outside the United States away from home on a Wednesday morning and ends such travel the following Wednesday evening, he shall be considered as being outside the United States away from home only 7 consecutive days. In such a case, this section would not apply because the taxpayer was not outside the United States away from home for more than 7 consecutive days. However, if the taxpayer travels outside the United States away from home for more than 7 consecutive days, both the day such travel begins and the day such travel ends shall be considered a “business day” or a “nonbusiness day”, as the case may be, for purposes of determining whether nonbusiness activity constituted 25 percent or more of travel time under paragraph (d) of this section and for purposes of allocating expenses under paragraph (f) of this section. For purposes of determining whether travel is outside the United States away from home, see paragraph (e) of this section.

(d) Nonbusiness activity constituting 25 percent or more of travel time—(1) In general. This section does not apply to any expense of travel outside the United States away from home unless the portion of time outside the United States away from home attributable to nonbusiness activity constitutes 25 percent or more of the total time on such travel.

(2) Allocation on per day basis. The total time traveling outside the United States away from home will be allocated on a day-by-day basis to (i) days of business activity or (ii) days of nonbusiness activity (hereinafter termed “business days” or “nonbusiness days” respectively) unless the taxpayer establishes that a different method of allocation more clearly reflects the portion of time outside the United States away from home which is attributable to nonbusiness activity. For purposes of this section, a day spent outside the United States away from home shall be deemed entirely a business day even though spent only in part on business activity if the taxpayer establishes:

(i) Transportation days. That on such day the taxpayer was traveling to or returning from a destination outside the United States away from home in the pursuit of trade or business. However, if for purposes of engaging in nonbusiness activity, the taxpayer while traveling outside the United States away from home does not travel by a reasonably direct route, only that number of days shall be considered business days as would be required for the taxpayer, using the same mode of transportation, to travel to or return from the same destination by a reasonably direct route. Also, if, while so traveling, the taxpayer interrupts the normal course of travel by engaging in substantial diversions for nonbusiness reasons of his own choosing, only that number of days shall be considered business days as equals the number of days required for the taxpayer, using the same mode of transportation, to travel to or return from the same destination without engaging in such diversion. For example, if a taxpayer residing in New York departs on an evening on a direct flight to Quebec for a business meeting to be held in Quebec the next morning, for purposes of determining whether nonbusiness activity constituted 25 percent or more of his travel time, the entire day of his departure shall be considered a business day. On the other hand, if a taxpayer travels by automobile from New York to Quebec to attend a business meeting and while en route spends 2 days in Ottawa and 1 day in Montreal on nonbusiness activities of his personal choice, only that number of days outside the United States shall be considered business days as would have been required for the taxpayer to drive by a reasonably direct route to Quebec, taking into account normal periods for rest and meals.

(ii) Presence required. That on such day his presence outside the United States away from home was required at a particular place for a specific and bona fide business purpose. For example, if a taxpayer is instructed by his employer to attend a specific business meeting, the day of the meeting shall be considered a business day even though, because of the scheduled length of the meeting, the taxpayer spends more time during normal working hours of the day on nonbusiness activity than on business activity.

(iii) Days primarily business. That during hours normally considered to be appropriate for business activity, his principal activity on such day was the pursuit of trade or business.

(iv) Circumstances beyond control. That on such day he was prevented from engaging in the conduct of trade or business as his principal activity due to circumstances beyond his control.

(v) Weekends, holidays, etc. That such day was a Saturday, Sunday, legal holiday, or other reasonably necessary standby day which intervened during that course of the taxpayer's trade or business while outside the United States away from home which the taxpayer endeavored to conduct with reasonable dispatch. For example, if a taxpayer travels from New York to London to take part in business negotiations beginning on a Wednesday and concluding on the following Tuesday, the intervening Saturday and Sunday shall be considered business days whether or not business is conducted on either of such days. Similarly, if in the above case the meetings which concluded on Tuesday evening were followed by business meetings with another business group in London on the immediately succeeding Thursday and Friday, the intervening Wednesday will be deemed a business day. However, if at the conclusion of the business meetings on Friday, the taxpayer stays in London for an additional week for personal purposes, the Saturday and Sunday following the conclusion of the business meeting will not be considered business days.

(e) Domestic travel excluded—(1) In general. For purposes of this section, travel outside the United States away from home does not include any travel from one point in the United States to another point in the United States. However, travel which is not from one point in the United States to another point in the United States shall be considered travel outside the United States. If a taxpayer travels from a place within the United States to a place outside the United States, the portion, if any, of such travel which is from one point in the United States to another point in the United States is to be disregarded for purposes of determining:

(i) Whether the taxpayer's travel outside the United States away from home exceeds 1 week (see paragraph (c) of this section),

(ii) Whether the time outside the United States away from home attributable to nonbusiness activity constitutes 25 percent or more of the total time on such travel (see paragraph (d) of this section), or

(iii) The amount of travel expense subject to the allocation rules of this section (see paragraph (f) of this section).

(2) Determination of travel from one point in the United States to another point in the United States. In the case of the following means of transportation, travel from one point in the United States to another point in the United States shall be determined as follows:

(i) Travel by public transportation. In the case of travel by public transportation, any place in the United States at which the vehicle makes a scheduled stop for the purpose of adding or discharging passengers shall be considered a point in the United States.

(ii) Travel by private automobile. In the case of travel by private automobile, any such travel which is within the United States shall be considered travel from one point in the United States to another point in the United States.

(iii) Travel by private airplane. In the case of travel by private airplane, any flight, whether or not constituting the entire trip, where both the takeoff and the landing are within the United States shall be considered travel from one point in the United States to another point in the United States.

(3) Examples. The provisions of subparagraph (2) may be illustrated by the following examples:

Example 1. Taxpayer A flies from Los Angeles to Puerto Rico with a brief scheduled stopover in Miami for the purpose of adding and discharging passengers and A returns by airplane nonstop to Los Angeles. The travel from Los Angeles to Miami is considered travel from one point in the United States to another point in the United States. The travel from Miami to Puerto Rico and from Puerto Rico to Los Angeles is not considered travel from one point in the United States to another point in the United States and, thus, is considered to be travel outside the United States away from home.

Example 2. Taxpayer B travels by train from New York to Montreal. The travel from New York to the last place in the United States where the train is stopped for the purpose of adding or discharging passengers is considered to be travel from one point in the United States to another point in the United States.

Example 3. Taxpayer C travels by automobile from Tulsa to Mexico City and back. All travel in the United States is considered to be travel from one point in the United States to another point in the United States.

Example 4. Taxpayer D flies nonstop from Seattle to Juneau. Although the flight passes over Canada, the trip is considered to be travel from one point in the United States to another point in the United States.

Example 5. If in Example 4 above, the airplane makes a scheduled landing in Vancouver, the time spent in traveling from Seattle to Juneau is considered to be travel outside the United States away from home. However, the time spent in Juneau is not considered to be travel outside the United States away from home.

(f) Application of disallowance rules—(1) In general. In the case of expense for travel outside the United States away from home by an individual to which this section applies, except as otherwise provided in subparagraph (4) or (5) of this paragraph, no deduction shall be allowed for that amount of travel expense specified in subparagraph (2) or (3) of this paragraph (whichever is applicable) which is obtained by multiplying the total of such travel expense by a fraction:

(i) The numerator of which is the number of nonbusiness days during such travel, and

(ii) The denominator of which is the total number of business days and nonbusiness days during such travel.

For determination of “business days” and “nonbusiness days”, see paragraph (d)(2) of this section.

(2) Nonbusiness activity at, near, or beyond business destination. If the place at which the individual engages in nonbusiness activity (hereinafter termed “nonbusiness destination”) is at, near, or beyond the place to which he travels in the pursuit of a trade or business (hereinafter termed “business destination”), the amount of travel expense referred to in subparagraph (1) of this paragraph shall be the amount of travel expense, otherwise allowable as a deduction under section 162 or section 212, which would have been incurred in traveling from the place where travel outside the United States away from home begins to the business destination, and returning. Thus, if the individual travels from New York to London on business, and then takes a vacation in Paris before returning to New York, the amount of the travel expense subject to allocation is the expense which would have been incurred in traveling from New York to London and returning.

(3) Nonbusiness activity on the route to or from business destination. If the nonbusiness destination is on the route to or from the business destination, the amount of the travel expense referred to in subparagraph (1) of this paragraph shall be the amount of travel expense, otherwise allowable as a deduction under section 162 or 212, which would have been incurred in traveling from the place where travel outside the United States away from home begins to the nonbusiness destination and returning. Thus, if the individual travels on business from Chicago to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil with a scheduled stop in New York for the purpose of adding and discharging passengers, and while en route stops in Caracas, Venezuela for a vacation and returns to Chicago from Rio de Janeiro with another scheduled stop in New York for the purpose of adding and discharging passengers, the amount of travel expense subject to allocation is the expense which would have been incurred in traveling from New York to Caracas and returning.

(4) Other allocation method. If a taxpayer establishes that a method other than allocation on a day-by-day basis (as determined under paragraph (d)(2) of this section) more clearly reflects the portion of time outside the United States away from home which is attributable to nonbusiness activity, the amount of travel expense for which no deduction shall be allowed shall be determined by such other method.

(5) Travel expense deemed entirely allocable to business activity. Expenses of travel shall be considered allocable in full to business activity, and no portion of such expense shall be subject to disallowance under this section, if incurred under circumstances provided for in subdivision (i) or (ii) of this subparagraph.

(i) Lack of control over travel. Expenses of travel otherwise deductible under section 162 or 212 shall be considered fully allocable to business activity if, considering all the facts and circumstances, the individual incurring such expenses did not have substantial control over the arranging of the business trip. A person who is required to travel to a business destination will not be considered to have substantial control over the arranging of the business trip merely because he has control over the timing of the trip. Any individual who travels on behalf of his employer under a reimbursement or other expense allowance arrangement shall be considered not to have had substantial control over the arranging of his business trip, provided the employee is not:

(a) A managing executive of the employer for whom he is traveling (and for this purpose the term managing executive includes only an employee who, by reason of his authority and responsibility, is authorized, without effective veto procedures, to decide upon the necessity for his business trip), or

(b) Related to his employer within the meaning of section 267(b) but for this purpose the percentage referred to in section 267(b)(2) shall be 10 percent.

(ii) Lack of major consideration to obtain a vacation. Any expense of travel, which qualifies for deduction under section 162 or 212, shall be considered fully allocable to business activity if the individual incurring such expenses can establish that, considering all the facts and circumstances, he did not have a major consideration, in determining to make the trip, of obtaining a personal vacation or holiday. If such a major consideration were present, the provisions of subparagraphs (1) through (4) of this paragraph shall apply. However, if the trip were primarily personal in nature, the traveling expenses to and from the destination are not deductible even though the taxpayer engages in business activities while at such destination. See paragraph (b) of §1.162-2.

(g) Examples. The application of this section may be illustrated by the following examples:

Example 1. Individual A flew from New York to Paris where he conducted business for 1 day. He spent the next 2 days sightseeing in Paris and then flew back to New York. The entire trip, including 2 days for travel en route, took 5 days. Since the time outside the United States away from home during the trip did not exceed 1 week, the disallowance rules of this section do not apply.

Example 2. Individual B flew from Tampa to Honolulu (from one point in the United States to another point in the United States) for a business meeting which lasted 3 days and for personal matters which took 10 days. He then flew to Melbourne, Australia where he conducted business for 2 days and went sightseeing for 1 day. Immediately thereafter he flew back to Tampa, with a scheduled landing in Honolulu for the purpose of adding and discharging passengers. Although the trip exceeded 1 week, the time spent outside the United States away from home, including 2 days for traveling from Honolulu to Melbourne and return, was 5 days. Since the time outside the United States away from home during the trip did not exceed 1 week, the disallowance rules of this section do not apply.

Example 3. Individual C flew from Los Angeles to New York where he spent 5 days. He then flew to Brussels where he spent 14 days on business and 5 days on personal matters. He then flew back to Los Angeles by way of New York. The entire trip, including 4 days for travel en route, took 28 days. However, the 2 days spent traveling from Los Angeles to New York and return, and the 5 days spent in New York are not considered travel outside the United States away from home and, thus, are disregarded for purposes of this section. Although the time spent outside the United States away from home exceeded 1 week, the time outside the United States away from home attributable to nonbusiness activities (5 days out of 21) was less than 25 percent of the total time outside the United States away from home during the trip. Therefore, the disallowance rules of this section do not apply.

Example 4. D, an employee of Y Company, who is neither a managing executive of, nor related to, Y Company within the meaning of paragraph (f)(5)(i) of this section, traveled outside the United States away from home on behalf of his employer and was reimbursed by Y for his traveling expense to and from the business destination. The trip took more than a week and D took advantage of the opportunity to enjoy a personal vacation which exceeded 25 percent of the total time on the trip. Since D, traveling under a reimbursement arrangement, is not a managing executive of, or related to, Y Company, he is not considered to have substantial control over the arranging of the business trip, and the travel expenses shall be considered fully allocable to business activity.

Example 5. E, a managing executive and principal shareholder of X Company, travels from New York to Stockholm, Sweden, to attend a series of business meetings. At the conclusion of the series of meetings, which last 1 week, E spends 1 week on a personal vacation in Stockholm. If E establishes either that he did not have substantial control over the arranging of the trip or that a major consideration in his determining to make the trip was not to provide an opportunity for taking a personal vacation, the entire travel expense to and from Stockholm shall be considered fully allocable to business activity.

Example 6. F, a self-employed professional man, flew from New York to Copenhagen, Denmark, to attend a convention sponsored by a professional society. The trip lasted 3 weeks, of which 2 weeks were spent on vacation in Europe. F generally would be regarded as having substantial control over arranging this business trip. Unless F can establish that obtaining a vacation was not a major consideration in determining to make the trip, the disallowance rules of this section apply.

Example 7. Taxpayer G flew from Chicago to New York where he spent 6 days on business. He then flew to London where he conducted business for 2 days. G then flew to Paris for a 5 day vacation after which he flew back to Chicago, with a scheduled landing in New York for the purpose of adding and discharging passengers. G would not have made the trip except for the business he had to conduct in London. The travel outside the United States away from home, including 2 days for travel en route, exceeded a week and the time devoted to nonbusiness activities was not less than 25 percent of the total time on such travel. The 2 days spent traveling from Chicago to New York and return, and the 6 days spent in New York are disregarded for purposes of determining whether the travel outside the United States away from home exceeded a week and whether the time devoted to nonbusiness activities was less than 25 percent of the total time outside the United States away from home. If G is unable to establish either that he did not have substantial control over the arranging of the business trip or that an opportunity for taking a personal vacation was not a major consideration in his determining to make the trip, 5/9ths (5 days devoted to nonbusiness activities out of a total 9 days outside the United States away from home on the trip) of the expenses attributable to transportation and food from New York to London and from London to New York will be disallowed (unless G establishes that a different method of allocation more clearly reflects the portion of time outside the United States away from home which is attributable to nonbusiness activity).

(h) Cross reference. For rules with respect to whether an expense is travel or entertainment, see paragraph (b)(1)(iii) of §1.274-2.

[T.D. 6758, 29 FR 12768, Sept. 10, 1964]

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