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A Writer’s Vacation Deduction?

Question: I plan on taking an extended vacation that I intend to write a book about. Can I deduct my trip expenses on my tax return?

— Craig Majka, Clyde Park, Mont.

Answer: Nice work if you can get it. But here’s how the IRS sees it: If your writing endeavors fail to yield a profit in three out of five years, it’s considered a “hobby” and you can deduct only as much as you earned in income — not all the expenses. In the meantime, says Abe Schneier, senior technical manager for the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, document everything you can to show it’s a professional venture. So draw up a business plan, demonstrate prior experience or skills, keep a daily diary of activities, and save receipts. Best proof for a writer: a contract or other formal agreement from a publisher


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