Is human error covered as business expense in income tax return?

Asked about 2 years ago - Jersey City, NJ

I live in NJ and work in OH. I work from home most of the times and travel to OH (for work related meetings once in a while). Last month, I made a mistake in making travel arrangements. I booked 2 tickets by mistake. Obviously I could travel only on one ticket. Can I still claim the 'wasted ticket' as business expense on my tax returns?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. E. Martin Davidoff


    Contributor Level 15


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I agree with prior attorney. And, I am also a CPA who prepares tax returns. The expense appears to be a legitimate business expense. However, usually the ticket has a value even if double-booked. Many airlines will allow a rescheduling for a fee. And, if you are a frequent flyer, they may provide you with a courtesy credit.

    Good luck.


    Marty Davidoff,, 732-274-1600. This answer is provided for general information only. You... more
  2. Steven Anderson Leahy


    Contributor Level 17


    Lawyers agree

    Best Answer
    chosen by asker

    Answered . I am not an accountant - however, I help people with their tax debts everyday. Life is not perfect, errors are made - and are legitimate business expenses. If I purchased ink for a printer, and it turned out to be the wrong cartridge, and I could not return it - wouldn't I be able to deduct that as a legitimate business expense? Of course. Same thing with the wasted ticket.

    That's my opinion. I have never argued that to the IRS though.

    I hope this helps.
    Steven A. Leahy

    Please note that the above is not intended as legal advice, it is for educational purposes only. No attorney-... more
  3. Dana Whitney Atchley

    Contributor Level 14


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . This is an area where considered discretion and judgment are called for. You should talk to your accountant and get his or her views on the matter - I always defer to the person who knows more of the facts than I do - but as a general matter if there is a reasonable explanation for your mistake and if you couldn't get a refund for the second ticket once you discovered the mistake, then it would probably be reasonable to claim the cost of the second "wasted" ticket as a legitimate business expense. That being said, I don't know all of the facts of your case so please don't just rely on my say-so; talk to your accountant or another competent professional who knows all the facts of your case if you want an answer you can rely on.

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