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Travel costs – Being accompanied by a life partner is not work related

Travel costs for work-related activities away from home are generally deductible as professional expenses. Recently, the Münster tax court dealt with the question of whether or not travel costs that arise as a result of taking your wife along with you are tax deductible.

In the case in question, the wife had accompanied her spouse to several events organised by a professional network abroad. She had indeed helped him to establish and maintain contacts to foreign professionals, however, she had no previous specialist training of any kind. Moreover, no work or employment relationship existed with her husband.

The Münster-based judges, in their ruling of 14.5.2019 (case reference: 2 K 2355/18 E), decided that these were private living expenses. Even if the wife’s participation supposedly met the expectations of the other participants, the expenses were primarily occasioned by her role as a wife and any professional motivation had receded behind this as something minor.

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