or Connect
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › General Skiing Discussion › What is your skiing budget ?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

What is your skiing budget ? - Page 4

post #91 of 116
I consider YOURS to be "maximal", helping to prove others', such as the OP, are minimal. I doubt if any of those families of four are spending remotely per person what you are spending.

The OP is talking about spending that $8000 on four people.
Quote:
My suggested budget is around $8000 - assuming I would ski 15-20 days(10-15 days mountain slaying), 2 kids 5-10 days each and wife has few days of spa treatment and lessons as she pleases.
post #92 of 116
Thread Starter 

Great posts, even the ones not so great. 

 

With occasional thread drift towards "non-skiing spouse" and "marriage counseling", this thread puts the real "price" on EpicSkiers dedication, love and passion for the sport.

 

As I noted earlier (for those that missed that), my supportive spouse and I have resolved our budget differences. In the true spirit of compromise, I had to give up my motorcycle:(

 

OTOH, we are in the planning stages of our family trip to Park City during the Sundance Film Festival. That way, since she is gainfully employed in film business, that would give her plenty of time to keep herself busy between her ski lessons. Even she is looking forward to ski trip with kids in tow, and this could be a "game changer" I was hoping for. 

Now what remains to be seen is will the agreed upon skiing budget be enough to have whole family in Park City for 5-6 days, occasional day trips to ski hills in the Midwest and still be able to achieve my goal of 40-50 days of skiing for family of 4. I am confident that I can manage that considering that airfares are not part of the equation. We'll see ...

post #93 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by goranmilos View Post
 

Great posts, even the ones not so great. 

 

With occasional thread drift towards "non-skiing spouse" and "marriage counseling", this thread puts the real "price" on EpicSkiers dedication, love and passion for the sport.

 

As I noted earlier (for those that missed that), my supportive spouse and I have resolved our budget differences. In the true spirit of compromise, I had to give up my motorcycle:(

 

OTOH, we are in the planning stages of our family trip to Park City during the Sundance Film Festival. That way, since she is gainfully employed in film business, that would give her plenty of time to keep herself busy between her ski lessons. Even she is looking forward to ski trip with kids in tow, and this could be a "game changer" I was hoping for. 

Now what remains to be seen is will the agreed upon skiing budget be enough to have whole family in Park City for 5-6 days, occasional day trips to ski hills in the Midwest and still be able to achieve my goal of 40-50 days of skiing for family of 4. I am confident that I can manage that considering that airfares are not part of the equation. We'll see ...

 

If your spouse does anything work related on that trip you can write a lot of her part of it off on your taxes.  Don't take my word for it and talk to a professional about where the line is, but if it is done correctly you can save a lot of money.

post #94 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by tetonpwdrjunkie View Post
 

 

If your spouse does anything work related on that trip you can write a lot of her part of it off on your taxes.  Don't take my word for it and talk to a professional about where the line is, but if it is done correctly you can save a lot of money.

 

Things like this sound good in theory, but in application are very complicated to achieve and rarely result in any significant savings. Frequently the cost of a tax pro capable of computing these credits correctly will be more than the actual savings. Plus, these kinds of deductions are extremely red flags that put up your risk of audit.

post #95 of 116

The family ski budget next year will come in well above 8k. Three kids racing, family trip out West, etc.  Throw in the price of "paying it forward" to the non-skiing spouse (shopping, beach trips etc) and I don't even want to think about the true cost...

 

Totally worth it

post #96 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrGolfAnalogy View Post
 

 

Things like this sound good in theory, but in application are very complicated to achieve and rarely result in any significant savings. Frequently the cost of a tax pro capable of computing these credits correctly will be more than the actual savings.

 

This is false.  Like, really, really, really not true.  It's not that complicated, nor that expensive to have a pro do your taxes and advise you exactly where to draw the line.

post #97 of 116
Thread Starter 

Did not really think of tax deductions, but in reality we do use tax pro to prepare our complicated taxes (since we are both self-employed "freelancers") and will be able to deduct good portion of that ski/business trip (lodging, rental car, luggage fees, meals and theater tickets). It does not count for much $$$ but every little counts ;)

post #98 of 116

So, if you're all headed to Park City during the film festival, and this is an industry that your wife is involved in, and she will actually be doing work while you're there, then don't a least a portion of the expenses belong on her professional budget instead of your ski budget?

post #99 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayT View Post
 

 

This is false.  Like, really, really, really not true.  It's not that complicated, nor that expensive to have a pro do your taxes and advise you exactly where to draw the line.

 

Report back on that when you try it.

 

Pro rating business and personal expenses on a multipurpose trip is anything but simple. As far as drawing the line goes, there is no black or white, it is interpretive, which is why most cases go to court for determination. At best, it's an expensive minefield.

 

The first issue is that the primary purpose of the trip has to be business. Just because you go for a ski trip and answer work email on your laptop doesn't mean that you get to deduct all your expenses. There are other catches like having to set up any business meetings in advance.

 

Here is IRS Publication 463 on the subject

post #100 of 116

So JayT, goranmilos is taking his family of four on a skiing trip to Park City for a week. It happens to be during the Sundance Film Festival and his wife is in the movie business. Can he deduct any on those expenses and claim them as a business deduction? Air fare, luggage, meals, car rental, incidentals; none of it, all of it, a quarter of it, just the parts when she is "working". Even if you do that it's not a dollar for dollar credit. Exactly how much of that trip is allowable and legitimate is possible to work out, but it is not simple to do or inexpensive if you have to use a professional preparer. Just filling out the form can cost you up to $200 even at a discount tax firm.

 

If the PRIMARY purpose of HER trip was to go to the festival and she happened to ski whilst she was there, then it may be worthwhile if the actual credit is greater than the cost of the preparation.

post #101 of 116
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Posaune View Post
 

So, if you're all headed to Park City during the film festival, and this is an industry that your wife is involved in, and she will actually be doing work while you're there, then don't a least a portion of the expenses belong on her professional budget instead of your ski budget?

Exactly, portion of the trip could be business expense and part of business budget.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrGolfAnalogy View Post
 

 

Report back on that when you try it.

 

Pro rating business and personal expenses on a multipurpose trip is anything but simple. As far as drawing the line goes, there is no black or white, it is interpretive, which is why most cases go to court for determination. At best, it's an expensive minefield.

 

The first issue is that the primary purpose of the trip has to be business. Just because you go for a ski trip and answer work email on your laptop doesn't mean that you get to deduct all your expenses. There are other catches like having to set up any business meetings in advance.

 

Here is IRS Publication 463 on the subject

Business meeting are exactly what would be happening while in PC, time to catch up with friends and line up any future work. That is a very big part of Sundance Film Festival.  Why would this be different than let's say convention in Las Vegas with a round or two of golf? Ask bigger corporations how they treat conventions and business outings. 

And her primary reason would be business trip, of course. It would cost no more or less to put that in front our accountant to figure it out. And if savings is even $35 that is $35 that I would rather spend on skiing than give it to ... you know who. At least until level playing field is established between corporations and small business (which we are).

We are both employed in film business.

post #102 of 116

I am not a tax pro.

 

I had it explained to me by a tax pro who strikes me as pretty conservative that certain things related to travel can be safely written off.  It does involve setting up a meeting in advance of booking the trip and a few other procedural things.  It also involves a bit of common sense.  I believe that your wife could write off her the travel for the trip, a portion of the lodging, and maybe some car rental costs.  If the family drove, you might be able to write off the entire travel cost using the standard milage deduction.  You could not write off lift tickets and other things that are clearly not business related.  In other words, don't get greedy.  I can say for sure as a small business owner that a tax deduction on money spent is not as profitable as not spending the money in the first place and paying taxes on it.  In other words don't go spending money on tax deductable things that you don't really need to save taxes, but if you are going to spend money anyway maybe you can save a percentage..

 

If you already have a tax person ask them about it.  I don't think it's that hard,

 

EDIT:  

 

I just noticed that you are both employeed in the film business, I think you should be able to write off some good sized chunks of that trip.

post #103 of 116

As far as the taxes goes, if they don't audit you, no problem.  

 

As far as the spouse goes, I'd look to stay someplace nice, and if I were you, I'd research a good spa and get it set up for her.  Surprise her with it.  That might some progress towards bringing her in on the ski vacation!

 

Mike

post #104 of 116

I had some time driving a car the other day and decide to think about this.  Skiing has been a rekindled passion as my children have entered adulthood and I have traveled out west and expanded my back country travels.  The past 5 years seemed like a good range to average. Over that time I have averaged just under 24 days (lift served and back country) and I have paid for about 8 family days a year.  Averaged $4,100 as follows:

 

February Vacation Trip: $1,700  Past year it was Chic Chocs, prior years: Rogers Pass, JH, SLT, SLT  Total ski days 48 so 9.6 day average

 

Gear $650 I am amortizing some of the gear cost forward as I have made significant purchases in the last two years which I expect to last 3 years forward with just one new ski purchase. Backcountry kit far outweighs alpine in cost.

 

Maine/NH skiing  $1,740  16 lift tickets $720 (self and family average around $45) Car $720 (2,400 miles x $0.30) Hotel 3 nights $300

 

Good to put it in perspective.  It is a lot of money and I work hard at keeping the costs down. 

post #105 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrGolfAnalogy View Post
 

 

Report back on that when you try it.

 

I was self employed for 5 years.  My father has been for 40 years, so I'm extremely aware of how travel-related deductions work.  It's really not that big of a deal, just rely on the advice of a tax professional.  The IRS is not omniscient - if you can prove there were strong work motivations for the trip, especially with a receipt for a conference or something similar, then that's it.  It doesn't matter how much fun you had doing other things.

 

Someone in the film industry going to Sundance is an absolute no-brainer.

post #106 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayT View Post

 

 

Someone in the film industry going to Sundance is an absolute no-brainer.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by habacomike View Post
 

As far as the taxes goes, if they don't audit you, no problem.  

 

 

You can't take the family on a ski vacation, pop into the movies for an evening and then try to claim it all as expenses, even if you do work in the movie business. Of course as habacomike alludes to, this is what people do. At best it is Tax Avoidance, at worst it is Tax Fraud. The odds of being audited are remote, but go up greatly with red flags like travel expenses. The little you stand to save could cost you thousands, or even jail time. Is it really worth it?  

 

It's only a no brainer if you set it up correctly. Which means it's not a no brainer for most people.

 

Document that business is the main purpose of your trip and prove prearranged business activities. If you are self employed you would need to show how this is an acceptable, potentially profitable action for your line of work. If employed you may need to show proof that you were "sent" there to work by your employer and not reimbursed for your expenses. You will have to show that the majority of you time is spent working and that the skiing is incidental, book your travel and lodging separately to the rest of the family, and use a dedicated work account to pay for those expenses. You may need a mileage log book to track work and non work related mileage. You will also need to pay and track all incidentals separately to your family. Theses are very broad strokes and leave out a lot of detail. Many in the business may even disagree because the tax code, and how it is applied, is far from black and white. You still have to pay for your expensive tax attorney to file these forms for you. Just to be clear, you don't need all of this to file your taxes, just to defend them when required. Ignorance of the law is not a defense.

 

If the wife was going to the Sundance Festival with a pre planned budget and itinerary, then she might get in a few days skiing "on the company". The family could stay in the hotel room and ride in the rental car without issue, but everything else would be out of their pockets. It doesn't take much to see what the real intent of a trip is, and the IRS is very good at working it out.

 

Given the circumstances, I would just enjoy the ski trip as a family vacation and claim any specific expenses dedicated to the Festival.

post #107 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrGolfAnalogy View Post
 

 

 

 

You can't take the family on a ski vacation, pop into the movies for an evening and then try to claim it all as expenses, even if you do work in the movie business. Of course as habacomike alludes to, this is what people do. At best it is Tax Avoidance, at worst it is Tax Fraud. The odds of being audited are remote, but go up greatly with red flags like travel expenses. The little you stand to save could cost you thousands, or even jail time. Is it really worth it?  

 

It's only a no brainer if you set it up correctly. Which means it's not a no brainer for most people.

 

Document that business is the main purpose of your trip and prove prearranged business activities. If you are self employed you would need to show how this is an acceptable, potentially profitable action for your line of work. If employed you may need to show proof that you were "sent" there to work by your employer and not reimbursed for your expenses. You will have to show that the majority of you time is spent working and that the skiing is incidental, book your travel and lodging separately to the rest of the family, and use a dedicated work account to pay for those expenses. You may need a mileage log book to track work and non work related mileage. You will also need to pay and track all incidentals separately to your family. Theses are very broad strokes and leave out a lot of detail. Many in the business may even disagree because the tax code, and how it is applied, is far from black and white. You still have to pay for your expensive tax attorney to file these forms for you. Just to be clear, you don't need all of this to file your taxes, just to defend them when required. Ignorance of the law is not a defense.

 

If the wife was going to the Sundance Festival with a pre planned budget and itinerary, then she might get in a few days skiing "on the company". The family could stay in the hotel room and ride in the rental car without issue, but everything else would be out of their pockets. It doesn't take much to see what the real intent of a trip is, and the IRS is very good at working it out.

 

Given the circumstances, I would just enjoy the ski trip as a family vacation and claim any specific expenses dedicated to the Festival.


I know when I travel for business I always bring my tax attorney. Its a little expensive, but you can never be too careful. The question is, though, when I am skiing with my tax attorney and we are talking about my expenses, does skiing become a business expense? It can be so confusing.

post #108 of 116

I just started skiing as an adult 2 years ago, so my first few years were quite expensive with skis, boots, clothing etc...I figure I spent upwards of $1500 - $2000 alone on skis, boots, pants, jacket, helmet and gloves.

 

For next year, I decided to try and get in the most skiing days locally (in the Canadian Rockies) for the least amount of money. So I bought a "power of 4" midweek season pass at Norquay for $115, an adult season pass at Nakiska for $200. Additionally, I will probably ski 6-8 days or so at Sunshine Village (with discounted tickets from Costco..for those awesome powder days). I figure this, plus gas, should put me in at around $1000. I never buy lunch on the mountain,  always pack it in, along with a flask for hot chocolate and schnapps fix at the end of the day :) I'm hoping to keep mu budget low next year. Maybe add in one trip - but I'm not sure about that yet...

post #109 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by x10003q View Post
 


I know when I travel for business I always bring my tax attorney. Its a little expensive, but you can never be too careful. The question is, though, when I am skiing with my tax attorney and we are talking about my expenses, does skiing become a business expense? It can be so confusing.

....and are all of those billable hours for the tax attorney? :eek

post #110 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post
 

....and are all of those billable hours for the tax attorney? :eek

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by x10003q View Post
 


I know when I travel for business I always bring my tax attorney. Its a little expensive, but you can never be too careful. The question is, though, when I am skiing with my tax attorney and we are talking about my expenses, does skiing become a business expense? It can be so confusing.

 

This reminds me of the time that I had a medical consultation with a ski buddy who is also a doctor, while riding the 22 minute long Burfield Chairlift at Sun Peaks. When we got off the chair at the top of the mountain I gave him my B.C. Care Card number so he could bill the British Columbia Medical Plan. True story.

post #111 of 116

Only billing the portion of your trip that relates to your work = not that difficult.

post #112 of 116
Thread Starter 

MrGolfAnalogy, I want to thank you for your advice. Of course only expenses associated with attending the conference/festival could be deducted as legitimate business expenses.No chicken nuggets and milk for my kids, ski school, lift tickets, weak Utah martinis etc.

 

I can not agree with your assertion that industry professionals attending one of the premier festivals in the world are just "popping into movie" after skiing. As a matter of fact many attendees do not even get to see the slopes. My spouse might be one of those since she is a non skier. Hopefully, she would take a lesson or two in her leisure time between screenings and meetings. 

 

Billions of dollars of business is negotiated at this event between producers and distributors. If that is not the "business gathering" - please tell me what is "business gathering"?

Any tax benefit created by writing off business related expenses would be minimal in this case. However, on the advice of my accountant/tax professional, I am urged to submit to him all receipts business related. At the time of tax filling he would decide what is acceptable and what is not based on his knowledge and expertise in tax related matters.

 

Also, could it be argued that ski shop owner/ski manufacturer (small mom/pop shop in MIlwaukee) can not write off expenses associated with trip to Denver to attend SIA?

post #113 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayT View Post
 

Only billing the portion of your trip that relates to your work = not that difficult.

 

So you keep telling us, but you have yet to show us how. I've given you specific examples and referred you to the IRS publications. You have told us that you were self employed for five years, but do you have specific experience of this type of return?

 

So how about you break it down for us? Tell us specifically what you can and can't deduct and on which forms based on employment status. What are the limits, ceilings and floors? What if it generates a loss. How about AMT? What records do you need to keep. Is a credit card statement sufficient. Can you prorate shared costs with your family. What specifically qualifies it as a business trip. At what point will you break even based on your tax bracket. How much will the forms cost. 

 

Sorry if this seems unduly argumentative, but you have called me out three times now and I have answered you with facts. Time you did the same.

post #114 of 116
Thread Starter 

Questions are not facts.

post #115 of 116

Keep all your receipts.  Describe the trip and ask your accountant which ones qualify as deductions and which do not.  Then you start to get the hang of it.  You're making a mountain out of a molehill.  This is very basic, standard stuff.  I'm sure there are others who are self employed reading this thread and rolling their eyes.  I'm not going to break down some detailed scenario for the hell of it, because it's not like it's a fun activity in the first place.

post #116 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayT View Post
 

Keep all your receipts.  Describe the trip and ask your accountant which ones qualify as deductions and which do not.  Then you start to get the hang of it.  You're making a mountain out of a molehill.  This is very basic, standard stuff.  I'm sure there are others who are self employed reading this thread and rolling their eyes.  I'm not going to break down some detailed scenario for the hell of it, because it's not like it's a fun activity in the first place.

Exactly!     This is all just normal day to day stuff working it out for those who run their own businesses


Edited by ScotsSkier - 6/20/14 at 12:07pm
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Skiing Discussion
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › General Skiing Discussion › What is your skiing budget ?