Lack of Substantiation Kills Deductions.

The petitioner, a family operated business that employed family members, rented a beach house for a week for the enjoyment of the family and employees of a customer.  The business claimed deductions for the rental expense and entertainment as “advertising” on the basis that the week-long retreat was for the business purpose of building customer relationships.  The IRS disallowed the expenses and the court agreed.  The petitioner had scant documentation and no proof that the expenses claimed were paid for what the petitioner claimed they were paid for.  Accordingly, the deduction failed for lack of substantiation.  The petitioner also claimed expense method depreciation for two vehicles, but again did not have records that could substantiate the deduction.  Karras v. Comr., T.C. Memo. 2015-204.