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ance between breakfast, lunch, dinner, and incidental costs can be found at

While the standard meal allowance can provide a larger deduction to those who are somewhat frugal, those who prefer more lavish meals might be better off computing their deduction using their actual expenses.

If you use the standard meal allowance, you must still keep records to document the time, place, and business purpose of your travel. However, you can easily substantiate the time and place of your travel with your transportation and lodging records.

Finally, the GSA lodging rate cannot be used by self-employed people to compute their lodging expenses.

So although we are permitted to use the GSA rate for our meals, we must use the actual cost for hotel expenses.

For more details, see IRS Publication 463, Travel, Entertainment, Gift, and Car Expenses.

Wishing you safe travels and bon appétit!

Diane Kelly is a CPA/tax attorney and the author of the humorous Death and Taxes romantic mystery series from St. Martin’s Press.

Writing is Taxing     Continued from page 15      We can’t avoid difficult times in our lives, or the fact that hard experiences can clog the creativity conduit for a time. But eventually the creativity that is inherent in our lives can be used to continue that healing.

As writers, we have an edge over most people in that we already have a creative outlet to use for that healing work.

To learn more about Dr. Debra Holland’s work and writing, visit her website at

JoAnn Grote is the award-winning author of 38 books, including inspirational romances, middle-grade historical novels, and children’s nonfiction. Contact her at

Business Briefs

Penguin’s Parent Pearson Purchases Vanity Publisher

Pearson has announced that it will buy Author Solutions, Inc. for $116 million in cash. Founded in 2007, Bloomington, Indiana-based Author Solutions has published 190,000 books by 150,000 authors and reported revenues of $100 million last year.

A press release from Pearson calls the acquisition an “opportunity for growth” and states that Penguin Group will gain “expertise in online marketing, consumer analytics, professional services and user-generated content” while the vanity publisher “will benefit from Penguin’s design, editorial and sales skills, and its strong international presence.” Pearson is also using terms such as “curated self-publishing” to describe what the new venture will produce.

This isn’t Penguin’s first foray into self-publishing. A venture launched in November 2011 through its online community Book Country drew criticism from self-publishing guru J.A. Konrath over royalty rates.


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