A husband and wife own an insurance agency. They are also avid RVers. Putting the two together, they make a portion of their business selling RV insurance. That is something not every agency offers. They also enjoy traveling to RV meets where, by the by, they never fail to put up a booth, not to mention pester their fellow meet-goers about insurance.
This raises an interesting question: when attending a meet, are they vacationing or working? If the former, they of course could not claim their expenses as a tax deduction. But if they are working, it could be a legitimate marketing/sales expense. The fact that this couple enjoys RVing and may indulge in a few too many beers at the campsite around a bonfire does not, alone, bar them from calling the meet’s cost a business expense. After all, the courts have acknowledged that it is permissible to have fun while working.
To answer that question, the courts will try and deduce, based on the evidence presented, the primary purpose of the activity. If the primary purpose is professional, the cost might be (at least partially) deductible. If it is not, the taxpayer is out of luck.
The bit about the “evidence presented” is crucial. In the RV case, the taxpayers were allowed to deduct a significant portion of their expenses for one year but none for the one before, for lack of documentation. That cost them a fair amount in back taxes and penalties, some of which might have been avoided had they worked more closely with their accountant and attorney.