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tax deduction for CME's

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  • #46
    I did one of the cme's from one of the aforementioned companies where they mailed me a certificate stating that I completed cme's for this week in Orlando while I was at Disney.   It was nice, my hospital paid for my plane flight and hotel room and of course the cost of the cd's.   My wife did a cme where she paid the $1500 of cme money, and they "gifted" her a new ipad back when ipads were expensive/first came out with her cme credit.   Now that I am in private practice, I don't plan on doing this anymore because it will be coming out of my pocket and I am uncertain about the whole irs audit business.  The biggest benefit of these companies is for physicians to use up cme money they are allocated as a benefit.  If you are at a university/large institution, I don't think that anybody is looking close enough to care most of the times (although at the last hospital I worked for, my boss told me not to do it).    I suspect that it would withstand an irs audit though, the certificate just says you did cme at the dates that you say that you were there.  I don't see how people can say its unethical, it seems similar to going to an actual meeting, signing in, and then going off to do your own thing which I assume that everyone has done at one point in their career or other.

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    • #47
      If these conferences are legitimate conferences with real speakers and a real topic that benefits attendees.. then I think it would be very helpful.  Of course.. I would hope you would vet them out for all your readers.   If anything pops up that looks questionable.. then take em out.  We all take vacations and quite honestly I prefer taking a edu-vacation instead.  Part learning and part fun.  I get bored quickly.. there's only so much site seeing, activities, eating, drinking to do.

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      • #48
        “ I don’t see how people can say its unethical, it seems similar to going to an actual meeting, signing in, and then going off to do your own thing which I assume that everyone has done at one point in their career or other.”

        Actual meetings are specifically targeted with the intent of using an attractive location to get attendance. Some meetings in reality are limited to locations that have sufficient facilities to handle significant numbers.
        • signing in and not attending
        • getting a dvd and not watching or listening
        I have zero problem not attending or using the dvd. But to rationalize that as ethical to claim CME when you didn’t even doze through it. Who paid for it isn’t the issue there.

        State the facts a little different:
        Should professionals have non-taxable paid vacations expenses? I guess that wouldn’t be an ethical problem.
        Might be tax evasion even if it was in your contract.
        There are liberal benefits tax wise for CME and business travel. Not doing business or the CME isn’t part of the deal from a tax standpoint. Makes no difference if you get reimbursed or not. Twelve or 15 hours isn’t a lot to ask for travel and expenses for a week. Geez. You still have a whole lot of time to spend.

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        • #49
          In the military you had to get 8 hours of cme per day for them to pay. At my current job, I get $x per year. One year they agreed to pay some moc fee and I got a cme podcast, some on-demand streaming CME. Last year I did a program where it was 4 hours a day at a travel destination— and it was videotaped lectures that you watched in a meeting room with others. (You couldn’t watch on your own/at a different time, but there were no in person speakers). It let me get to a location I wanted and fulfilled my job’s requirement that I earn CME. Would I claim it on my own personal taxes as a business expense? Probably not. And if I were WCI I would pass.

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