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  • Is This Meal Deductible

  • Is This Meal Deductible

    How much of my meal is tax deductible?

    Of course the basic answer is the meal must involve a business function. Beyond that, the list of meals you can deduct falls into two categories:  50% or 100% of the meal cost is deductible. Here are the details:

    Meals are 50% deductible:

    • When involving the business meetings (including office and partner meetings) of employees, directors, stockholders and agents.
    • During most business travel. Note: even though an employee many be reimbursed 100% for business travel meals, the meal is still only 50% deductible.
    • At conventions, seminars or similar events where the meal is included. If it is not included in the event fee, calculate the cost using a reasonable per diem rate for that locale.
    • When the business will benefit from the meal or the meal includes a business purpose when meeting with people associated with the business (clients, vendors, customers)

    Meals are 100% deductible when:

    • office snacks (coffee, colas, bottled waters, donuts, etc.) are provided on your business’ premises.
    • food is made available to the public for free (such as a promotion of your business).
    • Your company holds the annual picnic and holiday party.
    • You provide food for a charity sporting event.
    • You provide a meal of convenience to more than half of your employees while at your place of business (such as when your employees work after general working hours).

    Billing a client for a meal? Be sure to separately state the meal cost to receive the full deduction. If the cost of the meal is not separately listed, only 50% of the cost can be deducted.


    Tax Due Dates