Deducting Business Meals under the TCJA

11/1/2018 | Written by: Selena Quintanilla, CRTP
One of the bigger changes introduced under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 was made to the deductibility of certain business expenses. For the most part, the TCJA eliminated the deduction for any expenses considered to be entertainment, amusement or recreation. However, the deductibility of business meals remains.  

Here is a list of things to consider before claiming a deduction for meals: 
  
  • Up to 50% of the cost of business meals provided to current or potential business clients, contacts, etc., may be deducted if the meals are not considered lavish or extravagant.  
  • The taxpayer, or employee of the taxpayer, must be present during the meals to qualify as deductible.  
  • Food and beverages purchased separate from an event will not be considered entertainment and can qualify for the 50% deduction if all other qualifications are met.  

For further clarification on the deductibility of business meal expenses and what types of expenses are considered constitute entertainment, please visit IRS.gov