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Meals Expense Deductible? It Depends
March 1, 2019   |   IRS, Tax Planning-Business, Tax Resources, Taxes

man with coffee talking to a woman in a business suit outside building

The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act suspended some deductions and sidestepped others.  One of those deductions is the meals expense. For most employees, the meal expense (or per diem) tax deduction is suspended until tax year 2026 (no tax deduction).

However, self employed individuals (or those receiving a 1099 Misc) and STATUTORY employees (e.g. life insurance sales people, agents, delivery drivers and traveling sales people—employee status mandated by statute) can deduct a meals expense IFFFFFFFFFFFFFF:

Meal is not lavish or extravagant

Self employed taxpayer or his employee (e. g. assistant) is present

Meal is furnished to current or potential customers, clients or similar contacts.

UPDATE: Entertainment expense is no longer tax deductible.  If meal is combined with entertainment, then subtract the entertainment part of the expense from the charge to calculate the tax deductible part of the expense.

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