Confused about deductibility of business meals, travel, and entertainment?

January 20, 2017 - 3:37 pm Author: Category:

Business Meals, Travel & Entertainment Deductibility Checklist

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Business Meals
Dinner for employee working overtime (if deemed de minimis) X
Lunch ordered in for staff meeting (if deemed de minimis) X
Lunch and dinner provided at or near cost to employees at employer-operated cafeteria X
Employee recreation (picnics, holiday parties, etc.) primarily for the benefit of employees
   other than highly compensated employees X
Meals eaten alone while traveling for business purposes X
Lunch with employee, infrequent meetings, business discussed X
Lunch with customer, business discussed X
Lunch with customer on your road trip, no business discussed
   Customer’s meals X
   Your meal X
   “Quiet business meal” – no business discussed X
Lavish and extravagant meal X
Lunch with employee, no business discussed X
Dinner for customer and spouse, no one else present X

Travel Expenses
Transportation to/from restaurant for business meal X
Transportation and lodging expenses X
Per diem reimbursement up to federal limit
   Employee and Employer X
Per diem reimbursement in excess of federal limit
   Employee X
   Employer X
Transportation, living and attendance expenses for investment seminar
   where investment related business is not your trade or business X
Expenses for travel as form of education X
Travel for charitable purposes with some personal pleasure:  Charitable deduction X

Tickets to charitable fundraising sports events when volunteers do substantially all the work
   Performed and 100% of net proceeds are donated to charity X
Tickets to nonprofit high school or college sports event with paid coaches and referees X
Transportation to/from sporting event X
Ticket price for sporting event associated with business discussion X
Leased sky boxes for sporting events: One event – at cost X
   More than one event – deduction limited to cost of non-luxury box seats X
Scalper’s premium for tickets – deduction limited to regular priced ticket X
Cover charge, taxes, tips and parking for entertainment events X
Country club dues and fees primarily established for recreational and entertainment activities X

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This post was written by Michelle Bonnett