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Business meal expenses – what can I deduct?

Business meals are a common expense, but what is tax deductible can be tricky to understand.

For 2021 and 2022, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 created a temporary tax incentive allowing a 100% tax deduction of business-related meals purchased at restaurants. This was an increase from the standard 50% tax deduction. As of January 1, 2023, that temporary incentive has expired, and the rules have gone back to a 50% deduction for most business meals.

For 2023, here is a summary of typical expense types and their deductibility –


Type of Expense Deduction
Business Meals with Clients 50%
Meals with Employees and/or Contractors *employees other than yourself & if less than 50% of staff are present 50%
Meals While Traveling for Business or Conferences 50%
Office Snacks *Does not apply to S-corp owner if the only employee 50%
Entertainment Related Meals *Must be charged separately from other entertainment costs 50%
Meals with Employees and/or Contractors *employees other than yourself & if more than 50% of staff are present 100%
Food for Company Holiday Parties 100%
Food & Beverages Given Free to the Public 100%
Entertainment Expenses (concerts, golfing, sporting events, etc.) 0%
Meals, Groceries, & Snacks for Yourself or Family 0%


Below is a link to a great article with additional details.

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