Business Meals are Dead
No more fun. Lawmakers killed off business meals deductions for directly related and associated entertainment. This took effect January 1, 2018.
Last year, you could take a prospect or client to a business dinner followed by a ballgame and deduct 50 percent. Now you can’t.
Here’s a quick snapshot of what sunset on January 1, 2018:
- Business meals with clients or prospects
- Tickets to football, baseball, basketball, soccer, etc., games
- Grabbing a coffee
Here’s What Has Changed
What are meals that are for the “convenience of the employer”? Meals served:
- at required business meetings on your business premises;
- at required business meetings in a hotel or other meeting place that passes the test for business premises but is located outside of the office;
- to employees who are required to staff their positions during breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner times;
- to employees at in-office cafeterias
For 2018, you need an account in your chart of accounts that says something along the lines of “Meals 50% deductible.” In this category, you can group together travel meals and the meals I mentioned above.
In spite of the elimination, you are likely to continue taking your clients to a ballgame and dinner. Just don’t expect it to save you any tax dollars.