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It used to be that you could deduct most meals or entertainment activities that were involved as a part
of a business trip. However, between 2017 and 2018, Congress set some limits on what you can deduct.
Taking your client or potential business partner to the Lakers game, the cost of bucket seats is no longer
However, if you take that same client out to dinner, be sure to document it because THAT’S
The same applies to Club Memberships and sporting events hosted for charity or educational
institutions. The cost to get into such events is not deductible but the foods or snacks you purchase there are.
Did you know about these tax reform changes? Is this affecting the way you conduct your business trips?
Let us know below!

IR-2020-225, September 30, 2020

WASHINGTON - The Internal Revenue Service issued final orders to reduce business expenses for meals and entertainment following amendments to the Tax Incentives and Jobs Act (TCJA). tax preparation Sacramento

However, taxpayers can still deduct food and beverage-related business expenses if certain requirements are met.

These final rules regulate the prohibition of deductions for entertainment, leisure, or recreational activities, including the application of certain exceptions to this prohibition. They also provide guidance on how to determine if an activity is considered entertainment. The final provisions also address the limitation of reducing the cost of food and drink.

Updates on the implementation of the TCJA can be found on the Tax Reform page.

IR-2020-39, February 24, 2020

WASHINGTON - The Internal Revenue Service has issued a proposal for rules to reduce business expenses for meals and entertainment following changes to the Tax Incentives and Jobs Act (TCJA).

It also limited the reduction in food and beverage costs provided by employers to their employees.

These proposed regulations address the abolition of spending reductions on entertainment, leisure, or recreational activities and provide guidance for determining whether an activity is considered entertainment. The proposed regulations also address the limitation of food and beverage cost reductions.

The proposed regulations will affect taxpayers who pay or incur costs for meals or entertainment. These proposed regulations generally follow the Communication 2018-76 PDF, published on October 15, 2018, which provided transitional guidelines on the deductibility of certain company meals.

The IRS will hold a public hearing on the settlement proposals on April 7, 2020.


On Wednesday, the IRS issued Final Orders (T.D. 9925) to Implement the Tax Cut and Jobs Act (TCJA), P.L. 115-97, which prevents businesses from deducting most of the upkeep expenses. The rules also clarify the treatment of deductible allowances for the food and beverage business, which are generally capped at 50% of the reimbursement cost, and how taxpayers can distinguish this cost from entertainment.

The proposed regulations were again based on Communication 2018-76 published in October 2018.

Sec. Section 274 (a) (1) (A) generally prohibits the withdrawal of activities that are normally considered entertainment, recreation, or leisure. Prior to the abolition of the TCJA, which was in effect for amounts paid or accrued after December 31, 2017, the sub-paragraph provided for a number of exceptions, including entertainment, which was preceded or followed by significant and honest business discussions. The TCJA has not overridden the other exemptions from the Secs. 

TCJA accordingly removed the reference to Entertainment Sec. 

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Article 274 (n) (1) relating to the 50% limit for the deductibility of food or beverages left this provision otherwise unchanged. The remaining costs for food or drinks are also Sec. (K) general requirements that they are not plush or luxurious and that the taxpayer or an employee of the taxpayer is present when the food or drink is provided. Food and beverages must also be normal and necessary business expenses in Chapter 7. 162 (a).

TCJA also applied a 50% limit on food and beverages for de minimis employee benefits, based on Sec. 132 (e) (unless another exception under paragraph 274 (e) applies) that have not previously been applied.

Corporate taxpayers, therefore, need to distinguish between deductible meals and non-deductible entertainment expenses, and the rules governing how this happens in different circumstances.

The regulations make it clear that "entertainment" Sec. Paragraph 274 (a) does not include food or beverages unless they are provided during or during entertainment activities and their costs are not stated separately from entertainment costs.

According to the final rules, food or drink must be delivered to a person with whom the taxpayer reasonably conducts or can conduct the taxpayer's business, such as B. the customers, customers, suppliers, employees, agents, partners, or professional advisers of the taxpayer, regardless of whether he is established or future. In the last provisions, this definition, therefore, applies to the cost of food or drink provided by the employer by treating the employee as a kind of business partner, as well as to the cost of meals that the taxpayer provides both to the employee and to the employee's business partner provides.

The final provisions will take effect when they are published in the Federal Register. 

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