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I have often wondered about the meal deduction. I understand that you can write off meals for bus. travel, and entertainment.

My question is a little unique.

I work only in restaurants, and I have found that the best way to market them is to go in and eat, ask to meet a manager and hit them with my sales pitch. After all at that time I'm a customer and they have to be nice to me, they just can't blow me off.

Could this be listed as a marketing expense vs a dinning expense?????
 

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You could claim the deduction. Anything can be deducted, it's just a matter of how safe do you feel in taking it and how well can you defend it if audited and the validity is questioned?

But you're safer taking it as a dining expense, it's meals & entertainment. It's not marketing.

50% deductable not 100%.

Even in a more traditional cut and dry scenario, say a salesman calls on a client and invites him out to dinner it's still a meals and entertainment expense not a marketing expense. Make sure you have a log of the experience. Write down on the back of the reciept who you met and what you discussed.
 

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Motorboatin' son of a ...
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I usually ask my tax guy how much I should claim for various deductions because I don't want to claim too much that it throws up a red flag to the IRS. Claim enough to get something back, but don't claim too much that it seems way out of the ordinary.
 

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I usually ask my tax guy how much I should claim for various deductions because I don't want to claim too much that it throws up a red flag to the IRS. Claim enough to get something back, but don't claim too much that it seems way out of the ordinary.

If you have the rcords and can back up an expense, take it. No sense in paying the gov. more than they deserve!!

Don't be afraid of audits. I have been audited several times and 3 of them resulted in me getting money back.:thumbsup::thumbup:
 

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I am not an accountant, ask your real accountant

I often work out of town, overnight. My accountant tells me If I am out overnight, my expenses are deductable. For proof, you can use an invoice or job record. Meals are only 50% deductable for the company, but my company policy is to reimburse myself 100%. You can also use IRS tables that list an allowance for cash meal expenses, which is what I do. That allows me to expense the maximum amount. Motel expenses are normally 100% deductable. But get the real information from your accountant.
 

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Thom
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The scenario you described, qualifies for the 50% meals and entertainment deduction.

While working there, if there is a legitimate business reason for it, your meals can be fully deductible.

Years ago I switched my lunch policy. My wife would pick up lunch for the entire crew, I paid for it. The business purpose, everyone is back to work on time and we don't have to put all the tools away and get them back out again to provide security for them. This makes the cost of the meals, including the mileage to pick-up and deliver them, fully deductible as a business expense.

Providing lunch is cheaper than the time lost when the crew leaves the job site.
 

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I just save every receipt (even the rediculous ones!). I give em all to my accountant and he'll tell me if they're too far fetched. I love my accountant, he's a decent guy and a wiz. Hard to find one's you can trust. He always gives me solid advice- I do however pay him for it!

I would say that your going out to eat is a tax deductable marketing scheme so I wouldn't be afraid, just be realistic about it.
 

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Contractor
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piggy backing on Thom's comment, I'll buy lunch for the guys when it behooves me...if we as crew can get one additional door in during the day in and not be cramped for time b/c of a longer lunch break, the added income far out weighs the meal expense.
 

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I buy lunch for all my clients, subs, guys on weekends ... the last time I saved all my receipts most were all faded by the time I took them to my preparer ... BKFranks, you get some thing back!?! tax season is always one sided for me since i've been contracting... you must cut down on your quarterly's lest you make the rest of us look bad to the IRS!
 
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