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This Web site contains a compilation of more than a thousand consumer finance  columns written by Tony Novak from the 1980s through 2006, updated and reformatted for maximum usefulness today.  New material was added after 2010.

Content is the opinion of the author and does not represent the position of any other person or entity. Information is from sources believed to be reliable but cannot be guaranteed.

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Tax deductions for meals

originally posted: 11/22/2006  reposted: 2/18/2011 This post has not been recently reviewed or revised by the author and may be out of date. If in doubt, please send a new question or ask for an update.

Q: Do I have to save receipts and keep a record of the business discussed at meals in order to take a deduction for restaurant meals?

A: You only need receipts to justify meals expenses of more than $75. Most business people use an appointment journal of some type that lists basic information like the time, date, location, who attended and the business purpose. This record in your calendar will suffice for most tax purposes. If the meals were during business travel, the same records would be needed to justify the travel expense. Also, the IRS allows smaller spenders to take a standard meal expense that is more generous allowance than what many business travelers actually spend. If this is the case, required record keeping is simplified to the date book journal entry only. It is not necessary to keep receipts for expenses less than $75.


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