Did Congress make a mistake when they eliminated
business meal deductions?
Tax professionals want tax deductions for business meals with clients and prospects. Business owners want those meals deductible, too.
Add us to this list. We want that deduction for our clients (and, of course, for ourselves, too).
In recent days, we learned that lawmakers did not intend to eliminate business meals with clients and prospects.
We’re not exactly sure how lawmakers can undo what they’ve done to the tax code in this area, but experience says that if there’s a will, there’s a way. We think it may take a technical correction to the tax code, but some speculate that you could get this done with a Joint Committee on Taxation Bluebook explanation.
Regardless, at the moment this appears to be really good news. Obviously, we would like to see some already-in-place technical action on which we could hang our hat, but that’s not going to happen for some time, perhaps many months. Meanwhile, here’s what you need to do:
1. Track and document your client and prospect business meals as you have done (or should have done) in the past.
2. Keep the pressure on your lawmakers, asking them to codify or otherwise clarify that client and prospect business meals are indeed deductible.
3. Hope that client and prospect meals are indeed deductible for all of 2018.
Juan Carlos Samaniego, EA
P.S. Remember if you have a deadline for S-Corporation or Partnership Tax for March 15!