A lot of people believe that in order for a meal to be classified as a “business” meal for your independent contractor taxes, it needs to be white tablecloth with a french waiter serving you the le plat du jour. That’s false. We’ve listed three common types of meals that can be written off, below.
This one’s obvious. If you go out for lunch with a client, work will come up in the discussion. You don’t need to be signing contracts at the table for it to be a tax write off. You don’t even need to be paying for the other person’s meal. The fact that you are eating out, instead of bringing lunch from home, means that the expense is out of the ordinary, and tax deductible.
Many contracting platforms offer rewards for getting other people to sign up as contractors. Uber pays up to $500, for example. That’s serious money! When you grab a meal with a friend who might be interested in becoming a driver, and you talk about your work, that’s a tax write off.
Don’t miss this one! It’s very important to stay on top of the latest news and trends in your industry. Even if you’re meeting with someone who isn’t an actual client or potential referral, if you’re learning new things about your space that are helping you do a better job at work, that’s a tax write off.
Be reasonable with the types of meals you are writing off so they do not fall under the lavish or extravagant categories and be sure a fair amount of work was discussed as mentioned above. Use our 1099 expense tracker to discover tax deductions effortlessly.
Note: The 2018 Tax Cuts and Jobs act has invalidated business entertainment deductions. Some members of the accounting community believe that this may also spillover into business meals. Our stance at Keeper is that as long as the meal is not overly extravagant, it is in a separate category from business entertainment and continues to be a tax write off.
Keeper finds tax deductible expenses among your purchases ... automatically! Save $1000s a year claiming the tax write offs you’re eligible for as a contractor.