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Business Meals [Ask The Experts Q & A]

May 15, 2012
Question:
Our small business consists of myself and my wife, doing copyediting and proofreading.  As such we don't really have much occasion to "entertain" customers, as nearly all our work consists of receiveing electronic files or hard copy and doing what we do and sending it off, often to other states.  But if we go out to dinner once a month and discuss business, such as planning, projects, office organization, etc, can we deduct that as a business meal?


Answer:
The easy answer to your question is absolutely YES, those business meals will be deductible.  The key point is whether or not the primary purpose of the meal is business and that the expense has an expected business benefit.  The idea of planning, organization, etc. are all legitimate business purposes.  It is a good idea to keep notes from the meeting for documentation.  Doesn't need to be a lot of notes so don't get carried away, but if there is ever a question, notes or minutes of the meeting make the business portion look even better.
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