can i deduct dining out?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by grass disaster, Apr 5, 2005.

  1. grass disaster

    grass disaster LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,751

    if i keep my receipts can i deduct them for my lawn service. do i just write on the back of the ticket we talked about lawn.

    oh and can i deduct drinks also?

    i should mention i'm part time solo.
  2. Stephen M.

    Stephen M. LawnSite Member
    Messages: 192

    Yes, but the catch is that the IRS only gives you 50% for meals and entertainment. Their theory is that you can't deduct for a non business partner, such as spouse.

    I get screwed on that one since my wife and I are business partners and we have many times when we are on the road together, but only get 50%.
  3. Mower For Less

    Mower For Less LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 823

    I dont think it has anything to do with your spouse. I'm pretty sure the 50% was brought in because of all the abuse people were giving the system. Even corporations without spouses are still subject to the same 50%.

    And there needs to be a business purpose for the expense. You cant expect to be a solo, go out to dinner everyday with your wife/girlfriend/mistress, and write off 365 dinners/lunches/breakfasts. There needs to be some benefit to your business. Your meal expenses should be somewhat relevant to the additional business it should theoretically bring you (new customers,bigger jobs, etc...)

    Also, company gatherings (such as picnics), where EVERY EMPLOYEE OF THE COMPANY IS INVITED TO ATTEND (read: you), are 100% deductable. (Dont try to have too many gathering though... lol)

  4. tonygreek

    tonygreek LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,852

    on a positive note, i've read some recent articles that the 50% may revert to 100% for small business owners as a way to help level the playing field against bigger companies.
  5. nelbuts

    nelbuts LawnSite Bronze Member
    from SW, FL
    Messages: 1,053

    You can deduct your ice that you buy every morning for your cooler. If you drink sodas and gatorade etc. you can deduct that too. Meals are only 50% as long as you discuss business. You can deduct motels if you tie it to business. Want to go to Vegas? Find a show for the green industry. New Orleans, no problem just hook up with a show. Just make sure you document everything so when the audit you your butt will be covered.
  6. grass disaster

    grass disaster LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,751

    so your saying i can deduct 100% of my gatorade?
  7. nelbuts

    nelbuts LawnSite Bronze Member
    from SW, FL
    Messages: 1,053

    I am saying that my accountant has soda and coffee in office, even popcorn. It is deducted from their cost of business. Due to the nature of our business we must have fluids and ice to survive while working. Therefore, those costs are deductable. I am not sure about the percentage but I know that I was told to keep a record of it and they do use it in the tax process.

    I know that you can buy an ice machine for your shop and that can be deducted like equipment. Afterall that is what it is. But like everything else just ask your accountant. If you do not have one then get one.

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,534

    I believe that the soda and popcorn is looked at as for the customer and therefore an advertising cost even if they eat some. I would question your drink at the gas station in the AM as counting but the Ice machine would.

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