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Writing off employee meals

On Lawyer & Legal » Tax Law

3,012 words with 4 Comments; publish: Thu, 16 Aug 2007 18:38:00 GMT; (800156.25, « »)

The state is: California

I run a small store, and during our busy season, I buy lunch for all of the employees, about 20 people including our seasonal help. My accountant told me that we can only claim 50% of the meal cost. I was under the impression that as long as we were providing meals for ALL employees, we could write off the entire cost of the meals.

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  • 4 Comments
    • Quote:
      === Original Words ===

      What is the name of your state? California

      I run a small store, and during our busy season, I buy lunch for all of the employees, about 20 people including our seasonal help. My accountant told me that we can only claim 50% of the meal cost. I was under the impression that as long as we were providing meals for ALL employees, we could write off the entire cost of the meals.

      If more than half your employees are furnihed meals on premises, then all such meals are deemed to be for your conveniece, and as such, they are fully deductible by you and excluded from income of your employees.
      #1; Thu, 16 Aug 2007 19:07:00 GMT
    • Quote:
      === Original Words ===

      Thanks you so much for your responses! Where do I find that info so that I can direct my accountant to it?

      Code Section 119(b)(4)

      #2; Thu, 16 Aug 2007 22:17:00 GMT
    • Quote:
      === Original Words ===

      What is the name of your state? California

      I run a small store, and during our busy season, I buy lunch for all of the employees, about 20 people including our seasonal help. My accountant told me that we can only claim 50% of the meal cost. I was under the impression that as long as we were providing meals for ALL employees, we could write off the entire cost of the meals.

      Meals that are legitimately provided for the convenience of the employer can be fully written off. So, for example, if you are providing lunch during the busy season, in order to have the employees on hand and available through their lunch hours (as opposed to them leaving for lunch and being unavailable) then they are fully deductible.

      Now, if the meals are a "reward" for how hard they are working during the busy season, they can still be fully deductible to you, if you include the value of the meals as part of the employee's wages and you tax and withhold appropriately.

      #3; Thu, 16 Aug 2007 19:02:00 GMT
    • Thanks you so much for your responses! Where do I find that info so that I can direct my accountant to it?
      #4; Thu, 16 Aug 2007 21:04:00 GMT