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Don't be too quick to write off lunch

Article

Q. I take my practice staff out to lunch four times a year as a way to boost morale. Can I write off these lunches on my taxes as a business expense?

Q. I take my practice staff out to lunch four times a year as a way to boost morale. Can I write off these lunches on my taxes as a business expense?

"Lunches that employers provide to employees off premises for the purpose of boosting morale can't be deducted by the employer," says Veterinary Economics Editorial Advisory Board member Gary I. Glassman, CPA, a partner with Burzenski and Co. PC in East Haven, Conn. "The IRS views this type of lunch as entertainment because of its social and personal purpose." However, Glassman continues, lunches you serve in your facility for convenience or in connection with CE or a mandated staff meeting are presumed to have a business purpose and are deductible. Company picnics and holiday parties are also deductible.

Gary I. Glassman

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