Open TurboTax

Why sign in to the Community?

  • Submit a question
  • Check your notifications
or and start working on your taxes
Close icon
Do you have a TurboTax Online account?

We'll help you get started or pick up where you left off.

Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
New Member

As a contractor can i deduct all meals paid for while working?

2 Replies
Level 15

As a contractor can i deduct all meals paid for while working?

Whose meals?


You are posting from TurboTax Live.  You can arrange for the Live help you are paying the extra fee for with your questions from  5 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific time Monday - Friday.

**Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to offer the most correct information possible. The poster disclaims any legal responsibility for the accuracy of the information that is contained in this post.**
Expert Alumni

As a contractor can i deduct all meals paid for while working?

It depends on the nature of the meal and the location. If you are self-employed, meals are generally deductible if incurred while traveling on business or while entertaining a client, customer, or employee. For local meals, while entertaining business associates and clients, taxpayers may deduct 50% of an otherwise allowable business meal expense if:


• The expense is both ordinary and necessary and paid or incurred during the tax year in carrying on a trade or business.

• The expense is not lavish or extravagant under the circumstances.

• The taxpayer, or an employee of the taxpayer, is present.

• The food and beverages are provided to a current or potential business customer, client, consultant, or similar business contact.


The deduction for meals while out of town is calculated by using actual costs or the standard meal allowance under the per diem rates. A deduction for meals is generally limited to 50% of the expense. The limit also applies to taxes and tips relating to a meal.


For further information, please see IRS PUB 535, Business Expenses.

**Say "Thanks" by clicking the thumb icon in a post
**Mark the post that answers your question by clicking on "Mark as Best Answer"

About Community

Learn about taxes, budgeting, saving, borrowing, reducing debt, investing, and planning for retirement.



Manage cookies