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Can i deduct every meal if i work 24 hour shifts?

2 Replies
Level 15

Can i deduct every meal if i work 24 hour shifts?

What?  If you are a W-2 employee you cannot deduct anything for your meals.  The tax laws changed for 2018 and beyond.  W-2 employees cannot deduct job-related expenses on a federal return.

**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.**
Opus 17
Level 15

Can i deduct every meal if i work 24 hour shifts?

Even under the old rules, meals are considered personal expenses and are never deductible, unless you are traveling away from your tax home (the city or area where you earn most of your money.)


The only time "local" meals were ever deductible was (such as in the case of firefighters who were required to be at the station and on call for a 24h shift)--if you were required to pay into a meal fund as a condition of accepting employment and you had to pay into the meal fund even if you wanted to bring your own meals from home.  There was also a 6th circuit (I think) court case, only valid in the 6th circuit, that said that police officers who were required to take meals on the clock, and who could not take a meal break, and had to be ready to respond instantly to a call even if they were eating, could deduct on the job meals.


But generally, meals taken while working are personal expenses because if you were home you would still have to eat, and you have the choice of bringing your own meals from home for the same cost as your regular personal meals at home. 

*Answers are correct to the best of my ability at the time of posting but do not constitute legal or tax advice.*
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