Solved: I want to deduct the standard per diem business meal expenses. What are guidlines, where would i input it? is it only for overnight trips?
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New Member

I want to deduct the standard per diem business meal expenses. What are guidlines, where would i input it? is it only for overnight trips?

Maybe I can help clarify. I want to know about the standard per diem meal expenses. What are the guidelines for taking that deduction per day or meal? Is it only allowed on overnight trips if you take the per diem? I know that I get 50% on all expenses if  I keep track and detail each meal. Also, how would I enter that deduction on the meals page?

Would I just say "total per diem meals $x.xx" ?

I went to 20 different conferences throughout the year, some over night some all day, and some for just 4 hours or so. I ate each time I went.

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New Member

I want to deduct the standard per diem business meal expenses. What are guidlines, where would i input it? is it only for overnight trips?

 No, it is not for overnight trips only. Most business-related meals are generally 50% deductible, if they are reasonable (not extravagant) and directly related to conducting current or future business. However, when entering this in TurboTax enter the full amount and TurboTax will deduct the 50% when it calculates your total expenses.

Examples include:

 - Meals while traveling for business (alone or with business associates)

 - Meals and entertainment expenses when you attend conventions, trade shows, business conferences 

 - Tickets, food, drinks for entertaining business associates at sporting events, shows, plays, concerts, nightclubsMeals for potential customers or clients (at home or out)

 - Business meals at a club

 - Meals during hunting, fishing, rafting, skiing or similar outings with business colleagues

 - The cost of meals and entertainment for a business associate's spouse (and your own, if other spouses are attending)

Note: Although you do not need receipts for meals and entertainment expenses under $75, it is important to keep good records documenting who, what, when, where and the business purpose of the meal or event.

While most meals and entertainment expenses for business are only 50% deductible, there are a few exceptions to this rule that are fully (100%) deductible.

TurboTax ask for these expenses after you enter meals and entertainment expenses that are 50% deductible.

Examples include:

 - Cost of hosting charitable events and meals for the general public

 - Meals, entertainment or recreational facilities provided to the public as a means of advertising

 - Meals for children at a daycare facility (if you use the standard allowance for meals and snacks, and you are reimbursed for them, you can only deduct the portion of the standard allowance that exceeds the reimbursement).

To enter this in TurboTax:

  • Click on the Business tab
  • select "I'll choose what I work on"
  • Click on Start/update next to "Business Income and Expense"
  • If you have already started entering information about your business, you will be taken to a screen that says "Here's the business info we have so far", on this screen click "edit"... If you have not yet started entering you business info, just follow the onscreen guide to start entering your business details and income. 
  • On the screen that says "Your () Business", scroll down to the "Business Expenses" section
  • Click on start/update next to "Other Common Business Expenses"
  • Scroll down to "Meals and Entertainment" and click start.

See images below.

View solution in original post

1 Reply
New Member

I want to deduct the standard per diem business meal expenses. What are guidlines, where would i input it? is it only for overnight trips?

 No, it is not for overnight trips only. Most business-related meals are generally 50% deductible, if they are reasonable (not extravagant) and directly related to conducting current or future business. However, when entering this in TurboTax enter the full amount and TurboTax will deduct the 50% when it calculates your total expenses.

Examples include:

 - Meals while traveling for business (alone or with business associates)

 - Meals and entertainment expenses when you attend conventions, trade shows, business conferences 

 - Tickets, food, drinks for entertaining business associates at sporting events, shows, plays, concerts, nightclubsMeals for potential customers or clients (at home or out)

 - Business meals at a club

 - Meals during hunting, fishing, rafting, skiing or similar outings with business colleagues

 - The cost of meals and entertainment for a business associate's spouse (and your own, if other spouses are attending)

Note: Although you do not need receipts for meals and entertainment expenses under $75, it is important to keep good records documenting who, what, when, where and the business purpose of the meal or event.

While most meals and entertainment expenses for business are only 50% deductible, there are a few exceptions to this rule that are fully (100%) deductible.

TurboTax ask for these expenses after you enter meals and entertainment expenses that are 50% deductible.

Examples include:

 - Cost of hosting charitable events and meals for the general public

 - Meals, entertainment or recreational facilities provided to the public as a means of advertising

 - Meals for children at a daycare facility (if you use the standard allowance for meals and snacks, and you are reimbursed for them, you can only deduct the portion of the standard allowance that exceeds the reimbursement).

To enter this in TurboTax:

  • Click on the Business tab
  • select "I'll choose what I work on"
  • Click on Start/update next to "Business Income and Expense"
  • If you have already started entering information about your business, you will be taken to a screen that says "Here's the business info we have so far", on this screen click "edit"... If you have not yet started entering you business info, just follow the onscreen guide to start entering your business details and income. 
  • On the screen that says "Your () Business", scroll down to the "Business Expenses" section
  • Click on start/update next to "Other Common Business Expenses"
  • Scroll down to "Meals and Entertainment" and click start.

See images below.

View solution in original post

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