Meals and Entertainment Deduction 2023: Stay Updated with Tax Savings

Are you a business owner or independent contractor looking to save on taxes? With ever-changing tax laws and regulations, it’s crucial to stay updated on the latest provisions to maximize your tax savings. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the meals and entertainment deduction 2023 tax reform provision changes, providing you with valuable insights and tips to navigate these tax-saving opportunities.

From understanding meals and entertainment deduction 2023 meal deductions and entertainment expenses to navigating per diem updates and recordkeeping best practices, we’ll cover everything you need to know about maximizing your meal and entertainment deductions. So, let’s dive in and explore how these changes can impact your bottom line and help you make informed decisions to minimize your tax liability.

Key Takeaways

  • Understand 2023 meal deductions and exceptions to the 50% deduction rule for full deductions.
  • Approved entertainment costs may be deductible, but must comply with guidelines and regulations.
  • Maximize tax savings by tracking expenses accurately and following best practices such as proper documentation & seeking counsel from a tax expert.

Understanding 2023 Meal Deductions

Two women having a lunch meeting

In 2023, businesses can generally deduct 50% of certain business meal expenses. However, there are specific requirements and exceptions to be aware of when claiming these deductions. To qualify for the deduction, an employee, owner, or manager must be present, and the meal expenses must be ordinary, reasonable, and directly associated with work.

Take note, only the cost of meals and beverages qualify for deductions in 2023. Costs associated with entertaining, such as renting out an entertainment facility or country club memberships, are no longer deductible. However, certain exceptions to the 50% rule exist, which we will discuss further in the next subsection.

Exceptions to the 50% Deduction Rule

While most business meals are subject to the 50% deduction rule, there are some exceptions that allow for a 100% deduction. For instance, company holiday parties and food and beverages provided to the public are fully deductible.

Keeping abreast of these exceptions and comprehending the specific guidelines that govern your business is crucial in maximizing your deductions. By being aware of these exceptions and properly documenting your expenses, you can effectively minimize your tax liability and improve your business’s profitability.

Entertainment Expenses in 2023

A man and a woman having a business discussion over wine

Since the 2018 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, entertainment expenses have generally not been tax deductible. This includes costs related to renting out an entertainment facility, membership dues for country clubs, and most entertainment events.

However, some approved costs for business-related events and meetings still qualify for deductions. Grasping the distinction between meals and entertainment expenses is important, given that meals continue to be deductible under certain conditions. The IRS defines “entertainment” as an activity that provides entertainment, amusement, or recreation, which excludes most business meals from being considered entertainment.

Approved Entertainment Costs

Despite the general rule against entertainment deductions, there are some approved entertainment costs that businesses can claim. Nonprofits, for example, can claim entertainment expenses for business meetings, while some food expenses at entertainment events may still be deductible.

One example of a deductible entertainment expense is a bar owner paying a band to perform for customers. This type of expense can be considered a deductible business expense, unlike costs related to sporting events, which are generally not deductible in 2023.

Unallowable entertainment costs, which cover most entertainment expenses, typically include:

  • Tickets to shows or sports events
  • Meals
  • Lodging
  • Rentals
  • Other costs directly associated with the entertainment

Grasping the specific guidelines and regulations surrounding entertainment expenses enables businesses to maintain compliance and sidestep potential IRS issues.

Navigating Per Diem Updates in 2023

A woman working at the computer with her lunch on the table

Keeping up with updates to the per diem method for employee travel expenses is crucial for businesses. Utilizing the per diem method, employers can reimburse employees for travel expenses such as lodging, meals, and incidentals based on a set amount determined by the General Services Administration (GSA).

For 2023, the standard CONUS lodging rate has been adjusted from $98 to $107, while the M&IE per diem tiers for FY 2024 will remain consistent at $59–$79. Keeping current with these rates helps businesses to accurately reimburse employees for their travel expenses and claim the correct deductions on their taxes.

Recordkeeping for Meals and Entertainment Deductions

Maintaining accurate records is crucial for claiming meal and entertainment deductions. For meals costing over $75, businesses should keep receipts as documentation. Additionally, it’s crucial to document details such as:

  • The date
  • The time
  • The place
  • The amount
  • The business purpose of the meal or entertainment event

Establishing detailed recordkeeping procedures to monitor business meal costs and maintaining adequate records to validate the expenses can help ensure you’re maximizing your deductions. Tools like Hiveage that allows expense tracking can also assist in automating the tracking process, eliminating the need to keep physical receipts and simplifying the documentation process.

Impact of the Consolidated Appropriations Act on Deductions

The Consolidated Appropriations Act temporarily allowed a 100% deduction for business meals in 2021 and 2022. This provision aimed to support businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic and encourage spending in the restaurant industry.

However, this 100% deduction will revert to the standard 50% deduction in 2023. Being cognizant of these changes in deductions and planning accordingly for your business is vital. By staying informed about the latest tax law changes and understanding the impact of the Consolidated Appropriations Act on your deductions, you can make informed decisions to minimize your tax liability.

Maximizing Your Meal and Entertainment Deductions

Paying at a cafe

Utilizing tools and strategies that ensure compliance with IRS rules and regulations is vital to maximize your meal and entertainment deductions. Accurate expense tracking is vital, and using an expense tracking app like Hiveage can automate the process and eliminate the need to keep physical receipts.

In addition to tracking expenses, it’s essential to understand the specific guidelines governing your business and industry. This includes knowing the exceptions to the 50% deduction rule, ensuring that meal expenses meet the requirements for deductions, and staying updated on tax law changes.

By following best practices and leveraging available tools, businesses can optimize their meal and entertainment deductions, ultimately minimizing their tax liability and improving their bottom line.

The Gig Economy and Deductions

A freelancer working remotely from a cafe

Independent contractors in the gig economy should be aware of potential deductions related to meals and entertainment expenses. Gig economy workers may be eligible for deductions such as:

  • Half of self-employment taxes paid
  • Upkeep or repairs for vehicles
  • Car expenses
  • Other business-related expenses

However, gig economy workers may face challenges in accurately tracking and deducting their expenses. These workers need to:

  • Maintain records
  • Stay alert to tax regulations
  • Maximize their deductions
  • Lessen their taxable income

Changes in Meal and Entertainment Deductions Over Time

Multiple people working from a cafe

Businesses should grasp the changes in meal and entertainment deductions over the years. Prior to the 2018 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, businesses were allowed to deduct 50% of their meal and entertainment expenses. However, the 2018 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act modified the way these deductions could be claimed, resulting in entertainment expenses generally not being deductible.

The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 temporarily extended the 50% deduction for meal and entertainment expenses until December 31, 2025. By staying informed about these changes and understanding the impact on your business, you can make informed decisions and adapt your strategies to minimize your tax liability.

Best Practices for Claiming Deductions

Following best practices is vital to ensure you’re claiming the appropriate deductions. Proper documentation is critical, and maintaining separate bank accounts and credit cards for business and personal expenses can facilitate tracking and documenting business expenses for tax purposes.

Additionally, comparing the total of all tax deductions to the standard deduction amount can help determine the most advantageous method for your business. By seeking counsel from a tax expert and reviewing the list of deductions available annually, you can ensure that all deductions are utilized and maximize your tax savings.


In conclusion, understanding the 2023 tax reform provisions related to meals and entertainment deductions is vital for businesses and independent contractors. By staying informed about the latest tax law changes, maintaining proper documentation, and leveraging available tools, you can optimize your deductions and minimize your tax liability.

As you navigate the complexities of meals and entertainment deductions, remember that knowledge is power. Stay proactive in seeking out information, consult with tax professionals, and implement best practices to ensure your business thrives in the ever-changing landscape of tax law.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the meals and entertainment deduction for 2023?

For 2023, the meals and entertainment deduction is 50% for business meals, but entertainment expenses remain ineligible for deductions. This is a result of the expiration of the temporary 100% deduction incentive from 2021 and 2022.

What is the health expense deduction for 2023?

For tax year 2023, taxpayers can deduct qualified, unreimbursed medical expenses that exceed 7.5% of their adjusted gross income. This deduction requires itemizing deductions on a tax return and keeping records of all medical expenses incurred.

What are the requirements for a meal expense to be deductible in 2023?

To be deductible in 2023, the meal expense must have an employee, owner or manager present, and must be ordinary, reasonable and directly associated with work.

What entertainment expenses are not deductible in 2023?

Expenses related to renting out an entertainment facility, membership dues for country clubs, and most entertainment events are not deductible in 2023.

What records should be kept for meals exceeding $75?

Receipts should be retained to document the cost of any meals exceeding $75 for record-keeping purposes.

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