On the way to Sunday … tax-deductible meals

1) Remember the best meal you have ever eaten?
2) How about the most expensive meal?
3) How about the biggest tab you ever picked up?

For me #1 and #2 are the same. It was a quaint place in the Georgetown area of Washington D.C. Can’t even remember the name.

It was the kind of place that didn’t need a sign out front and you needed to know someone to find out the place existed. For us it had been recommended by someone with political clout in town. The tab for dinner for 2 exceeded $300 before the tip. It must have been worth it because I still remember the meal over a decade later.

#3 was over $1500 and was a meal for an entire sales staff in celebration of making goals.

The good news is that based on tax code all of the above were business expenses and therefore tax deductible.

IRC Section 274(a))(1) states that no deduction is allowed for expenses associated with expenditures or facilities associated with “entertainment, amusement or recreation,” unless the taxpayer can support that the expenditure was directly related to a bona fide business discussion, business meeting or business convention.

Although the tax code ostensibly allows deductions only for “necessary” business expenses, this rule is liberally interpreted when a business purpose clearly predominates. The law does not limit deductions for office furnishings, for example, to the cheapest available. (Robert S. McIntyre, Director Citizens for Tax Justice, May 1996)

When someone else is paying the bill it seems there is no end to what we are willing to put on the tab!  The motto for this type of meal is –

Dine well for someone else shall pay the tab!

During the meal Jesus took some bread in his hands. He blessed the bread and broke it. Then he gave it to his disciples and said, “Take this and eat it. This is my body.”
Jesus picked up a cup of wine and gave thanks to God. He then gave it to his disciples and said, “Take this and drink it.”   Matthew 26:25-27 CEV

Your bill is payed.

Come to the table and dine . . .  Dine well for someone else has paid the tab.


I am a United Methodist Pastor and have the privilege of serving as the Senior Pastor for the church of my childhood. I preach in a place I once was an acolyte. I love to preach, but more importantly I love to teach. I firmly believe that Faith Matters and should affect how we live. This blog is a place where I come to share the randomness that is life and faith ... and the intersection of the two.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s