Employee meals tax deductible?

We allow employees to a free meal & soda while working there shift. Can this be deducted on our income taxes?

I believe it is, there are lots of things you can give your employees and are tax deductible. I’ll have to look that up when I get back from vacation in my Nolo books.


It is deductible if the meal is provided for the convenience of the business. Only your cost is deductible (not selling price) so… what you do is not ring anything up. Your “cost” already deducted since the ingredients are food cost and the labor is covered by wages. don’t track it. Don’t ring it up, don’t worry about it.

wouldn’t you want to track it in some way so that your inventory is accurate? Otherwise wouldn’t you be showing inventory shrinkage due to employee meals but not have any good way to differntiate between real issues with shrinkage or waste and what was used in the proper course of business?


Maybe things are different in your business, but there is no way for my employees to eat enough to move the number on food cost. If that you allow shift food in general, it becomes a constant in the cost structure and other moves are still visible. For us, I fguess shift food amounts to about .5% on our food cost… in other words we run 29.7% rather than 29.2% or whatever. Not worth the trouble to track it in my book and why even open the question by recording the transactions?