Enter your total deductible business meal and entertainment expenses. This includes expenses for meals while traveling away from home for business and for meals that are business-related entertainment.
Deductible expenses. Business meal expenses are deductible only if they are (a) directly related to or associated with the active conduct of your trade or business, (b) not lavish or extravagant, and (c) incurred while you or your employee is present at the meal.
You cannot deduct any expense paid or incurred for a facility (such as a yacht or hunting lodge) used for any activity usually considered entertainment, amusement, or recreation.
Also, you cannot deduct membership dues for any club organized for business, pleasure, recreation, or other social purpose. This includes country clubs, golf and athletic clubs, airline and hotel clubs, and clubs operated to provide meals under conditions favorable to business discussion. But it does not include civic or public service organizations, professional organizations (such as bar and medical associations), business leagues, trade associations, chambers of commerce, boards of trade, and real estate boards, unless a principal purpose of the organization is to entertain, or provide entertainment facilities for, members or their guests.
There are exceptions to these rules as well as other rules that apply to skybox rentals and tickets to entertainment events. See chapters 1 and 2 of Pub. 463.
Standard meal allowance. Instead of deducting the actual cost of your meals while traveling away from home, you can use the standard meal allowance for your daily meals and incidental expenses. Under this method, you deduct a specified amount, depending on where you travel, instead of keeping records of your actual meal expenses. However, you must still keep records to prove the time, place, and business purpose of your travel.
The standard meal allowance is the federal M&IE rate. You can find these rates on the Internet at www.gsa.gov. Click on “Per Diem Rates” for links to locations inside and outside the continental United States.
See chapter 1 of Pub. 463 for details on how to figure your deduction using the standard meal allowance, including special rules for partial days of travel.
Schedule C Instructions