Good news for taxpayers and business owners: Business meals are deductible, according to IRS regulations issued last week.
Second piece of tax news: If you filed an extension (like yours truly), the deadline is next Monday, Oct. 15. More on that later.
First, let's discuss last week's federal tax regulations that clarified which business meals we can deduct. This affects small-business owners more than anyone.
The IRS clarified the confusing 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, saying we can deduct 50 percent of the cost of business meals if the taxpayer (or an employee of the taxpayer) is present and food or beverages are not lavish or extravagant.
We received a handy hit list from Marty Abo, CPA and tax accountant in Mount Laurel, which he also sent to clients.
Here's some of what can and can't be deducted:
Michael Gillen, director of the tax accounting group at Duane Morris, refers readers to the IRS Notice 2018-76, https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/n-18-76.pdf, for more information. As always, consult your accountant or tax filer for professional advice.
Gillen also gave us some Oct. 15 tax filing deadline tips. Chiefly, file in a timely manner, even if you owe and can't pay. If you don't file, the IRS will impose late filing penalties of 5 percent per month up to 25 percent.
So, file even if you cannot pay to minimize these charges. If you can't pay the full amount right away, here are a few options: