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How Much is Too Much For Meal and Travel Expenses?

How Much is Too Much For Meal and Travel Expenses?

Update: 2019-06-05


From train tickets to restaurant bills, your employees are bound to incur a number of expenses when they travel for business purposes. However, if they're not careful, these costs could add up and eventually put a substantial dent in your profits. So, how much should you, as a small business owner, allow your employees to spend on their travel and meal expenses? In episode # 153, Gene Marks and Elizabeth Larkin discuss the various factors you need to consider when calculating your employees' spending limits.

Executive Summary

1:18 —Today's Topic: How Much Can My Employees Spend on Travel Expenses for Business Trips?

1:49 —Under the newly reformed tax laws, meals are considered 50% deductible if they are work-related.

2:50 —Entertainment expenses are no longer eligible for tax deductions.

4:02 —Any travel or commuting expenses incurred on behalf of your small business are fully deductible as well.

5:00 —You should use the reimbursement limits set by the IRS as a guide when determining the how much your employees can spend on business-related travel and meals.

8:09 —Gene encourages small business owners to offer 401K's since both business owners and their employees can financially benefit from these retirement policies.


Submit Your Question


Elizabeth: Welcome back to the Small Biz Ahead podcast. I'm Elizabeth Larkin from The Hartford and I'm here with Gene Marks who is a small business owner and small business expert from the Marks Group.

Gene: Correct.

Elizabeth: Great.

Gene: Hello.

Elizabeth: Hello.

Gene: What are we talking about today Elizabeth?

Elizabeth: Today we're going to talk about meal and travel expenses.

Gene: And entertainment.

Elizabeth: And entertaining.

Gene: Yes.

Elizabeth: If you're a small business owner, you might be wondering how much leeway can I give my employees on that?

Gene: Yeah, I mean the rules have changed.

Elizabeth: They have.

Gene: Yes.

Elizabeth: After we hear from our sponsor, we'll be right back and we're going to answer Susan from Suffolk, Virginia's question about meal and travel expenses.

Our Sponsor

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QUESTION: How Much is Too Much For Meal and Travel Expenses?

Elizabeth: And we're back. So here is Susan's question, again she's from Suffolk, Virginia. She doesn't tell us what kind of business she runs.

Gene: Okay.

Elizabeth: We'll make that up.

Gene: Okay.

Elizabeth: But here's her question,
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How Much is Too Much For Meal and Travel Expenses?

How Much is Too Much For Meal and Travel Expenses?

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