A bill was introduced to the House of Representatives recently that proposes to increase the percentage of a business related meal that can be deducted from 50% to 80%. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-HI), has twice been introduced in past sessions of Congress and has twice failed to become law.
Opponents say the bill will reduce tax revenue for the federal government in a time when deficits are running extremely high. Proponents of the bill say the increased business that results from the bill will more than recoup any tax loss and help drive job creation in the United States’ largest single industry: food service.
The National Restaurant Association (NRA) has already voiced its support for the bill, citing its own research, which found that the deduction hike would spur $6 billion in annual sales for the restaurant industry.
Business related meals used to be 100% deductible until they were decreased by Congress to 80% in 1986 and then to 50% in 1993. The restaurant industry has been lobbying for a restoration of the previously high level of deductibility since. This bill, H.R. 3333, has been referred to committee and awaits their vote before it goes before the entire House of Representatives.