Ask an Accountant: Meal Deduction for Bloggers

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Do you have a tax question? Thanks to Mom on Dealz for sharing her series, Ask an Accountant! Sharon is married to an experienced accountant. Although tax season is over, tax questions arise year round. 

As the end of the year approaches many people start thinking of deductions to lower their tax expense.

Question:
I own a cooking blog and blog about recipes and my family meals. Can I deduct the cost of the ingredients needed for the food shown on my site?

Answer:

Here are some questions you need to ask yourself. Your answers will determine deductions.

1. Is the blog a business (profit motive) or a hobby (not profit driven)?

2. Only 50% of meals & entertainment are deductible for business purposes, so I would not deduct any more than that. This also assumes the meal is consumed by the family after being posted on the website.

3. If a business, then I would deduct 50% of the cost of the meals used on the website in the month they were cooked & eaten. If a hobby, you can only deduct expenses equal to the hobby income, so the best case scenario you would report a net 0 profit (can’t have a hobby loss). In the hobby scenario, I would still only deduct 50% of the cost of the meals.

This post is for informational purposes only and answers given are very general. Do not rely on this column for definite tax answers as many things depend on individual circumstances. Please contact your personal accountant or financial advisor for your particular situation
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See all previous Ask an Accountant posts

photo credit: austinpost.org

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