Ask An Accountant-Deducting Meal Costs For A Cooking Blog

As year end is quickly approaching, many people have tax questions and are looking for deductions to help with their taxes.  My husband is an experienced accountant and will be answering question sent to him at cjwtaxpro@gmail.com with the subject line “Ask An Accountant”.  You can see previous questions/answers by clicking on “Ask An Accountant“.

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.

*Please keep in mind 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.

photo credit: austinpost.org
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