Tax Law (Questions About Taxes)/Tax Free Meals


Two examples:
We have employees that attend local and regional utility contractor association meetings, day trip only, that some are held at restaurants.  The meetings will take place either right before or immediately after eating.  We have not paid for these meals in the past.  Employees want to be able to put these meals on the company credit card.  Would these be tax free for the employee?

We have employees that go to call on potential members, local and regional, day trip only, and go to eat afterward (not with the potential clients)  They want to be able to put these meals on the company card – tax free? Non-reportable as a fringe?

Our employees also represent our company at various Trade Shows. There are always 2 employees attending so each can take a short break to go grab lunch.  Many of these shows are held over weekends but locally requiring no overnight travel.  Our normal business week is Mon-Fri.  Can these meals be put on the company card and be tax free to the employee also?


Thanks for your question.

Meals that are purchased as a part of a conference are non-taxable to the employee when reimbursed or paid for on behalf of the employee.

Meals consumed as a part of trade show participation are also non-taxable to the employee as above.

Meals consumed as after calling on clients are taxable income unless the meal is entertainment that includes the client.

Hope this helps.

John Stancil, CPA

Tax Law (Questions About Taxes)

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John Stancil, CPA


I can answer questions on personal income taxes, partnerships, and some corporate income taxes. I can deal with some state tax questions. Limited gift and estate tax questions. I am also familiar with ministerial and church tax reporting issues. I am Professor Emeritus at Florida Southern College. Sales taxes and property taxes are state and local issues so I am not likely be be able to give you an in depth answer on those types of taxes. I have maintained a CPA practice, specializing in tax, for over 35 years. I am a member of the National Association of Tax Professionals, The Florida Insititute of CPA's, The NCPE Fellowship. In addition I am a Certified Mentor for SCORE. Visit my website at I also offer seminars and consultations to churches and clergy on their tax issues at Also visit my blog, I am listed on Tax Connections at Prepare and file your own taxes at


I hold a doctorate in Accounting, and am a CPA. My certifications of CIA, CFM, and CMA are inactive. I passed all certification examinations on the first attempt, and received honorable mention for my scores on the CIA exam. I have operated a CPA firm for over 37 years and have taught accounting and tax at the college level for over 35 years.

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The CPA Journal, Florida CPA Today, Green Consumer, Green Business, Global Sustainability as a Business Imperative, Palmetto Review, NATP TaxPro Quarterly, Mustang Journal of Finance and Accounting.

DBA University of Memphis MBA University of Georgia BS in Accounting Mars Hill University

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