There are three different variations that are accepted business meals. In the first variation, a meeting is held between two or more individuals to discuss business topics. A perfect example of this type of business meal would be if you and a potential customer went to a restaurant to discuss doing business together. Another example would be where two individuals from the same company went to a restaurant to discuss business.

The next type of business meal that you can have is when you travel to a location outside of your municipality to attend meetings, conferences or do assignments that are for your business. In general, you can claim these meals as it is understood that you would not personally have these expenses if it were not for the requirement by your business to be away from home.

That leads us into the last type of business meal that a company can have. These are social events that most companies hold for their staff. Examples of these include the Christmas party and the company golf tournament.

The other thing that I often have to explain to clients is the fact that meals, with a very few exceptions, are not recognized as a 100% expense in the calculation of business taxable income. Instead, the tax laws of Canada only recognize ½ of these business expenses. That’s right. Even if you take that important client out to a fancy dinner and land the largest contract of your life, the tax law is only going to allow you to claim 50% of that meal expense. So a $100 meal only results in a $50 claim. It’s the Canadian tax act’s way of trying to keep a lid on these expenses.

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