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Meal Expenses for Musicians

Author: Brad Howland
First Posted: February, 2003

Musicians shouldn't shy away from claiming meal expenses, but the expenses must be for legitimate business purposes with each receipt fully substantiated.

Performing artists are not allowed to claim a deduction for meal expenses taken between rehearsals or concerts that take place in the same city. Meal expenses are allowed when traveling from one city to another, if the receipts are organized by trip and can be substantiated. Meal expenses are also allowed when meeting clients, or other people you have a business relationship with.

You can write off a meal if you share that meal with another musician and discuss something business-related with them. This satisfies the tax laws, but to substantiate the deduction each receipt should have written on it the name of the person you met, and their business relationship to you.

Many people feel guilty about claiming meal expenses, perhaps because food is something they actually enjoy spending money on. Of course, there is a personal component to any meal, but that's why the CCRA limits this deduction to 50% of the total cost. Musicians shouldn't be nervous about claiming meal expenses for legitimate business meetings!

“I propose we leave math to the machines and go play outside.”

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More information is available at the CCRA website

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