Submitted By: someone
Answered: July 22, 2019 3:11 am

I’m self-employed and use the M&IE standard federal per diem rates for meal costs while away from home. If I take a customer to lunch, can I base my deduction on the actual cost of that meal?

The M&IE is broken down to breakfast, lunch, and dinner, plus incidental costs. The IRS hasn’t said whether you can use the M&IE rates for some meals and actual costs for others on the same day.

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Tax Glossary

Exemption

A fixed deduction allowed to every taxpayer, except those who may be claimed as a dependent by another person. Extra exemption deductions are allowed for a spouse on a joint return and for each qualifying dependent. A deduction of $3,400 is allowed for each exemption claimed on 2007 returns, but the deduction is phased out for certain high income individuals.

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