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What is a standard meal allowance according to the IRS?

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Quick Answer

A standard meal allowance is a deduction of meal expenses on a taxpayer's tax return if a business trip was long enough for the need to rest or sleep, explains the Internal Revenue Service. If the meal was business-related entertainment, it is also allowed as a deduction.

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Full Answer

There are a few different methods used to calculate meal expenses. If a taxpayer uses the actual cost method, he must keep records of the actual cost of meals. The standard meal allowance allows taxpayers to use the per diem rate, which is calculated by location. A deduction of unreimbursed business meals is usually a 50 percent limitation, explains the IRS.

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