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Can I Deduct Groceries?

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Here’s what the CPA’s have to say
If you require grocery items for business purposes, you can deduct the cost of groceries from your taxable income. According to the IRS, you can deduct any expense that is related to your profession as long as it is considered common and helps you in conducting your business. For example- If a baker sells items worth $200, the baker won't be taxed on $200 as he spent $100 on the ingredients (which is tax deductible), therefore, the baker will pay tax only for the remaining $100. But what counts as a legitimate deduction? Here, Taryn is a health coach, and she often shares nutritious recipes on different social media platforms to advocate a healthy lifestyle. To teach her clients and spread awareness regarding healthy eating, she is required to prepare meals using specific groceries. So she can deduct the cost of buying groceries and other ingredients as a business expense under “supplies.” However, if your profession is not directly related to food then you cannot deduct groceries as a business expense.

Can you take groceries as a tax deduction?

The food you eat at home is generally not deductible since it is a personal expense. However, under certain circumstances, you can deduct the tax amount you spent on the groceries.

Table of contents

Can you claim groceries as a business expense?...Read more

Can you claim food as a deduction for medical reasons?...Read more

Who can claim groceries as a deduction?...Read more

Can you claim groceries as a business expense?

To count as a deduction, or write-off, an expense has to serve a clear business purpose in your line of work. The IRS’s definition of what it considers to be a business expense is an expense that is both ordinary and necessary. So, if you feel like groceries or any other food item is directly or indirectly necessary for your trade or business, you can claim it as a tax write-off. Some common freelance professions where you can claim the tax deduction include:
Freelance chef/cook

Freelance chef/cook

Food bloggers

Food bloggers

Airbnb hosts

Airbnb hosts

Cafe owners

Cafe owners

Can you claim food as a deduction for medical reasons?

Generally, the IRS does not permit individuals to write off groceries and food items since the food and beverages substitute for what is normally consumed to satisfy nutritional needs. However, under special circumstances, you can claim food and groceries as a part of medical expenses under Schedule A of Form 1040. Weight-loss program: Dietary food is usually not considered as an allowable expense, but you can include the cost of special food in medical expenses if it meets the following conditions:
  • The food doesn't satisfy normal nutritional needs,
  • The food alleviates or treats an illness, and
  • The need for the food is substantiated by a physician.
Note: The amount you may include in medical expenses is limited to the amount by which the cost of the special food exceeds the cost of a normal diet. Guide dog: The costs associated with a guide dog or other service animal to assist a disabled person is generally deductible. This includes any costs, such as food, grooming, and veterinary care. In-house nursing expenses: You can also include a part of the amount you pay for the in-house nurse or attendant's meals.

Who can claim groceries as a deduction?

To deduct any expense, it must be directly related to your business. If you’re a part of the food industry, where it’s necessary to buy groceries and ingredients as a part of your business, then you can deduct it. Chef/Cook: As a cook/chef or baker, you are bound to try out different recipes where you require groceries and a variety of ingredients. You can deduct the cost of these food items from your taxes since it is directly related to your trade or business. Blogger: As a food blogger, you can deduct the cost associated with the groceries. If your blog focuses solely on a niche (baking or healthy eating) then only the portion attributed to your style of cooking is deductible. For example, you run a baking blog and you end up preparing a full course meal, only the cost of the baked goods is deductible but not the rest of the meal. Airbnb Hosts: You host guests and rent out the rooms of your house, where you provide them with necessities such as milk, butter, eggs, bread, bottled water, etc. These can be considered as business expenses and are deductible under Schedule C. Daycare Owner: If you own a daycare or a child care center, you can deduct the cost of food consumed by the children in your care. Many other professions allow you to deduct groceries and food items as a tax write-off.

Click here to find out how FlyFin can help you to take this as a deduction.

FAQs

Can a chef deduct the grocery expenses incurred while developing a new recipe?

Are actors & models eligible to deduct groceries for maintaining their physique?

Can nutritionists deduct grocery expenses incurred while trying out new recipes for clients?

Can I deduct the grocery expenses incurred while hosting a business party at home?

Can food bloggers deduct grocery expenses incurred while preparing food for their blog?

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What’s FlyFin?

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