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Money Buzz 09/04

Deducting business lunches, investing help from your computer and more

This story appears in the September 2004 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Food for Thought

Hungry for more tax deductions? If so, you'll be heartened by new information supporting a return to the pre-1986 meals and entertainment deduction rate of 80 percent. A new study suggests that deduction "benefits small businesses more than large firms by a sizable margin," according to the SBA's Office of Advocacy, which sponsored the study.

Critics of Congress's 1986 move to reduce the deduction amount to 50 percent have long held that business lunches and dinners are the small-business equivalent of the marketing programs large companies use. "Big companies can deduct all their marketing expenses," explains John McDowell of the SBA's Office of Advocacy. "But small firms rely on meeting with potential clients to win deals. It doesn't seem fair that large businesses can get a full deduction, and small businesses can't."

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