Senate GOP bill fulfills Trump request with 100% deduction for business meals

Senate Republicans’ pandemic relief bill released Monday includes a 100% deduction for business meals and beverages provided by restaurants through the end of 2020.

The provision “will lead to more customers, more opportunities for hardworking waitstaff and kitchen staff, and much-needed revenue for small businesses across the country,” said Sen. Tim Scott, a Republican from South Carolina.

President Trump had called on Congress to allow businesses to deduct meals and entertainment expenses fully as a means of inducing more visits to restaurants. In April, when the economy was locked down to slow the spread of the coronavirus, the president tweeted that allowing deductions on meals would help restaurants reopen.

“Congress must pass the old, and very strongly proven, deductibility by businesses on restaurants and entertainment. This will bring restaurants, and everything related, back – and stronger than ever. Move quickly, they will all be saved!” he wrote.

Scott’s provision would undo a provision in the 2017 tax overhaul that limited such deductions.