entertain spouse

Entertaining a Spouse or Significant Other

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Sandy Botkin
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“Take my wife, please.” — Henny Youngman

One question, which I don’t think Henny Youngman addressed, is whether you can take your spouse out alone, talk business and write off the whole meal?

The answer is that you can NEVER go out with your spouse alone and deduct the food and entertainment due to what is known as the “closely connected spouse rule.”

Note: At least the government thinks our spouses are closely connected.

There is a similar rule for single people known as the “closely connected significant friend rule,” otherwise known as “main squeeze.”

Entertaining your spouse or significant friend alone is NEVER deductible even if they are your business partner.

However, there is an old saying, “where there’s a will……there’s a lawyer.”

If you are entertaining another couple, you can bring your spouse or significant other and deduct the cost of entertainment for your spouse or significant other because you probably need your spouse to keep the other person’s date busy while you are talking business.

Thus, if you are entertaining another couple, you may bring your spouse or significant friend and deduct the cost of their meal as well.

To prove that you are entertaining another couple, IRS or CRA will look in your appointment book or tax tracker such as Taxbot to see that you are entertaining another couple.

What you can deduct is 50% of whatever you spend.

Moreover, you don’t need a receipt if the cost is under $75 per expense, although I do take picture of receipts with my tracker.

Material derived from my book, “Lower Your Taxes: Big Time”


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