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Catering, Food Handling and Awareness *OnTopic* Forum to educate us on safe food handling. Not specifically for Catering or competition but overall health and keeping our families safe too.


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Unread 11-14-2013, 07:42 PM   #1
mindset11
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Default tax write offs.

Hi all.
I am planning to start a catering business next summer and was wondering is it legal to write off food used as practice recipes and what not.
Thanks in advanced
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Unread 11-14-2013, 08:29 PM   #2
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Are you currently filing a tax return for the business? If so then food purchased can be written off to an extent however you will have so many other deductions in the beginning I don't think there will be an advantage for you. Check with your CPA and I am just guessing because I let my CPA worry about all that stuff.
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Unread 11-17-2013, 09:29 AM   #3
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I haven't started anything yet just trying to perfect my menu. I was just wondering if I should be saving my receipts for the food and what not. I planned on getting my business license and food handlers card the first of the year.
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Unread 11-17-2013, 05:02 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mindset11 View Post
I haven't started anything yet just trying to perfect my menu. I was just wondering if I should be saving my receipts for the food and what not. I planned on getting my business license and food handlers card the first of the year.
You can not take deductions on anything until after the business is started. Once the business is registered (Feds, State, city, county, etc) and you start your accounting cycle then you can begin record keeping. This is when receipts, etc become important for tax purposes.

I have never heard of being able to deduct for "practice recipes". Your best option is to ask your accountant on this one. My educated guess is that this is not permissible from a tax standpoint. When we started we did do some "practicing" but just chalked up the cost of goods as a start up expense. Plus we had some pretty good "practice meals".

As HBMTN stated there are other deductions that far out weigh the item you are asking about.

This might make it about as clear as mud. (remember it's from the IRS) LINK
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Unread 11-17-2013, 10:28 PM   #5
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Thank you for the link that helped a lot.
Since i live in alaska I have till june to perfect my menu for the summer.
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Unread 11-17-2013, 11:34 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by mindset11 View Post
Thank you for the link that helped a lot.
Since i live in alaska I have till june to perfect my menu for the summer.
I have two sisters that live in Fairbanks. One emailed me today that they had really bad weather last Wednesday. High winds and lots of rain/ice that took down a large number of trees/lines. A lot of folks without power still. She didn't say if it hit anyplace else and I realize you are a lot further south near Anchorage. Hope it didn't affect you folks.
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Unread 11-18-2013, 09:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bizznessman View Post
I have two sisters that live in Fairbanks. One emailed me today that they had really bad weather last Wednesday. High winds and lots of rain/ice that took down a large number of trees/lines. A lot of folks without power still. She didn't say if it hit anyplace else and I realize you are a lot further south near Anchorage. Hope it didn't affect you folks.
I appreciate that. Its weird that kind of weather doesn't usually hit fairbanks . Not a place I would want to be without power! We get it a few times a year in wasilla. I hope your sisters are ok.
I was in fairbanks last winter fir a couple of weeks it was brutal! I wanna say it was -44. So cold it killed the battery I the company truck and when I closed it the plastic grill pretty much shattered.
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Unread 11-18-2013, 10:32 PM   #8
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Mindset11- If you need help dealing with ADEC let me know, I run a BBQ shack and do catering out of Fairbanks. Also do you know that we have BBQ comps up here? IF not let me invite you to join the Alaska BBQ Association. PM with any question you have?

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Unread 11-19-2013, 12:25 AM   #9
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Hey clint. I actually follow you on Facebook.
There was a guy that tried putting togethr a competition down here a few years back but it never happened . Thats how I found the akbbq assc. I am very jealous of the bbq community you guys have up there. I may try and make it up for one of those competitions next summer.
I look forward to to your advice.
Jason parson
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Unread 11-19-2013, 10:05 AM   #10
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Save all receipts. Take them to your accountant and let him decide what can and can't be deducted. IF it is related to your business you can deduct it, even if it is practice cooks. But, for IRS purposes have documentation. Have the date, time, location and attendance of the practice cook documented.

Also check with your accountant about the use of equipment that is purchased prior to the start of your business. There may be a write off of deprecation at the point your business begins.
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