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Starbucks, it’s a business expense….right?

Literally 100% of my clients think they can write off their drive-thru morning mocha latte. Unfortunately, generally speaking, when you buy yourself a cup of coffee, it is not deductible. This is actually true for all meals that you buy for yourself. Just because you didn’t have time to make coffee or pack your lunch today, as a business owner, you don’t get to write off items that are strictly for your own convenience.

I know the next thing you are going to say is, “other business owners I know write off their coffee!” Well, what is the context of their coffee purchase? Are they with you, discussing business? Well, in that case, this is a business meeting and they generally may be able to write off their coffee as a necessary and ordinary expense for their line of business. Are they buying coffee for the whole team? This also is likely fully deductible.

There are different situations where writing off your morning coffee would be deductible. Make sure you keep receipts and note the reason for the coffee (or meal) purchase so your tax accountant can determine whether it is deductible.

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