In a move widely applauded by restaurant owners and operators throughout the United States, Representative Neil Abercrombie (D-Hawaii) introduced legislation this week that would increase the federal tax deduction for business meals from 50 percent to 80 percent.
From the restaurant industry’s perspective, the measure would restore fairness in the tax code for legitimate business deductions and help local restaurants and small businesses, particularly during these difficult economic times.
â€˜On behalf of restaurant owners and operators throughout the country the National Restaurant Association strongly supports this legislation which would help restore, sustain and create jobs and provide a tremendous boost to the economy,â€™ said Dawn Sweeney, President and CEO of the National Restaurant Association (NRA). â€˜Weâ€”and the many restaurant employees who have seen their income reduced in these challenging economic timesâ€”applaud Congressman Abercrombie for his leadership and urge Congress to pass this important measure.â€™
According to research conducted by the NRA, the restaurant industry continues to be a key driver for the U.S. economy, with overall economic impact expected to exceed $1.5 trillion in 2009. An increase in the tax deduction for business meals to 80 percent would boost business meal sales by an estimated $6 billion a year and create a $18 billion increase to the overall economy. The industry currently employs an estimated 13 million people, or 9 percent of the U.S. workforce. It is estimated that for every additional one million dollars in restaurant sales an additional 33 jobs are generated for the economy.
â€˜We believe that particularly during these difficult economic times, the cost of business meals should be treated fairly along with other allowed business deductions,â€™ said Sweeney. â€˜This legislation is an important step that will benefit local restaurants and businesses in communities throughout the nation.â€™