Does the IRS accept pull-tab restaurant receipts?


The IRS requires documentation to substantiate expenditures. The guideline for restaurant receipts is that the receipt needs to provide enough information to document the economics of the transaction and what the expense was for. The IRS also states that you cannot deduct amounts that you approximate or estimate. The IRS does not require receipts below $75 (though many companies internally require receipts for amounts over $25 or $50). In IRS Publication 463, the IRS specifically states "Documentary evidence ordinarily will be considered adequate if it shows the amount, date, place, and essential character of the expense." It goes on to state "A restaurant receipt is enough to prove an expense for a business meal if it has all of the following information. 1) The name and location of the restaurant. 2) The number of people served. 3) The date and amount of the expense."

See pages 25-26 of IRS Publication 463. There is no indication that a pull tab receipt (which we take to mean the end of an order ticket that is torn off and provided to you as a receipt) would not be acceptable, provided that all the information noted above is included on it. However we will follow up with the IRS to ask specifically concerning pull tab receipts. We will let you know if they indicate that such a receipt does not meet the requirements for expense documentation.

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