Is the meal expense for a spouse reimbursable on a travel and expense report?


Whether to reimburse the expense of a meal of the spouse of an employee is a business decision for your company, but the spouse’s expense is not a deductible expense, and if the company does reimburse it, the IRS considers the amount as income to the employee, which must be reported on the employee’s W-2.

So while you may reimburse an employee for his or her spouse’s meal expense, you have to report the amount of reimbursement as income to the employee.

You cannot deduct the cost of travel of a spouse, and generally you cannot deduct entertainment for an employee’s spouse (nor a spouse of a customer or business contact), though if you can show a clear business purpose for the entertainment, deduction and tax-free reimbursement of that might be allowable. See IRS Publication 463.

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