‘It’s Unconscionable’: Outrage Over the ‘Three-Martini Lunch’ Tax Deduction in the New Coronavirus Aid Deal

The emerging COVID-19 relief package reportedly includes a tax break for business meal-expenses that Trump has pushed for months

[Ed. Note: So, we’ve reached a point where not paying federal taxes on legitimate expenses is ‘unconscionable’? Okay then.]

by Nicole Lyn Pesce
Market Watch

This piece of the long-awaited fourth emergency coronavirus-relief bill has plenty of people shaken and stirred — and it’s not the second round of stimulus checks being half as much as the first.

No, it is what’s being called the “three-martini lunch” tax deduction, which President Trump has pushed for since the spring as a means to boost a restaurant industry that has been hit especially hard by the pandemic. Businesses have only been able to take 50% of their meal expenses off of their federal taxes since the 1980s, but a proposal backed by the White House and Sen. Tim Scott, a South Carolina Republican, would let them write off 100%. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has included this tax break as a White House priority in the stimulus-bill negotiations, sources told the Washington Post, and Democrats purportedly agreed to it in exchange for an expansion of tax credits for low-income families and the working poor.

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