U.S. Meals and Entertainment Tax Bill to boost business travel

U.S. Travel Association Executive Vice President of Public Affairs and Policy Tori Emerson Barnes issued the following statement on the introduction of the Service Worker Economic Stabilization Act, introduced by Congressmen Darin LaHood (R-IL) and Jimmy Panetta (D-CA):

“This critical bill helps put business travel spending and in-person meetings on a level playing field with other legitimate business expenses while supporting small business owners and workers in America’s restaurants, theaters, arts and entertainment venues.

Business travel spending is not expected to fully recover until 2027, and this bill will help bridge the gap by removing tax penalties on certain types of business travel spending which, according to Tourism Economics, would also increase household income for food and entertainment service workers by a total of $62 billion by 2024.

“We thank Congressmen LaHood and Panetta for their leadership on this bill and for their continued support of America’s service workers.”

U.S. Representatives Darin LaHood (R-IL) and Jimmy Panetta (D-CA), members of the House Ways and Means Committee, introduced the bipartisan Service Worker Economic Stabilization Act, legislation that would help revitalize the tourism and hospitality industries, which were severely impacted by state-mandated closures and continue face the negative effects of inflation and high costs.

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What the bill will do

“Our hospitality and tourism industry on the central coast of California continue to be impacted by inflation, labor shortages, and decreased business spending,” said Rep. Panetta.  “Our legislation, the Service Worker Economic Stabilization Act, will help this industry regain lost business spending by extending the full deduction for business meals and restoring the deduction for business entertainment expenses. Ensuring our local businesses have customers during the week will give workers more regular hours and business owners more certainty, putting them on a path to a full recovery.”

“State-mandated closures, inflation, and rising costs have wreaked havoc on communities and small businesses throughout Illinois, especially for our hospitality, travel, and tourism sectors,” said Rep. LaHood. “This bipartisan bill will provide support to affected small businesses and workers, giving them more certainty and helping them accelerate recovery.”

“The business meal will always be a bedrock opportunity for restaurants. We’re grateful to Reps. LaHood and Panetta for continuing to support the restaurant industry by proposing this bipartisan extension of the business meals deduction. At a time when the industry is facing sky-high cost increases and an unknown economic future, any encouragement to partake of our hospitality is appreciated,” said Aaron Frazier, Vice President of Public Policy, National Restaurant Association.

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