You should pay attention to this when completing a hospitality receipt
As a founder you will soon realize that business lunches and coffee appointments are a good thing in everyday business.
What is a hospitality receipt?
A hospitality voucher is a document that lists and substantiates the costs incurred, for example, at a business lunch or similar gathering. As such, it can also be understood simply as a bill.
He is indispensable to tax deduct the costs incurred.
Important to know: A normal receipt or receipt, which you get at the end of your restaurant visit, is not a hospitality receipt.
You can either request the catering receipt separately from the staff or use a corresponding form. Catering voucher blocks are available both at stationers and online.
What information is included on a hospitality receipt??
A hospitality receipt will only be recognized by your tax office if it is completed in full and correctly.
That is why you should know exactly which information is obligatory on the catering receipt.
Catering voucher to 150 euros
Business lunches that cost no more than 150 euros are counted as small-value bills.
In this case, the following information must be found on the catering receipt:
- Place / address and name of the restaurant
- Occasion of the entertainment
- present persons with name and company
- consumed food and drinks
- Cost of food and drinks
- net amount
- VAT rate
- gross amount
- possibly paid tip
- Signature of the guest who paid (= entertainer)
Catering voucher over 150 euros
If the business lunch is worth 150 euros, the catering receipt must provide some additional information.
These are the following points:
- Name and address of the host company
- Recipient of the bill
- bill number
- Tax ID or VAT ID of the restaurant
Perhaps you have already noticed: Entertainment receipts over 150 euros must basically meet the same requirements as any conventional invoice. If one of these details is missing, it may happen that the tax office does not recognize the voucher. In this case, you can not deduct the entertainment costs from the tax.
Further requirements for the hospitality voucher
But do not worry, once you have internalized these, you will not have any problems with your tax office.
Catering outside the home
Entertainment costs can only be deducted from the tax if the catering takes place outside the home – for example in a restaurant or café.
On the other hand, if you load into your office space or even at home for business lunches, you will not be able to recover anything from the tax.
Three guests eating seven dishes and 14 drinks?
Such statements are not only untrustworthy, but also quickly lead to the tax office starting a tax audit for you.
In order not to provoke them and to ensure that the tax office accepts your hospitality voucher, there must always be some proportionality – that is, the cost of entertainment must be commensurate with the occasion and the people present.
Customer or employee hosting
On the other hand, if you meet one or more customers, suppliers or business partners (here is talk of customer service), only 70 percent of the entertainment costs are deductible. The remaining 30 percent are from the point of view of the tax office as “private pleasure”.
By the way: the term “business lunch” is clearly defined. It is a gathering of people who are directly involved in a professional negotiation or meeting. The occasion must serve the company and, at best, promote its growth. Proof of this, however, is not required. As soon as you host (or exclusively) private guests, the meeting is no longer a business lunch. At this point, we strongly advise against trying to settle private food with a hospitality voucher.
Specific information on the occasion
Not only in the listing of the entertained guests like to make mistakes. Again and again, general occasions for business lunches ensure that the tax office does not recognize a hospitality receipt.
It is clear here: Express yourself as specific as possible. General statements such as “business lunch” or “professional gathering” will quickly make your hospitality receipt invalid.
Which formulations you can choose instead, we’ll tell you later in our FAQ for the hospitality receipt.
Retention period and readability
Entertainment vouchers, like all invoices, must be kept for at least ten years.
Because they are often printed on special thermal paper, they may fade over time. Nevertheless, in order to guarantee their readability over the entire retention period, we recommend that you additionally scan in all documents and archive them in digital form.
frequently asked Questions
It is very likely that you will find an answer here.
What does a hospitality receipt look like??
A hospitality receipt issued by the restaurant or other eatery often looks like a prolonged receipt. Sometimes the handwritten part is also printed on the back of the usual receipt.
With the templates, which are available for example in the stationery trade or online, there are basically no design limits.
When is a hospitality receipt needed??
Whenever you want to deduct entertainment costs as expenses from the tax, you will need a corresponding hospitality voucher.
Without the receipt, the business lunch can not be taken into account in your tax return.
When do you have to fill out the hospitality receipt??
Who has to sign the hospitality receipt??
On the Internet there is always the information that “the entertainer” must sign the catering receipt. It is often misunderstood and interpreted in such a way that the voucher is only valid if it has been signed by the restaurant owner.
This is wrong, however, because “entertainer” means the host – the person who invites you to a business meal and pays it. So if you pull out your wallet at the end of the meeting or negotiation, then you also have to sign the hospitality receipt.
How to deduct a hospitality receipt from the tax?
A hospitality voucher is treated like any other bill and booked as an operating expense.
If you do not have a voucher issued by the restaurant, but use a blank template, it is important to attach the original invoice to them and put them together.
What about tips on the hospitality voucher??
It is a misconception that you can not tip at business dinners.
If you want to reward the service in the restaurant or café, there is nothing wrong with rounding up the bill. However, the corresponding difference must be noted (recognizable as a tip) on the hospitality voucher.
Good to know: A tip increases your expenses – which is basically good. However, it can not be deducted from the tax.
Is it possible to have a hospitality receipt issued to a person??
If you go to eat alone or have a coffee, there can be no talk of a business lunch.
This in turn means that you can not issue a hospitality receipt and deduct the cost of the tax.
Can alcohol be sold as entertainment costs??
It is quite common for wine, beer and other alcoholic drinks to be eaten during a business meal. In this case, pay particular attention to the fact that there is a proportionality.
If it clearly appears from the hospitality receipt that you have met with (alleged) customers and / or employees for a drink, it can happen that the tax office becomes skeptical.
What are examples of the occasion that must be stated on the hospitality receipt?
As already mentioned above, the tax office is very meticulous when it comes to the occasion of the hospitality.
In order to avoid any difficulties, you can be inspired by the following phrases:
- First meeting on the project XY
- Financial negotiations and collusion of details regarding XY
- Professional exchange on XY
- Lunch together as an onboarding activity for new employees
What do I have to do if I miss the hospitality voucher??
The rule is quite simple: Without hospitality voucher no tax registration.
If the corresponding document is missing in your documents or you have lost the receipt, you can subsequently fill in a blank template.
The hospitality voucher is an important document for your tax documents.
In order for you to deduct a business meal from the tax, you must always make sure that the voucher is completed completely and correctly.
Once you have internalized the mandatory information, this task is a breeze.
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Jessika is a freelance blogger and author who has specialized in careers and entrepreneurship throughout her career. She is particularly interested in creative startups, which are different from the "mainstream" stand out and dare to be different from the others. In her articles, Jessika likes to incorporate her own experiences – for example with coworking. You can find more about Jessika on our About us page.
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