Further, client business meals that were once 50 percent deductible under the old law will only keep that treatment under the new tax code if business is conducted.
"For many businesses, that affects them: A big part is entertaining clients," said Kathy Keylor, CPA and director at MAI Capital in Cleveland.
Accountants say the new law is ambiguous as far as whether certain meals and entertainment are deductible, based on the context. That is leading to confusion for accountants and their small business owner clients.
"For example, if a company hosts a party to roll out a new product, is that nondeductible entertainment or a deductible promotion cost?" asked Tim Steffen, CPA and director of advanced planning at Baird in Milwaukee.
"How will companies maintain the records needed to distinguish between nondeductible entertainment and deductible meals?" he asked.