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<<I am currently employed as a surgical resident. My responsibilities include 36 hour shifts, during which time I am not allowed to leave the hospital. My meals are not subsidized by the hospital, so I usually pay for lunches, dinners, breakfasts, etc. out of pocket. Several other hospital employees have told me about deducting meal expenses if I'm not allowed to leave my job for more than 12 hours.>>

I know that some are taking it, but it's a slam dunk loser in my opinion. IRS will simply take the position that you have to eat what's the difference if you eat at the hospital or at home or at a cafe. Where is the "additional" business expense that you must bear by being required to stay at the hospital?

There have been court cases where limited deductibility has been allowed (in vary narrow circumstances), but I'm not at all convinced that your circumstances would be similar.

But before you go off half-cocked, you really might want to look at the history behind the issues to make a determination for qualification. If you are inclined to be super agressive on your tax return, and feel that you can substantiate your position based upon the law, and can stand the wrath of the IRS should they disagree with you, then be my guest.

But don't take a deduction just because somebody else says it's OK. If I have a medical condition, I'll seek the counsel of a physician, not another tax preparer. See my point?

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