IRS Standard Meal Allowance Rates 2008-2013


Family child care providers are entitled to use the standard meal allowance rate to deduct their business food expenses without having to keep food receipts.

Child care providers may use these rates for up to one breakfast, one lunch, one supper and three snacks per day per child. These rates are published each year in the IRS Publication 587 Business Use of Your Home.

All child care providers can use the standard meal allowance rate, whether they are on the Food Program or not, whether they receive the higher (Tier I) reimbursement rate, or the lower (Tier II) rate. Even un regulated child care providers can use this rate.

These rates are based on the higher Tier I Food Program reimbursement rate that is in effect in January of that year. The Food Program reimbursement rates are increased each year as of July 1st, but the rates listed here are the rates that should be used to claim food expenses throughout the year.

I’ve posted the standard meal allowance rates since 2008 here. Some providers may want to know the rates for earlier years if they amend their tax return or if they are audited.

Here are the rates for 2012 and 2013:


Breakfast $1.24

Lunch/Supper $2.32

Snack $.69



Breakfast $1.27

Lunch/Supper $2.38

Snack $.71


Tom Copeland –

Image credit:

Categories: Food Program and Food Expenses, Record Keeping & Taxes

Tags: , , , , , , ,

3 replies

  1. If I supply the milk and some other foods such as snacks, fruit, other dairy, but the parents bring in other baby food, am I able to deduct the meals?

  2. Yes. As long as you are serving at least one component for a meal, you can count the entire meal using the standard meal allowance rate.

  3. what are the standard deductions for 2014? for meals I mean

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *