Many professionals find themselves in the position of trust with their employer where they might receive access to certain financial accounts. Sometimes, the business might have petty cash available for business expenses. Other times, they may offer reimbursement to workers who incur business expenses, provided that they submit receipts. Still other people might get a company card to use for expenses.
If you do sales or other high-profile work for the company, you may have business expenses, such as dinners, that your employer will reimburse you for or cover. Some people treat the ability to charge meals and similar expenses to their employer as a perk of their job. Unfortunately, some people will go too far with what they try to deduct or write off, which might lead to claims of embezzlement.
If the company can’t write it off, they probably don’t want to pay it
There are limits to what you can deduct or write off as a business expense. For example, the cost of dinner and a reasonable gratuity are permissible, but entertainment is not. Additionally, meals eaten outside of the scope of work likely don’t qualify.
Personal purchases, meals that do not actually involve a co-worker or client and even travel expenses if your focus was pleasure more than work could all be charges that you want to deduct that don’t actually qualify as a write off for the business. If the company discovers these discrepancies, they may expect you to reimburse them for those costs.
Other times, they could take action against you, ranging from terminating your employment to pursuing criminal charges against you. Those accused of embezzlement will need to consider not just the criminal impacts of a conviction but the career consequences if they fail to defend themselves.