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Meals

General Guidelines

  • Employees will be reimbursed the reasonable cost of meals while the employee is travelling.
  • Expenditures for alcoholic beverages are not authorized.
  • Meal costs which appear excessive will be referred to the Major Area Budget Manager for final approval. Budget managers may deny reimbursements for excessive costs, or they may approve reimbursement of just a portion of the expense that is reasonable.

Documentation

  • The IRS requires substantiation and documentation with dated, original, itemized receipts to support each instance of travel or entertainment.  Credit card payment forms or statements alone are not considered itemized receipts.
  • To be considered non-taxable, the IRS requires that names of the persons at the meal and the business purpose be clearly stated.  Individual names are not required if a large group (more than ten people) is involved that can be identified as a single body (the approximate number of persons and group identification must be stated).

Spending Guidelines

  • Meals while travelling should be kept to a reasonable price. As a guideline please keep your meal purchases within the Federal Per Diem Rates (see below). This is not an allowance but a general guideline to use for reasonable prices. See link to find the rate for your travel destination: per diem rate
Daily Maximum Breakfast Lunch Dinner
$46 $11 $14 $21
$51 $13 $15 $23
$56 $14 $17 $25
$61 $15 $18 $28
$66 $16 $20 $30
$71 $18 $21 $32
  • Meal costs which appear excessive will be referred to the Major Area Budget Manager for final approval. Budget managers may deny reimbursements for excessive costs, or they may approve reimbursement of just a portion of the expense that is reasonable.

Tips and Gratuities

  • Tips and gratuities should be reasonable. Tips and gratuities on meals and taxi expenses should not exceed 20% of total charge. Bellhop/porter tips should not exceed $1.00 for each bag. Gratuity amounts beyond the recommended 20%, regardless of reason, are the responsibility of the individual diner/traveler.