II.B.1. Business & Meeting Meals
ADMINISTRATIVE POLICY TYPE: FISCAL MANAGEMENTPOLICY TITLE: Business and Meeting MealsBusiness meals are defined as meals taken with colleagues, students, donors, or individuals from companies during which specific college business takes place. Pre-approval should be sought by your supervisor and/or budget manager prior to the occurrence of a business meal. Reimbursable meal expenses should reflect good judgment to minimize college costs and related taxpayer support. Celebratory and morale building meals and expenses are not reimbursable with college funds.
The college will reimburse a business meal expense, excluding alcohol, when it is deemed to be necessary, reasonable, and business appropriate. Reimbursement of meals will occur when they are an integral part of the business meeting or activity, not as a matter of personal convenience.
Meal expenses will be reimbursed based on actual cost incurred up to the maximum per diem M&IE (Meals and Incidental Expenses) rate per person. The M&IE rate used shall correspond to the location in which the official business meal was taken. Visit www.gsa.gov/perdiem for specific per diem rates. Reimbursement of costs exceeding per diem must receive executive team member approval.
From the IRS perspective, for meals and entertainment to qualify as a business expense and not additional compensation, they must be ordinary and necessary and not lavish and/or extravagant and must be directly related to or associated with the college’s mission. In order for the reimbursement to be considered a non-taxable payment, the employee must provide the following information about the meeting or activity:
- The specific purpose and explanation of business connection.
- Date and place.
- Names of the individuals attending.
- Original, itemized receipt.