Actual meal costs are allowable, subject to a maximum of the current federal travel allowance (view the General Services Administration Per Diem Rates at: No meal allowance will be granted in instances in which meals are covered by conference or registration fees, or any other instance in which the employee does not pay for the meal. Although these rates apply to most U.S. locations, a higher rate is available for selected cities. Meal rates for travel beyond the continental limits of the United States will conform, as nearly as possible, to the rates established by the federal government.  

  • Per Diem for Meals & Incidentals: A per diem allowance may be allowed as an alternative to normal lodging and meal provisions. Per diem is defined as a flat daily allowance (as set forth by the federal government), in lieu of an expense for meals, lodging, and all fees and tips to waiters, porters and maids. No receipts are required by the University. However, the traveler should retain receipts in the event of a personal IRS audit.  The claim for reimbursement should represent only those meals consumed and paid for by the employee while on business travel. The per diem rate is set by the General Services Administration of the federal government and differentiates allowances by geographic region. If there is no overnight travel associated with the meal reimbursement, then it is treated as taxable income to the employee.

    Meal Per Diem Rate Breakdown

    M&IE $51 $54 $59 $64 $69 $74
    Breakfast 11 12 13 15 16 17
    Lunch 12 13 15 16 17 18
    Dinner 23 24 26 28 31 34
    Incidentals 5 5 5 5 5 5
  • Business meals: Business meals in connection with travel are allowable if the employee establishes that the meal is directly related to University business. The meal must be an integral part of the meeting, not just a matter of personal convenience. The employee must substantiate the expense by identifying where the activity took place, the names of University employees and non-employees that attended, and the business discussed. Expenses for business meals will not be allowed for food or beverages to the extent that such expense is lavish or extravagant under the circumstances.
  • Direct link to Foreign Per Diem rates:
  • Direct link to Foreign Per Diem breakdown: