Meals and certain other incidental travel expenses are reimbursable only for overnight official business travel outside the traveler's official station. Reimbursement for such expenses (including all related taxes and tips except taxi and shuttle tips) shall be made to the traveler based on a fixed allowance. The fixed allowance is referred to as the meals and incidental expense (M&IE) per diem. No receipt is required if claiming per diem.
- No exceptions to the Meal (M&IE) per diem rates are authorized for overnight travel.
- The guidelines do not supersede lower guidelines established by budget unit directors based on budgetary constraints or travel circumstances. Departments may be more restrictive and pay the actual expenses up to the appropriate M&IE in place of maximum per diem.
- The M&IE per diem used shall correspond to the location of the related overnight lodging. Foreign travel destinations may justify higher reimbursement amounts.
- Direct agency billing of meal expenses incurred during overnight travel, including charging meals to direct-billed hotel rooms, is not permitted.
- The M&IE per diem shall be paid directly to the traveler, even where it can be shown that one traveler incurred the expenses on behalf of another.
Incidental Expenses (Overnight Travel Only)
Regardless of destination, a flat $5 per diem amount is paid for each day of overnight travel for incidental expenses. Actual expenses incurred during overnight travel for incidental expenses are not permitted.
The incidental amount is prorated on a travel departure or return date. The flat $5 per diem is reduced to 75% of the allowable incidental per diem on all travel days associated with overnight travel. The following items are covered by the incidentals in the rate table.
All service fees or tips except taxi and shuttle service tips including but not limited to:
- Bellhop/waiter tips
- Personal telephone calls
Prorating the M&IE Per Diem
On a travel departure or return day, 75% of the per diem is allowable based upon where the night was spent:
- Departure Day - where you spend the night
- Return Day - where you spend the night before returning to home base
No Cost Meals
When meals are provided at no additional cost in conjunction with travel events, the applicable M&IE per diem must be reduced by the amount shown for the applicable meal in the M&IE Rate Table, excluding the incidental allowance.
When meals are provided at no cost in conjunction on a travel departure or return day, the full meal per diem is reduced by the full amount of the appropriate meal(s) followed by a 75% prorating of the balance.