Travel meal expenses are the cost of meals when on an out-of-town or overnight business trip. Actual and reasonable meal expenses (including gratuities) will be reimbursed up to the daily meal per diem rate allowable using the United States government guidelines for each locality. The following criteria will be utilized when reimbursing personal travel meals:
Meals (with others):
Every effort should be made to obtain a receipt from restaurant establishments. However, it is understood that when joining in a group meal with colleagues, it may not be possible to get a separate check. In this case, we recommend the following:
Business meals are those meals taken with clients, prospects or non-University associates during which a specific business discussion takes place. Actual and reasonable meal expenses (including gratuities up to 20%) will be reimbursed. Check with Sponsored Programs before incurring any business meals on a sponsored agreement.
Entertainment Expenses are those expenses incurred while entertaining guests of the University and include events such as social and recreational activities, when a business discussion takes place immediately before, during or after the event. Entertainment expenses must be approved IN ADVANCE by the employee's immediate supervisor. Entertainment expenses are unallowable on federally-sponsored agreements.
Required Documentation - Business & Entertainment:
Original receipts such as an itemized bill, credit card receipt, cash register receipt, or American Express statement are acceptable receipts. (Every effort should be made to obtain an itemized receipt from restaurant establishments.) However, for expenditures under $25, a restaurant tear tab may be submitted as supporting documentation of the expense. The tear tab must contain the name of the restaurant, date, total amount and the signature of the claimant (faculty/staff member).
To be in compliance with IRS regulations, the following information must be included on employee expense reports as support for all business meal and entertainment expenses:
It is expected that all Saint Louis University faculty and staff will exercise appropriate care in incurring such expenses. Due to the University's tax status as a non-profit charitable and educational institution, business and entertainment expenses should be moderate both in frequency and in amount. Internal Revenue Service Regulations consider all payments made to or on behalf of employees to be taxable income, subject to withholding, unless there is a specific IRS exemption for the type of payment being made. Only non-taxable payments, as identified herein, can be processed through the employee expense report.
Expenditure Limits Gifts and Memorials:
$50 limit for gifts and memorials (e.g. flowers on the occasion of birth, death, illness) to employees or their families. University departments should be encouraged to continue maintaining employee funded "flower funds" to pay for these gifts. University funds can supplement these gifts. These expenditures are unallowable on sponsored agreements.
Employee Appreciation Events:
$20 limit per employee for the following events: Christmas Parties, Retirement Parties, and Recognition for tasks beyond normal job duties (e.g. participation on a special task force). These expenditures are unallowable on sponsored agreements.
Non-Reimbursable Meals and Entertainment Expenses: