Meals for Individuals
Business Meals with Internal Constituents
Business Meals with External Constituents


Meals for Individuals

The University will reimburse individuals for the reasonable cost of meals during time away from home that are not otherwise paid for or provided (as distinguished from "business meals" with internal constituents or "business hosting" with external constituents described in the two sections below). The University standard meal allowance is $50/day for domestic travel and up to $75/day for international travel, including tips. This is the amount considered reasonable to cover the daily costs of meals; it is not a flat amount for per diem reimbursement.

Only actual costs for meals are reimbursed; therefore, if the total spent for a day is less than $50/day for domestic travel and $75/day for international travel, only the lower, actual costs will be reimbursed. Note: The best way for individuals to track their meal expenses is via receipts; University policy only requires itemized receipts for meals over $25.

For travel where meals are provided as part of the lodging or conference fees, individuals are encouraged to take advantage of these options whenever practical. When meals are included in the cost of a conference, the University will not reimburse the individual for meals purchased elsewhere.

If an individual is traveling with other University personnel, they are all still subject to $50/day per person for domestic individuals and $75/day per person for international travel. If one individual chooses to pay for the group, a list of attendees and the business purpose must accompany the receipt.

Reimbursement for alcohol purchases by individuals is not permitted.


Business Meals with Internal Constituents (i.e., faculty, staff, students)

Business meals with internal constituents are reimbursable if the primary purpose of the meeting is business and there is a clear reason to meet outside the office over a meal. Generally, these requirements are met when it is not possible for one or more individuals to meet during working hours and the purpose of the meeting is to conduct business with a formal agenda.

The cost of business meals and meetings should be reasonable in relation to the nature of the function. IRS regulations require that these expenses not be lavish or excessive. A list of attendees and the business purpose must accompany the receipt.

Reimbursement of alcohol purchases for business meals with internal constituents is not permitted unless approved in advance by your supervisor and as appropriate to the function.


Business Meals with External Constituents

Business meals with external constituents include occasions when a Bucknell employee hosts donors, prospective donors, constituents, and business partners. Business hosting excludes University-sponsored events.

Meals and functions are considered business hosting if they are intended to provide hospitality to external constituents who are deemed necessary and customary in furthering the University's mission.

The cost of business hosting expenses should be reasonable in relation to the nature of the function. IRS regulations require that these expenses not be lavish or excessive. A list of attendees and the business purpose must accompany the receipt.

Reimbursement of alcohol purchases for business meals with external constituents is acceptable as appropriate to the function.

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