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Business Office - Reimbursement for Meals & Incidentals Per Diems

Expense Reimbursement Guidelines for Meals & Incidentals from the SoHE Business Office.

E-Reimbursement System

Travelers are reimbursed for meal and incidental expenses (M&IE) while in travel status requiring an overnight stay. M&IE are reimbursed on a per diem basis; travelers are not reimbursed for actual costs. Travelers cannot claim M&IE for other travelers.

Per Diem Help Sheet -This tip sheet will show you how to enter a Meal and Incidental Per Diem claim on an expense report.


Meals & Incidentals Per Diem reimbursement requirements

  • Receipts

    • No receipts required for regular meals when traveling.
    • They ARE required for any hosted meals; i.e. business event, interview dinners, etc.
  • Day trips

    • Day trips (no overnight lodging) = $15/day even if a meal was provided. This is a tax reportable reimbursement.
  • Overnight

    • The M&IE per diem rate varies from location-to-location and sometimes can vary from month-to-month. 
    • First and last days of travel
      • 75% of total based on location
  • Provided meals

    • Any meals provided by host/conference will be deducted from your daily meal per diem.
    • Travelers with an ADA exemption for a medical dietary need (e.g. Celiac disease/food allergies) can be reimbursed for provided meals if the provided meals do not meet their dietary restriction. Reference the ADA exemption on the reimbursement request.
    • Travelers will not be reimbursed for provided meals that do not comply with their voluntary dietary preference (e.g. vegan/vegetarian).
  • Incidentals

    • Per Diem reimbursement includes $5/day for incidentals.
    • Even if all meals are provided, you can still get this $5/day.
    • No receipts required.
    • Examples:
      • Tips for restaurant staff, porters, baggage handlers, hotel housekeeping or other service staff, valets, train or ship services staff, etc.
      • Transportation between places of lodging or business to obtain meals.
      • Phone calls (business or personal)
      • Internet fees (personal)
      • Laundry, dry cleaning or pressing of clothing
      • Bottled water
      • Mailing and other expense associated with filing expense reimbursement claims
    • The incidental rate is reimbursable regardless if any meals are provided.  Incidental items are only reimbursable through an M&IE reimbursement; they are not directly reimbursable.


If you have a question, please refer to UW Meal & Incidental Policies or contact Susan Kitts or Jane Rolfsmeyer in the Business Office.




Keywords:day trip, overnight trip, provided meals, receipts, per diem, calculator, meals, e-reimbursement   Doc ID:105634
Owner:Jane R.Group:School of Human Ecology
Created:2020-09-04 14:26 CDTUpdated:2021-03-05 15:48 CDT
Sites:School of Human Ecology
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