Texas State travelers may receive monthly meal allowances for non-overnight trips when the traveler conducts University business outside of his or her designated headquarters. The allowance is intended to supplement, but not to fully compensate, the meal costs incurred while traveling on official University business. The Internal Revenue Service considers non-overnight meals a non-essential travel cost, therefore any reimbursement is taxed as ordinary income. The allowance must be processed through the payroll system for tax withholding.
The monthly meal allowance is for travelers whose job responsibilities require frequent and routine non-overnight travel. Examples of eligible faculty and staff include but are not limited to: admissions counselors, supervising teachers, development/gift officers or athletics recruiters. This monthly meal allowance is intended for single day non-overnight travel as the allowance is monthly and for cumulative days. Receipt of the allowance must follow normal payroll processes.
Maximum Monthly Allowance - Local Funds
Travelers may receive a monthly meal allowance for non-overnight meal expenses. The monthly maximum allowance is calculated by multiplying the applicable standard U.S. GSA M&IE meal(s) per diem
for the continental United States and the estimated number of non-overnight travel days.
Account managers may apply more conservative per diem rates. Account managers must notify travelers of the department’s more conservative policies prior to the traveler’s departure on state business.
Account managers, in determining traveler eligibility and amounts, must consider whether the allowance is a reasonable, necessary and justifiable expense which supports the business and educational mission of the University. Account managers must also be aware of the impacts to the account’s travel budget. Award of a monthly meal allowance requires cabinet officer approval.
State Funds Limitation
Texas State has elected not to process meal allowances from state appropriated funds due to the onerous Internal Revenue Services reporting requirements.