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  • Meals & food

    Claims for meals shall represent actual, reasonable and necessary expenses.  Tips are limited to 15%.  Maximum amounts permitted, including tax and tip, are as follows:


    Rates for expenses incurred on or after 07/01/2013
    (Maximum are inclusive of tax and tip.)
    Note: Alaska and Hawaii are considered domestic locations in regards to meal and lodging maximums.
      Breakfast Lunch Dinner Total
    In-State $8 $10 $20 $38
    Out-of-State $10 $15 $25 $50
    Eligibility Times while in Travel Status Leave Before 6:00AM 10:30AM 6:00PM (see note below) 6:00AM
    Return After 10:00AM 2:30PM 7:00PM 7:00PM

    When an employee is entitled to, and personally incurs the cost for, two or more consecutive meals in a day, s/he may exceed the allowed maximum on one or more of those meal claims as desired, as long as the total allowable maximums for the consecutive meals are not exceeded and the costs were actually incurred.  Each day is considered separately for application of this policy.  If meal maximums are not reached on one day, the savings do not accrue and cannot be applied to expenses claimed on another day, nor toward other travel maximums such as lodging.  Meals already included in the cost of conference registrations or lodging are not separately reimbursable and are not to be included in this calculation.
    Expenditures for alcoholic beverages are not reimbursable.


    Meals included in the cost of lodging or registration fees are not reimbursable. Exceptions may be granted only if an adequate justification is provided.


    International Travel

    Separate meal maximums apply for travel outside the U.S. Based on the dates of travel and the federal rate for local meals (international meal rates are available in the UW TravelWIse portal) at the business location, the daily maximum shall be prorated as follows:

    Breakfast - 20%          Lunch - 30%          Dinner - 50%


    Employee Same Day Travel


    Reimbursement for meals for employees who are on a day-shift (7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) will be allowed only on the following conditions:

    1. Breakfast, provided the employee leaves home before 6:00 a.m.

    2. Lunch, provided the employee leaves his/her headquarters before 10:30 a.m. and returns after 2:30 p.m.

    3. Dinner, provided the employee returns from travel status after 7:00 p.m. or departs his/her headquarters for overnight travel before 6:00 p.m.

    The time or time periods specified above may be modified to the extent necessary to provide equitable treatment to employees whose work schedule requires shift work or other than a day-shift basis. Time and dollar restrictions do not apply to athletes in team travel status.

    Reimbursement for the cost of meals in connection with same day travel (no overnight lodging involved) are generally considered taxable income to the employee. The meal reimbursement might be considered nontaxable if the primary purpose for scheduling the meeting over the meal period was to transact UW business and the claimant documents the business purpose as well as the names of those who attended.

    Purchasing Meals for Candidates

    Employees must provide itemized receipts to support claims for reimbursement for meals purchased for other individuals while conducting UW institution business. The name of the individual, the reason for meeting over the meal period and the reason for paying the meal cost must also be indicated.