Employee meals while travelling:

The IRS considers breakfast and dinner allowances to be taxable to the employee. Payment is made using the current in-state meal per diem rates.

  • Breakfast can be paid when an employee leaves two or more hours before their regular work shift.
  • Dinner can be paid when an employee arrives two or more hours after their regular work shift.

Classified employees may be similarly compensated when required to work at their station two or more hours beyond the end of his/her regular work shift when such additional work causes the employee to miss his/her regular meal. Current in-state per diem rate for the meal is used for the allowance.

Employee meals when officially representing the University:

These meals are away from the work location, but the employee is not in travel status. The meal can only be reimbursed when all three of the following are met:

  • The claimant is attending a conference, seminar, convention, board meeting, or committee meeting as a representative of Oregon State University where non-OSU employees are present.
  • The meeting is not a social or fundraising function.
  • The menu and cost is arranged by the event organizers and beyond the control of the claimant.

These meals are considered an employee working meal and are not taxable to the employee. Proof of payment and a copy of the meeting announcement which shows a clear business purpose and the meal as part of the agenda are required. Alcoholic beverages cannot be reimbursed.