Fiscal Operations Manual
Section 400: Expenditures
Employee overtime meal allowance
When an employee travels departing and returning the same day, the IRS considers breakfast and dinner allowances, figured on the basis of hours worked, to be taxable to the employee. If such breakfast and dinner allowances are paid, use account code 28502 – Overtime Meal Allowance (W-2 Reportable). Payment is made using the current in-state meal per diem rate.
- Breakfast allowance can be paid when an employee leaves their official station two or more hours before their regular work shift.
- Dinner allowance can be paid when an employee returns to their official station two or more hours after their regular work shift.
Classified employees may be similarly compensated when required to work at their station two (2) 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. Reimbursement is paid as account code 28611 - Refreshments and Food-Departmental. Proof of payment and a copy of the meeting announcement which shows a clear business purpose and the meal as partof the agendaare required. Alcoholic beverages cannot be reimbursed.
See FIS 410-07 Meals and Refreshments at Departmental Functions for other information on payment of employee meal or refreshment costs.
Athletic team or student group meals
When athletic teams or special student groups are on day trips and meals are provided, use account code 20300 Student Meals. The actual cost of the meal is reimbursed with receipts, not travel per diem. University funds cannot pay for meals or refreshments at for-credit classes unless the activity is part of a self-support instructional program where the participant is charged a fee to cover the cost.
For meal costs when athletic teams or student groups are in-travel status, use 39119 Group Travel-Domestic, or 39646 Foreign Group Travel as appropriate.
For additional information see:
FIS 410-05 Hosting Groups and Official Guests