Per Diem - Lodging, Meals and Incidentals
Appendix to Policy
Sponsored Projects: Sponsors may have more restrictive or different policies than stated below. Travelers are responsible for being knowledgeable and compliant with the Sponsor's requirements.
Lodging and M&IE Per Diem Rates
For domestic travel, the University reimburses travelers in accordance with the Federal State Department per diem amounts as published on the GSA website.
Hawaii and Alaska Rates
Rates for Hawaii or Alaska can be found on the Department of Defense website.
Note: When searching you should EXCLUDE Military Installations and use the Maximum Lodging, Local Meals and Local Incidentals. For meal breakdowns, use the U.S. Department of State link below.
For International travel, the University reimburses travelers in accordance with the U.S. Department of State per diem amounts as published on the U.S. Department of State website.
Travelers are expected to choose lodging that meets the traveler's schedule and business needs. Receipts are required for all lodging.
Non-Conference – Domestic or International lodging: Departments will reimburse travelers for actual expenses up to 150% of the lodging rate for the destination city, as referenced on the US Government General Services Administration (GSA) website for domestic lodging and the U.S. Department of State website for international lodging.
In situations where a non-conference lodging rate falls outside of the University guidelines, the traveler must obtain pre-approval from the appropriate authorized approver by completing the Request for Lodging Exception form. If the traveler does not obtain prior approval, the authorized approver may deduct the overage from the reimbursement request.
Conference – Domestic or International lodging: The lodging rate limit does not apply to conference travel, where the traveler is paying a pre-negotiated rate offered by the conference. In cases where conference facilities are completely booked, travelers should obtain lodging based on the non-conference guidelines provided above.
Local Lodging: Employees traveling locally typically do not require an overnight stay. However, in certain circumstances, such as when a department or college hosts a multi-day conference or event on/near a University campus an employee may stay overnight at a hotel that is in the same city or town as their residence, only when the department or college has preapproved the stay. The traveler must document the business purpose of the local stay.
LODGING REIMBURSEMENT EXAMPLES:
- Lodging in Atlanta, GA:
The GSA lodging rate is $138. 150% of the GSA rate is $207. This means that the traveler may be reimbursed up to and including the $207 rate (excluding applicable taxes) for Atlanta.
- Lodging in Chennai, India:
The U.S. Department of State lodging rate is $300. 150% of the U.S. Department of State rate is $450. This means that travelers may be reimbursed up to and including the $450 rate (excluding applicable taxes) for Chennai.
- Conference Lodging in Denver, CO:
The GSA lodging rate is $172. The conference is offering a rate of $300 at the conference hotel. This means that the traveler may stay at the conference hotel at the $300 rate.
Note: If the conference hotel is full and the traveler has to make other lodging arrangements they must follow the 150% per diem guidelines. 150% of the $172 GSA rate is $258. This means that the traveler may be reimbursed up to and including the $258 rate (excluding applicable taxes) for Denver.
Meals and Incidental Expenses (M&IE)
Employees in travel status (travel requiring an overnight stay) on University business are reimbursed up to the per diem rate for travel related meal expenses for their travel destination. Receipts are not required (under any circumstances) for reimbursement of travel meals using per diem rates.
The M&IE rates include:
- Meals, non-alcoholic drinks, tax & tip
- Incidentals – e.g., baggage carries, bellhops and hotel maids
Travelers will not be reimbursed for:
- Meal expenses exceeding the maximum meal rate for their destination city;
- Any portion of the per diem that covers meals which are also provided as part of the conference fees, unless there is a business or health reason for an alternate meal; or
- Any portion of the per diem that is being reimbursed as a part of a hospitality meal.
First & Last day of travel
First and last days of travel will be reimbursed at 75% of the per diem.
Departure day – the day you leave your home or office.
Return day – the day you return to your home or office.
Meals - Conferences
The University does not reimburse meals included with a conference. If a conference includes meals then the University reimburses only the meals where the traveler incurred an expense. If the meal provided is on the first or last day of travel the per diem should be reduced by the meal provided then multiplied by 75%.
Employees may include the daily incidental amount when determining the maximum M&IE rates. Gratuities for baggage carries, porters, hotel staff (bellhops and house cleaners), and staff on ships, as well as ATM fees, bank fees, and check cashing fees are included in the daily incidental amount. Laundry and valet expenses are included in the daily incidental amount for International travelers. Travelers should not request reimbursement for any of these items.
Travelers may request reimbursement for laundry for domestic travel lasting seven (7) or more consecutive days.
Note: Refer to the Administrative Policy: Hospitality and Other Special Expenses for special expenses, such as meals in conjunction with business entertainment and alcoholic beverages.
Extended Day Travel
"Extended Day Travel" is travel that is at least 12 hours and does not require an overnight stay. In these circumstances, the traveler may receive the dinner per diem only (no breakfast or lunch). Travelers will not receive reimbursement for any meal when travel is less than 12 hours.
Note: Some employees have unique circumstances (such as an outside location) that requires frequent travel (more than on an occasional basis) during normal business hours. Depending on the length of the trips, these employees may not be in either extended day travel or overnight travel status. If these circumstances exist frequently and cause financial hardship to the employee, managers are encouraged to provide additional, incremental compensation to those employees (salary augmentation). Consult the University Tax Department for additional guidance on taxable meal allowances, at (612) 624-1053 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Contact Payroll Services at email@example.com for the applicable pay code.
|Total||Breakfast||Lunch||Dinner||Incidental||First & Last Day of Travel|
Meal breakdown for International M&IE rates: Rates can be found on the U.S. Department of State M&IE Rates web page.
Note: First & Last Day and Meal Breakdowns prior to October 1, 2018 can be found on the Travel Services website.
Meal Reimbursement Examples
- Full day of travel (Full Per Diem):
An employee travels to Washington DC and NO meals are provided during a full day of travel.
Washington DC M&IE = $76
Calculation: $18 (breakfast) + $19 (lunch) + $34 (dinner) = $71+ $5 (Incidentals) = $76.00/day.
- First or last day of travel (75% of Per Diem):
An employee travels to Washington DC and NO meals are provided on a travel departure or return day.
Washington DC M&IE = $76
Calculation: $18 (breakfast) + $19 (lunch) + $34 (dinner) + $5 (incidental) = $76 x 75% = $57.00
- First day of travel with Conference meal included:
An employee travels to a conference in Washington DC and lunch is provided on the first day of travel. (Total meal per diem less the allowable rate for the provided meal multiplied by 75%)
Washington DC M&IE = $76
Calculation: $18 (breakfast) + $34 (dinner) + $5 (incidental) = $57 x 75% = $39.
- Extended Day Travel:
A UMD employee departs Duluth at 7:00 a.m. for a meeting in the Twin Cities and returns home at 7:00 p.m. (Minneapolis/St. Paul M&IE = $76)
Calculation: $34 (dinner)