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Meals & Incidental Expenses


Texas State travelers may receive a Meals & Incidental Expenses (M&IE) per diem on overnight trips for days that university business is conducted outside of their designated headquarters. M&IE per diems are intended to supplement, not fully compensate, meal costs and personal incidental expenses incurred while traveling on official university business.

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    • Must have an overnight stay outside of designated headquarters
    • Requires no receipts, unless:
      • required by the department
      • required by the funding/grant sponsor
  • Travelers may receive a M&IE per diem based upon U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) per diem rates for both in-state and out-of-state travel. Specific GSA maximum M&IE per diem rates are assigned to designated primary destinations within each state. Rates may vary between GSA primary destinations and even within the same primary destination based on seasonal adjustments. For cities and counties not listed as primary destinations, the standard GSA lodging reimbursement rate (continental U.S. (CONUS) rate), will be the maximum rate. GSA rates are updated annually on October 1st.
    For foreign travel, including Mexico and Canada, travelers may receive a M&IE per diem based on the U.S. Department of State (DOS) per diem rates. For areas not listed, refer to the country’s “Other” per diem rate. DOS rates are updated frequently.
  • Travelers may receive a M&IE per diem amount not to exceed the applicable GSA or DOS rates for in-state, out-of-state, or foreign travel. However, the first and last days of travel may only be paid up to 75% of the applicable rates.

    Account managers may choose to apply more conservative per diem rates. Account managers must notify travelers of the department's per diem policies prior to the traveler's departure.
    GSA regulations assign the M&IE per diem on a meal-by-meal basis. M&IE per diem must be adjusted by deducting the appropriate amount for meals furnished by the university through other forms of direct payment such as registration or conference fees.
    • A meal provided to an employee, either directly from Texas State or as a result of Texas State paying a registration fee or other cost which allows the employee to attend a conference or event, must be deducted from the daily M&IE per diem when completing the Expense Report. The current meal-by-meal rates are provided on the M&IE breakdown page.

    • Meals provided by a common carrier or complimentary meals provided by a hotel/motel do not affect the daily M&IE per diem.

    • Employees may claim the full daily M&IE per diem allowed under Texas State travel policy if:

      • Specific approval to claim the full M&IE allowance due to medical requirements or religious beliefs was obtained from the Account Manager prior to departure; and

      • Reasonable efforts to make alternative meal arrangements were attempted.

    Evidence of these requirements must be included in your Expense Report.

    • An employee may claim the full M&IE per diem if unable to take part in the Texas State-furnished meal due to the conduct of official Texas State business. Official business must be documented and included in the Expense Report.

  • Travelers will be reimbursed for actual meal expenses incurred, not to exceed the GSA rates for primary destinations listed.
    In-state Travel: the rate for locations not listed is not to exceed the state of Texas maximum.
    Out-of-state Travel: the maximum rate for locations not listed is the standard GSA M&IE per diem.
    Foreign Travel: expenses will be reimbursed for actual expenses not to exceed the U.S. DOS rates.
  • The M&IE per diem rates include a nominal amount for personal incidental expenses, such as snacks, tips, laundry, dry cleaning, etc.

    Business incidental expenses, such as parking and tolls, are reimbursable in addition to the M&IE per diem. Please refer to the Business Incidental Expenses Procedures for guidance.

    • For group travel reimbursement policies when a faculty or staff sponsor travels with a student group, please refer to the Student Group Travel Procedures.
    • For frequent travelers who do not have an overnight stay while conducting official business, refer to the Meal Allowances for Non-Overnight Travel Procedures.
    • To determine eligibility of actual meal reimbursements when conducting official business, refer to the Business Meal Reimbursement Procedures. Business meal reimbursement requests must include a list of non-university guests and the business purpose.
      • One or more university officials dining together does not constitute a business meeting.
    • M&IE per diem rates may not be decreased in order to increase lodging rates.