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Meal Allowance

Meals and Incidentals Expense for Travel on or After January 1, 2016

Meal and incidentals expenses (M & IE) include all charges for meals, taxes, meal tips, associated fees, and hotel tips (baggage, porters, housekeeping, etc.).  Reimbursement will be based on quarter day increments while in travel status.  Travelers are entitled to the quarter they depart as well as the quarter they return.  The quarters of each day are noted below:

Quarter

Time

Quarter 1

12:00 a.m. – 5:59 a.m.

Quarter 2

6:00 a.m. – 11:59 a.m.

Quarter 3

12:00 p.m. – 5:59 p.m.

Quarter 4

6:00 p.m. – 11:59 p.m.

For travel within the United States, US territories, and US possessions, the Federal CONUS (Contiguous United States) and OCONUS (Outside Contiguous States) rates are used for determining allowable M & IE limits.  For international locations, the US Department of State (DOS) is the source for allowable M & IE limits. 

Travel Type

Travel Location

Website

Rates to Use

CONUS

Contiguous U.S.

http://www.gsa.gov/portal/content/104877

  • Rates published October 1

OCONUS

Alaska, Hawaii, U.S. Territories/Possessions

http://www.defensetravel.dod.mil/site/perdiemCalc.cfm

  • Rates published October 1 - for travel occurring between October 1 and March 31 of each year.

 

  • Rates published April 1 - for travel occurring between April 1 and September 30 of each year.

International

Other than Contiguous U.S., Alaska, Hawaii, U.S. Territories/Possessions

https://aoprals.state.gov/web920/per_diem.asp

  • Rates published October 1 - for travel occurring between October 1 and March 31 of each year.

 

  • Rates published April 1 - for travel occurring between April 1 and September 30 of each year.

No receipts are required, and there is no provision to reimburse the employee the actual cost if the meal exceeds the per meal allowance rate. 

If meals are provided during a given travel day, the traveler’s reimbursement is reduced the M & IE rate by the amount of the meal that was provided, based on 15%, 35% or 50% (breakfast, lunch or dinner) of the daily M & IE rate.  For partial days, the quarter amount is calculated first and then the meal deduction is applied.

If all meals are provided for a day, the reduction to the M & IE rate will be 100%, and there will be no allowance for incidentals expense reimbursed to the traveler.

Traveling to or from restaurants is considered personal travel, and the transportation will not be paid or reimbursed. 

Meal Allowance for Travel Prior to January 1, 2016

Day of Departure
12:01 a.m. – 6:00 a.m. Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner
6:01 a.m. – 12:00 noon Lunch & Dinner
12:01 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Dinner
6:01 p.m. – 12:00 a.m. No meal reimbursement
Day of Return
12:01 a.m. – 6:00 a.m. No meal reimbursement
6:01 a.m. – 12:00 noon Breakfast
12:01 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Breakfast & Lunch
6:01 p.m. – 12:00 a.m. Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

FY 2015 and FY 2016 Meal Reimbursement Rates:

Location Breakfast Lunch Dinner
*or actual to either a maximum of $127 per day or the allowable meal expense on the U.S. Department of State website for Foreign Per Diem Rates by Location (attach documentation to expense report).
In-state $9.00 $12.00 $25.00
Out-of-state, regular $9.00 $12.00 $25.00
Out-of-state, high-cost $12.00 $16.00 $33.00
Borough of Manhattan and D.C. $14.00 $19.00 $38.00
International* $15.00 $21.00 $33.00

International Meal Allowance:

Beginning in FY2015, international travelers may use the meal per diem rates for a particular city as established by the U.S. Department of State on their website under the heading Foreign Per Diem Rates by Location. Look up the country and then the city and find the meal allowance under the column heading M & IE Rate.  Attach supporting documentation to the expense report.


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