Meal Reimbursement

  • General Information 

    1. Travelers will be reimbursed for no more than three (3) meals per day. 
    2. Meal reimbursement will be for the actual cost of the meal, not to exceed the meal allowance. Itemized receipts are required (no credit card copies).
    3. Meal reimbursement allowance amounts are determined by the State of Arizona. Meal Allowances by City (updated 01/09/2023)
    4. In order to be reimbursed for a meal, the meal must contain enough edible selections with which to construct a meal.  Light snacks such as a coffee and a muffin do not constitute a meal.
    5. If a traveler has special dietary needs, it is their responsibility to make, on a timely basis, the necessary arrangements for such special meals.
    6. When tipping at a restaurant, a normal tip should be from 15% to 20%. If an employee wishes to tip more than 20%, it will be considered a personal non-reimbursable expense.  Tips are considered a part of the meal per diem.  
    7. If transportation is needed to obtain a meal, the cost of the transportation and related tip reduce the amount available for meal reimbursement.
    8. A traveler is only eligible for reimbursement of a meal when it is consumed in travel status, at least 50 miles from their work site and home, and they are in travel status for at least six (6) hours that day.
    9. If an eligible meal is purchased and the travel does not include an overnight stay, the reimbursement is taxable.

    Meals at Conferences

    Reimbursements for meals during the conference in excess of the maximum individual meal rate may be allowed when both of the following conditions are met:
    • The charge for the meal is not included in the conferenece fees AND
    • The meal features a speaker, formal panel discussion or other activity integral to the purpose of the conference.

    Allowable / Non-Allowable Meal Reimbursement:

    1. Travelers may only purchase meals for themselves.  Reimbursement will not be made for other travelers, friends, family, etc.
    2. Alcohol is not reimbursable.
    3. When meals are provided to the traveler at no expense, they may not claim reimbursement on those meals.  (This included meals provided by the hotel, conference, or airlines.)
    4. Snacks are not considered substantial and will not be reimbursed.   Example: A coffee and cookie is a non-reimbursable refreshment or snack.
    5. On the day of departure and the day of return, the traveler shall be entitled to meal reimbursements up to seventy-five percent (75%) of the Full-Day Meal Reimbursement for the trip's destination location. This 75% limitation applies no matter the times of departure or arrival, the length of the travel day, or the number of meals purchased and consumed.  (updated and effective for travel after 1/2/2019) 



Last Modified on January 9, 2023