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Meals and Lodging Reimbursement Rates and Rules

Meal and lodging rates differ depending on location. SFA’s Travel Expense Module (TEM) reflects the current reimbursement rates for domestic locations. These reimbursement rates are automatically calculated when the travel authorization is entered into the TEM system.

MEALS

NOTE: Regardless of location, meals are reimbursable only for trips that include overnight travel. Meal receipts are not required for reimbursement, except in the case of student or other group travel and business meals. Additionally, receipts for foreign meals are required for reimbursement of actual, reasonable costs. In lieu of providing receipts and foreign currency conversions for foreign meals, travelers may elect to be reimbursed at in-state per diem rates. Refer to the Travel Guidelines or contact the travel office for further information about meal receipt requirements for these situations.

Meals are reimbursable for partial days of travel (with an overnight stay) as stated below. The traveler must be away from his/her designated worksite on official business the entire time period to be eligible for per diem for that meal:


In-State Meal Reimbursement Rates

The maximum in-state meal reimbursement rate is $51.00 per day regardless of location, or the following amounts for partial days:


Out-of-State Meal Reimbursement Rates

The Federal Per Diem rate tables are used to determine the out-of-state meal reimbursement rates for specific cities. If the location is not listed as a primary destination on the rate tables, the allowable limit reverts to the standard rate of $51.00 per day. Meal reimbursement for partial days will be made using the following percentages of the applicable locality-based meal rate found in the tables:

LODGING

NOTE: Lodging receipts are required for reimbursement.

In-State and Out-of-State Lodging Reimbursement Rates

The Federal Per Diem rate tables are used to determine both the in-state and out-of-state lodging reimbursement rates for specific cities/counties. If a location is not listed as a primary destination on the rate tables, the allowable limit reverts to the standard rate of $93.00 for both in-state and out-of-state.

Lodging Exceeds

When the actual lodging amount exceeds the allowable per diem (see previous paragraph), the excess may be charged to a discretionary account (FOP) upon account manager approval. This excess amount, including associated taxes, is entered on the travel expense report as “Lodging Exceeds” expense type. The Lodging Exceeds Calculator may be used to calculate the amount to enter. The Lodging Exceeds calculation must be attached to the travel expense report.

TAX EXEMPTIONS

SFA is exempt from paying State of Texas hotel occupancy tax. Therefore, travelers must provide a "Texas Hotel Occupancy Tax Exemption Certificate" to the vendor for lodging. Employees will not be reimbursed for the state portion of the hotel occupancy tax.

Many states provide sales/hotel tax exemptions. Travelers should check the Tax Exemptions webpage to determine whether out-of-state meals and lodging are exempt from taxes.

INCIDENTAL EXPENSES

Chapter 300, Part 300-3—Glossary of Terms in the Federal Travel Regulation (www.gsa.gov/ftr) under Per Diem Allowance describes Incidental Expenses as “fees and tips given to porters, baggage carriers, hotel staff, and staff on ships”. These expenses are included in the daily meal per diem rates and are therefore not eligible for additional reimbursement.

INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL

Receipts are required for reimbursement of all international expenses. In lieu of providing receipts and foreign currency conversions for international meals, travelers may elect to be reimbursed at in-state per diem rates. Refer to the SFA International Travel Rules and Guidelines for further information.

 

Contact Information
traveldesk@sfasu.edu • Lynnette Honea (936) 468-2462 • fax: (936) 468-2207

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