Personal meals are defined as meal expenses incurred when traveling on an out-of-town business trip. Meal reimbursements will commence from the time you leave home until your return. Travelers will be reimbursed for personal meal expenses provided they are documented and reasonable. In general, meals should be taken at the most economical restaurant fitting the occasion.
- Travelers have the option of using the per diem rates allowed by the University System of Maryland (see below) or actual costs. If actual costs are used, they are reimbursable only up to the following limits: Breakfast-$25, Lunch $25, Dinner $75. For any given day of travel travelers must use either the per diem rates or the actual costs, but not both. For either the per diem rates or the actual costs, travel must begin before 8:00 am to claim a breakfast expense and end after 7:00 pm to claim a dinner expense.
- When not using the meal per diem rates, any meal must be supported by original itemized restaurant receipts. A credit card receipt with just the total meal cost is not sufficient.
- If a meal is provided by a conference as part of the conference fees and a traveler elects to purchase a meal independent of the conference, such meal will be considered a personal expense and will not be reimbursed, unless traveler can show a justifiable business purpose for purchasing the meal independent of the conference.
Business meals are meals with a clearly substantiated business purpose and are directly associated with the active conduct of USM Foundation business. At a business meal the business discussion is the primary purpose of the meal. Examples of business meals include meetings with business associates, professional colleagues, and others at which a bona fide business discussion takes place. Expenses for business meals, including a reasonable amount of alcohol, are allowable and reimbursable.