Meal Reimbursements

Reimbursement is allowed only for overnight travel or other travel, away from the normal place of employment, for four hours or more. Verification of expenses by receipt is required only for lodging expenses. 

Definition of Reimbursement Quarters

For purposes of employee meal and lodging reimbursements, state law defines the four quarters of a day as follows:  

First quarter shall be from six (6) a.m. to twelve (12) noon. No reimbursement may be made if travel begins after seven (7) a.m. 

Second quarter shall be from twelve (12) noon to six (6) p.m. (No reimbursement will be made for this quarter if travel begins after one (1) p.m. or ends prior to twelve (12) noon.) 

Third quarter shall be from six (6) p.m. to twelve (12) midnight. (No reimbursement will be made for this quarter if travel begins after seven (7) p.m. or ends prior to six (6) p.m.) 

Fourth quarter shall be from twelve (12) midnight to six (6) a.m. (This quarter pertains to claiming lodging expense.) 

Meal Allowance Rates

Meal reimbursement rates depend upon the time of day the employee is in travel status and whether the travel is in-state or out-of-state. Verification of receipts shall not be required for the first three quarters listed above. Rates can be found on the Meal Allowance Rates page.  A department, institution, or agency of this state may set a rate for travel expenses outside the state less than those set forth in this section (NDCC 44-08-04).

Taxable Meals

Reimbursement is allowed only for overnight travel or other travel, away from the normal place of employment, for four hours or more. Meal reimbursements that do not involve "overnight lodging" are reported as taxable gross income on the employee's W-2 and are subject to withholding and employment taxes. A lodging receipt is considered adequate proof of overnight lodging. Also, a notation on the travel voucher that the employee stayed overnight with a friend or relative is sufficient.  

Conference, Seminar or other Meeting

Claims may also be made for meals that are included as part of a registration fee for a conference, seminar, or other meeting and for meals attended at the request of and on behalf of the University; however, if a meal is included in a registration fee, the applicable quarter's meal allowance cannot be claimed for that meal.  NDSU Policy 170, outlines the rules for paying for meals of staff and guests.  These expenses are typically paid via an Accounts Payable Voucher.  To help provide the proper documentation for these expenses, a Banquet & Meeting Documentation form must be completed and attached to the Accounts Payable Voucher or Travel Expense Voucher when in travel status.

Hotel Breakfast

If staying at a hotel that includes breakfast, per diem for breakfast will not be allowed unless further justification is provided.

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