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Entertainment and Official Occasion Quick Reference Guide

NEED

Maximum Allowable Purchase Or Reimbursement & Funding Sources

Scope of Meal/Limitations Additional Notes/Requirements
Administrative/Business Meals Maximum limits per meal/per person:

Breakfast: $35/person
Lunch: $35/person
Dinner: $75/person

These limits do not include tax or maximum tip of 20% which may be added based on the total of food and beverage, which can only be paid from local funds.


Administrative/business meals can only be paid from local funds
The main purpose of the combined business and meal is the active conduct of business, face-to-face, which must directly concern official UTA business, be agenda driven, and include two (2) or more employees.

Business meeting expenses may be purchased or reimbursed if the meal or light refreshments is an integral part of the meeting, not a matter of personal convenience, and the meeting time encompasses a regular meal time and could not be otherwise scheduled during regular working hours.

All expenses must be reasonable. Department will ensure event is the lowest possible cost considering all relevant circumstances to achieve maximum cost savings.

NOTES:
UTA funds cannot be used for social meals between two(2) or more UTA employees, student employees, or employees + students.

Meals provided to employees to improve general morale or goodwill do not meet the IRS requirements of administrative or business meals.
Required documentation:
  • Itemized receipt
  • Meeting agenda
  • Official Occasion Expense Form

Account Code: 67106

NOTE: The IRS requires "who, what, when, where and why" documentation for business meals and alcohol. The IRS considers this entertainment and if not documented properly will be considered a taxable benefit to the employee and must be taxed.

Alcohol cannot be purchased or reimbursed for administrative / business meals

Entertainment Meals with Official University Guests
Maximum limits per meal/person:

Breakfast: $35/person
Lunch: $35/person
Dinner: $75/person


Local Funds: These limits do not include tax or maximum tip of 20% which may be added based on the total of food and beverage.

Entertainmeals for official guests of the University may be expensed from local funds, state appropriated funds or designated cost centers funded with designated tuition.

Tips/gratuities are not reimbursable when expensed from state appropriate funds

Alcohol expenses cannot be expensed from state appropriated funds or designated cost centers funded by designated tuition.

Entertainment meals must concern official UTA business and include at least one (1) or more non-University affiliated guest.

Official guests of the University include, but is not limited to, member(s) of The University of Texas System Board of Regents, donors or potential donors, visiting lecturers/speakers, visitors from foreign countries, visitors from other Universities and individuals interested in University programs, prospective faculty/staff/students during the interview process, guests invited to assist in the development or evaluation of programs, alumni, business leaders and community leaders.

The presence of University faculty / staff must be integral to the purpose of the entertainment meal. An exception is prospective interview meals, whereby attendees can be limited to the guest and UTA students.

All expenses must be reasonsable. Entertainment expenses that are lavish or extravagant cannot be paid or reimbursed from University funds.
Required documentation:
  • Itemized receipt
  • Official Occasion Expense Form
Account Code: 67106 for meal
Account Code: 67106 for alcohol

NOTE: The IRS requires "who, what, when, where and why" documentation for business meals and alcohol. If an entertainment meal is paid for by an employee, and not documented properly, it will be considered a taxable benefit to the employee and must be taxed.

All alcohol purchases must be in support of events and activities that further UTA's mission.

Alcohol cannot be the primary expenditure, that is, greater than the total food expense.
On-the-Job Meals $25 maximum per person

The per person amount does not include tax or a maximum tip of 20% which may be added based on the total of food and beverage.

Tips cannot be calculated on tax, delivery fees, or other ancillary fees.

On-the-job meals can only be expensed from local funds

Meals to employees or student employees (also considered an employee of the university) during work hours may be provided as a non-taxable benefit when UTA requires the employee to be onsite in connection with a UTA business purpose. For example, a meal can be provided for the benefit of UTA when employees are required to stay on premises during their entire work shift, either because they are required to work during this perod or on call.

The meal must be provided on the business premises during the employee's working hours.

The meals must be reasonable in value and NOT provided on a regular or frequent basis.

The IRS provides the following examples of when meals are provided primarily for the convenience of the employer and not for a compensatory purpose:

  • When an employee needs to be on call for emergencies during the meal period.
  • When an employee needs to take a shortened meal period and cannot leave the workplace to take a meal (e.g., because peak workload occurs during a normal meal period)
  • When there are no eating facilities available in the vicinity of the employee's workplace.
Required Documentation:
  • Itemized receipt
  • Officlal Expense Form

Account Code: 67106

The IRS requires "who, what, when, where, and why" documentation for on the job meals. If on-the-job meal is paid for by an employee, but not documented properly, it will be considered a taxable benefit to the employee and must be taxed.

Alcohol cannot be paid or reimbursed for "On-the-Job Meals"

Group Meals/Holiday Functions Local Funds Only: A tip of 20% may be added based on the total of food and beverage only.

Tips cannot be calculated on tax, delivery fees, or other ancillary fees.

Tips/gratuities, delivery fees, or other anciallary fees cannot be expensed from state appropriated funds.

Alcohol and/or employee only events cannot be paid from state appropriated funds or designateded cost centers funded by designated tuition.
Group meals should be primarly for employees or student employees.

Group meals such as holiday gatherings, employee picnics, etc., must be occasional or infrequent.

All expenses must be reasonable. Department will ensure event is the lowest possible cost considering all relevant circumstances to achieve maximum cost savings.
Required Documentation:
  • Itemized Receipt
  • Official Occasion Expense Form
Account Code: 67106
Alcohol Account Code: 67106

NOTE: The IRS requires "who, what, when, where and why" documentation for meals. If not documented properly, and paid by an individual, will be considered a taxable benefit and must be taxed.

Spouses/partners may be allowed at the event.

No additional external guests must be present.
Recognition of Service/Achievements for UTA Employees or Student Academics/Athletics Local Funds Only: A tip of 20% may be added based on the total of food and beverage only.

Tips cannot be calculated on tax, delivery fees or other ancillary fees.

State appropriations or designated cost centers funded by designated tuition cannot be utilized for employee only events or alcohol.

Tips/gratuities, delivery fees, or other anciallary fees cannot be expensed from state appropriated funds.
Unit or department recognition of UTA student academic achievement, athletic achievement, scholarship and/or service to UTA, a component of The University of Texas System, or the State.

Unit or department reception or other event to recognize and honor employees for service and/or achievements to UTA, a component of The University of Texas System, or the State.

A gift to the employee cannnot exceed $100

Gifts of cash, a cash equivalent, a gift card or certificate will not be reimbursed or paid.

All expenses must be reasonable. Department will ensure event is the lowest possible cost considering all relevant circumstances to achieve maximum cost savings.

Required Documentation:
  • Itemized receipt
  • Official Occasion Expense Form
Account Code: 67106

The IRS requires "who, what, when, where and why" documentation for meals and alcohol. The IRS considers this entertainment and if not documented properly, and paid for by an employee, will be considered a taxable benefit to the employee and must be taxed.

Spouses / partners and external guest may be allowed at the event.

Learned Society or Organizations Meetings

(Meetings or events held to promote or communicate intellectual ideas or to exchange UTA administrative and operational information on programs or activities among students, faculty, staff, administrators or representatives of the public.)

Local Funds: A tip of 20% may be added based on the total of the food and beverage only.

Tips cannot be calculated on tax, delivery fees or other ancillary fees.

Employee events only cannot be expensed from state appropriated funds.

Tips/gratuities, delivery fees, or other anciallary fees cannot be expensed from state appropriated funds.
All expenses must be reasonable. Department will ensure event is the lowest possible cost considering all relevant circumstances to achieve maximum cost savings. Required Documentation:
  • Itemized receipt
  • Meeting agenda
  • Official Occasion Expense Form
Account Code: 67106

The IRS requires "who, what, when where and why" documentation for business meals and alcohol. The IRS considers this entertainment and if not documented properly will be considered a taxable benefit to the employee and must be taxed.
Retirement Function & Gift $25 maximum per person

Local Funds Only: a tip of 20% may be added based on the total of food and beverages only.

Tips cannot be calculated on tax, delivery fees or other ancillary fees.

A gift to the retiree cannnot exceed $100.

A retiree's gift cannot be paid from designated cost centers funded by designated tuition or state appropriated funds.

Retirement gifts of cash, a cash equivalent, a gift card or gift certificate will not be reimbursed or paid from university funds.

All expenses for the retirement function must be reasonable. Department will ensure event is the lowest possible cost considering all relevant circumstances to achieve maximum cost savings.
Required Documentation:
  • Itemized receipt
  • Official Occasion Expense Form
Spouses/partners and external guests may be allowed at the event.

Alcohol cannot be the primary expenditure, that is, greater than the total food expense
Retreats Local Funds Only: A tip of 20% may be added based on the total of food and beverage.

Tips cannot be calculated on tax, delivery fees, or other ancillary fees.

Retreats can only be expensed from local funds
The main purpose of business retreats must be centered on team building, developing goals and strategies for a unit, department or organization. All retreats must be agenda driven.

Entertainment added to business retreats must be limited to one (1) event per calendar year, and does not require an exception.

All expenses must be reasonable. Department will ensure event is the lowest possible cost considering all relevant circumstances to achieve maximum cost savings.

An agenda for the business component of a retreat must be developed and attached to the applicable UTShare module.
Required Documentation:
  • Itemized receipt
  • Meeting agenda
  • Official Occasion Expense Form (if food/beverage is served)
Must be limited to UTA employees and/or students, and guest speaker(s).

Alcohol cannot be served at business retreats
Snacks Maximum of $100 per event/meeting

Local Funds Only: A tip of 20% may be added based on the total of food and beverage.

Tips cannot be calculated on tax, delivery fees, or other ancillary fees.

Snacks can only be expensed from local funds
Snacks are allowed if they are occasional or infrequent.

Snacks are not to be consumed as a meal replacement.

Snacks can include, but not be limited to: candy, nuts, cookies, donuts, snack bars, popcorn, etc. Hors d'oeuvres are not intended to be snacks.
Required Documentation:
  • Itemized receipt
  • Official Occasion Expense Form
Account Code: 67106

Alcohol cannot be purchased/served
Flowers $150 maximum, including taxes, delivery fees, or other ancillary fees.

Flowers can only be expensed from local funds
Flowers may be purchased and sent in the name of the department or office for memorial services or extended illness of an employee, an employee’s immediate family or a retiree. Immediate family is defined as the employee’s spouse, or the employee’s or spouse’s children, parents, brothers, sisters, grandparents, great-grandparents, and grandchildren.

Flowers may also be purchased for other occasions that serve a UTA business purpose but for a maximum of $150, including taxes, delivery fees, or other ancillary fees.
Required Documentation:
  • Itemized receipt
Expenses for employees' or students' birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, baby showers and other non-business related events are disallowed expenditures.

Exclusions: Office of the President & Development