• Meal expenses are limited to $75 per person per meal and $100 per person for dinner, unless there is a legitimate business reason which has been approved by the Dean’s Office.  Documentation of the approval must be submitted with your Travel Expense statement to be reimbursed above the limit.   
  • Submit itemized receipts for all meals, unless you are using the per diem method (see below).   
  • If hosting a meal or event for fewer than 12 people, provide the purpose of the event, names of guests, their titles, and association with the University. 
  • If hosting a meal or event for 12 or more people, provide the purpose of the event, the number of people in attendance, and the makeup of the group (we don’t need individual names and titles).
  • Please refer to the Quick Reference Sheet under the Forms tab for additional meal policies.

Local Business Mileage Clarification

  •  Nontaxable local business mileage does not include commuting between home and your regular workplace.
  • Nontaxable local business mileage generally includes:
    • Getting from one business location to another.
    • Going to a business meeting away from your regular workplace.
    • Going to a “temporary work location”.
    • Incurring mileage in excess of the employee’s standard daily commute.
  •  For additional information, refer to the new Local Business Mileage Guide available at


  • Gifts given to individuals can only be reimbursed if we provide the name, address, and social security number to the Tax Department (due to WU’s adherence to strict IRS regulations).
  • Gift cards & Gift certificates are considered cash equivalents and are always taxable to the recipient.  

Please contact Olin Accounting for more information or visit


  • It is Olin’s policy not to pay honorariums. If you would like to be granted an exception, please submit a formal request to Joyce Montgomery to seek approval for the honorarium.  Please include justification for the amount.

Information Needed for Guest Reimbursements 

  • When someone is invited to visit Washington University and will require a payment for service or reimbursement, it is important to establish whether they are a U.S. citizen or if they are in the U.S. on a visa.  This is designed not only to keep WU compliant, but more importantly, to protect the visa status of our guests.
  • The Tax Department has issued a series of guidelines and forms to facilitate processing of payments and reimbursements to guests.  Contact Faculty Support or Olin’s Accounting Department for a copy.

Payments to Public Officials 

  • Please be aware that Washington University is required by the IRS to report any reimbursements to public officials or amounts paid on their behalf for travel or entertainment expenses.  This includes any US federal, state, or local public official or their family members.  The officials name and their position should be submitted along with the payment request. 

Third Party Expenses

  • WU discourages reimbursing faculty and staff for third party expenses.  Requests for payments to consultants or other service providers should be submitted to Olin Accounting, preferably with an invoice from the third party.