Per Diem, Meals and Incidental Expenses

Per diem is a daily allowance (set amount) given to a traveler per day to cover meals and incidental expenses (M&IE) in connection with work done away from home. The maximum daily amount allowed is dictated by university and federal regulations dependent on location. The projected per diem for the entire trip should be included in the TA. Actual per diem claimed must be specified on the TER. It is permissible and encouraged to claim less than allowable costs for per diem.  

Restrictions:

  • Per diem (M&IE allowance) will not be paid for travel that is less than 12 hours (R05.02.060 6.b.5.).
  • If meals are available at no cost to the traveler (other than airline meals and snacks), such as meals provided at conferences or by others at meetings, or if meal costs are reimbursed from other sources or reimbursed as representational expenses, the per diem allowance shall be adjusted by reducing the daily M&IE allowance by one-fourth (1/4) for each meal provided or reimbursed by other means. Exceptions to these reductions must be justified in writing and submitted with the TER (R05.02.060 7.d.).

Calculation:

The traveler shall be allowed one-half of the basic meal and incidental expense (M&IE) allowance for each half-day period during which the traveler was on travel status. The half-day periods are as follow:

  • Midnight-Noon
  • Noon-Midnight

(R05.02.060 6.b.4.)

Allowable Limits:

M&IE limits are dependent on the location where the traveler is spending the night (where you lay your head). Travelers are always permitted to claim less than the allowable per diem limit. 

  • Locations in Alaska: The Alaska meals and incidentals rate shall be $60.00 for Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau, and their surrounding communities. (Surrounding urban areas are based on an industry standard of a 50-mile radius, give or take a few miles.) For areas outside of Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Juneau, reimbursement of actual costs for meals and incidentals are encouraged. Actual costs totaling up to the maximum allowable per diem rate for that location may be claimed. If actual costs are claimed, receipts must be provided with your TER (R05.02.060.6.a.4.).
  • Locations outside Alaska: Per diem reimbursement rates for travel outside of Alaska shall be the rate authorized for payment by the federal government in the locality (including international travel) in which the traveler spends the night. If the location is not listed on the federal list, the traveler must use the rate for “other” as the amount for per diem claims (R05.02.060.6.b.2.).