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Allowable Entertainment Expenses

Entertainment expenditures are defined as costs for meals or light refreshments and related services incurred in connection with events that are primarily business activities in support of the university’s mission.  Related services include room/equipment rental, decorations/flowers, and associated expenses.

Such activities must:

  • Support an underlying university business purpose (teaching, research, public service, patient care),
  • Be supported with documentation, and
  • Be hosted by a UC Davis affiliate.

Examples of light refreshments/meals allowable for these activity types: 

  • Business meetings
  • Programmatic activities
  • Donor relations
  • Recruitment
  • On-the-job meals
  • Morale building expenses, including employee retirement from the University of California, with at least 5 years of UC service

See UCOP BUS-79 for complete details

Meal Allowances

The following rates pertain to people being entertained and the university employee who is the official host. If expenditures will exceed these limits, additional approvals and documentation will need to be completed and the excess may not be approved.

*Maximum per person, by meal:

  • Breakfast: $28
  • Lunch: $49
  • Dinner: $85
  • Light refreshments: $20

These amounts include food, beverage, tax, service, and delivery charges.

*These are the maximum allowable rates established by the IRS. Departments have the right to establish lower limits than those established by the IRS, as long as those rates are consistently applied for all of their employees (faculty, staff, & students). Effective November 1, 2021.

Exception Approvals

UCOP Bus-79 allows for the approval of certain entertainment events on an exception basis only. See Exception Approvals for more information. 

Host Certification

Entertainment Host Certification is required when entering an Entertainment report that includes any of the following:

- Recruitment of prospective employees
- Recruitment of student athletes or scholars
- Morale events
- Meals to prospective donors
- Meals to visitors from other educations institutions, the community, or another work location for social or recreational purposes
- Show tickets for entertainment purposes
- Meals to spouses or domestic partners
- Cash contributions during an entertainment event

If the host is someone other than the report submitter in AggieTravel, the submitter can simply route the report to the host for electronic approval.

If the host is not an active employee with access to AggieTravel, the Entertainment Host Certification form available in the AggieTravel report should be printed, the host should sign the form, and the signed form should be electronically attached to the AggieTravel report.

Expenses Not Allowed

Under no circumstances may university funds be used for occasions such as:

  • Employee birthdays
  • Weddings
  • Anniversaries
  • Occasions of a personal nature