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Allowable 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.

Such activities must:

  • Support an underlying university business purpose,
  • Be supported with documentation, and
  • Be hosted by a UC Davis affiliate.

Examples of light refreshments or meals are allowable for these activity types: 

  • Business meetings
  • Programmatic activities
  • Donor relations
  • Recruitment
  • On-the-job meals
  • Morale building expenses

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: $27
  • Lunch: $47
  • Dinner: $81
  • Light refreshments: $19

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 March 1, 2016.


Show Tickets

UCOP Bus-79 allows for the purchase of tickets to sporting, theatrical, and musical events for prospective donors or employees in connection with official university business on an exception basis only. See Exceptional Approvals for more information. 


Expenses Not Allowed

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

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

* Related services: e.g. room/equipment rental, decorations/flowers, and similar expenses