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Travel

 

General guidelines for the purchase of food from University funds

Note:  The following guidelines do not apply to candidate meals or meals associated with travel.  Refer to Travel Policy (available at http://www.usi.edu/busoff/travel/Policy.asp) or Section B.25 of the University Handbook.

University funds may be used to purchase food in accordance with the University Hospitality Policy.  Food provided to employees, however, is generally considered to be taxable income as defined by the Internal Revenue Service unless certain conditions are met.  (Reference IRS Publication 15-B and IRS Publication 463.)

Refer to the chart below to determine if a purchase is allowable and/or taxable.

  

Examples of activities that are allowable without tax consequences include:

·         Official business of the Board of Trustees

·         Official University-wide functions

·         University-wide training or recognition

·         Events with the primary purpose of student recruitment, recognition, or attendance

·         Extended Services courses, where the cost of the course includes a factor for hospitality

·         Meals when employees are required to work through a normal meal hour without an opportunity to have the meal at an alternate time

·         Meetings or events with members of the community or other non-employees to conduct official University business or represent USI

·         Meetings with representatives from multiple departments if the cost per person is less than $25

·         Formal employee training, recognition, and celebrations conducted away from the place that the employees’ work is normally performed if the cost per person is less than $25

·         Meals provided to the spouse of an employee when the spouse is representing the University and his or her attendance is required or expected

Examples of activities that are allowable, but taxable include:

·         Food for the purpose of encouraging or recognizing effort or achievement of employees other than University-wide events to honor employees

·         Meetings with representatives from multiple departments if the cost per person is $25 or more

·         Formal employee training, recognition, and celebrations conducted away from the place that the employees’ work is normally performed if the cost per person is $25 or more

Examples of activities that are not allowable and will not be paid or reimbursed by the University include:

  • Alcoholic beverages*

  • Hospitality related to fund raising where the revenue is deposited into the USI Foundation*

  • Departmental staff meetings

  • Meals or entertainment expenses of elected officials or government employees who are not guests at a University-wide event

  • Office parties (birthday, retirement, etc.)

 

 *Alternative funding sources, such as the USI Foundation, may be available for certain expenses not allowed from University funds.  Departments should coordinate the payment of such expenses, in advance, with the Foundation.