The Conference and Meeting Expenses guideline 4.0.1 provides that the spouse’s attendance during a meal must have a business purpose and provides for interpretation by including the wording “could be eligible for reimbursement” based upon different business case scenarios.
Spousal meals can be reimbursed after determining the business purpose for the spouses attendance. Therefore, we first should ask:
- What is the university business purpose?
- What is the benefit to the university for the spouse’s attendance?
- Does the spouse have a bona fide business purpose for their presence?
The spouse simply attending a meal event is not a university business purpose or university benefit and does not automatically provide eligibility for reimbursement.