Skip to content


In accordance with UCOP BUS-79, entertainment events require the presense of an in-person host, with the expectation that events are in-person or on-premsises. Meals for virtual meetings or events are not reimbursable.

Event Types

Most events for UC Merced business are one of these types of events, each with certain policies and guidelines:

Meetings: Infrequent and only University employees in attendance
Programmatic Activities: In connection with student programs, comunity support or on-the-job meals
Standard Entertainment: Involving a guest-host relationship
Special Entertainment: Additional approval required by a Vice Chancellor or designee

Non-Reimbursable Events

Events that are personal in nature are not reimbursable, such as:

  • Birthdays
  • Weddings
  • Anniversaries
  • Farewell gatherings (unless lenght of service is more than 5 years)
  • Retirement (unless length of service is more than 5 years)


An itemized receipt is required if an expense was $75 or greater, regardless of the per-person amount or the event total

  • Note: Your department may require receipts for all expenses, but UC Merced policy requires a receipt only for expenses $75 or greater.

Guest/participant list

A guest or participant list with full names, title and affiliation is required for meetings and all entertainment, but is not required for programmatic activities. For programmatic activities provide a clear description of the attendees such as naming the event attendee group as ALL UCM Students.


Fund source restrictions apply.

A Permit to Serve Alcoholic Beverages is required if alcoholic beverages will be served at an event. More information regarding alcohol on campus and University sponsored events held off campus can be found on the Risk Services website.

Frequency limits and tax implications

UC Merced does not pay or reimburse frequent or routine expenditures for meals or light refreshments for employees as they are considered taxable income by the IRS.

For meetings and entertainment events, limit:

  • Meals to once per month, per group
  • Light refreshments to twice per month, per group

A meal or entertainment expense is taxable income if:

  • The activity is not directly related to the employee's job
  • The expense is lavish or extravagant under the circumstances
  • The official host (or other designated employee) is not present when the activity takes place
  • The expense is not substantiated with supporting documentation and a receipt of an expense is $75 or greater
  • It is deemed the employee did not adequately account to UC Merced for these expenses within a reasonable period of time