Business Services Office, Student Life & Leadership, UC Irvine

Entertainment and Events

Section 1

Purpose:  It is the policy of the University to comply with IRS regulations regarding the provision or reimbursement of business meals and entertainment.  This applies to academic and staff employees, students, donors, guests, visitors, volunteers, and other individuals as part of a University business meeting or event. BUS-79 Bulletin does not apply to the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The Non-Employee/Vendor Business Entertainment Payment Request form below is also used to pay on-campus vendors such as ASUCI and ARAMARK.

Business Meeting Expenditures 

Business meeting expenditures are expenditures for meals or light refreshments and related services (e.g., labor charges, room rental, equipment rental, and similar expenditures) incurred in connection with meetings of employees to conduct official University business. At least one University employee or other individual representing the University must be present at any business meeting that includes non-University persons.

Entertainment Expenditures 

Entertainment expenditures are expenditures for meals or light refreshments and related services (e.g., labor charges, room rental, equipment rental, decorations, flowers, and similar expenditures) incurred in connection with events that are primarily social or recreational activities in support of the University’s mission. Such activities must support an underlying University business purpose such as promoting goodwill, donor cultivation, etc.


A Guest is a person who renders a service to the University or to whom the University wishes to extend goodwill and who is present at a University business meeting, entertainment event, or other activity at the invitation of a University official authorized to host the activity. Guest may also include an employee from another work location.


A Meal is a catered or restaurant-provided breakfast, lunch, or dinner at which employees, students, or other individuals are present for the purpose of conducting substantial and bona fide University business. Groceries and beverages purchased for an event may also be charged as a meal/meals.

Official Host 

An Official host is a University employee or other individual who is the University’s representative at an official business meeting, entertainment event, or other activity. The individual arranging an event (e.g., making hotel arrangements, ordering food, etc.) is not the host unless he or she is physically present at the event and acting in a capacity as the official host.

Programmatic Activities 

Programmatic activities are meetings and events that are in keeping with the University’s mission. As a tax-exempt organization, the University may incur “entertainment costs” that are in keeping with business purposes, such as expenditures for meals or light refreshments incurred in connection with student enrichment, training programs, food provided as a necessary part of a community-support activity (e.g., snacks at a blood donation event), and similar activities.

Light Refreshments 

Light refreshments include coffee and other beverages, snacks, hors d’oeuvres, pastries, cookies, crackers, chips, fruit, etc.


Reimbursement is a payment to a University employee, student, or other individual for expenses incurred in connection with a University-approved business meeting, entertainment event, or other activity authorized under this Bulletin.


1.) For reimbursement, please complete appropriate forms below, print, and submit to preparer along with: Itemized Receipts(s), Attendee List, Meeting Agenda or Event Flyer/Invitation

2.) All receipts MUST be taped on 8x11 Paper—No Stapling


Things to remember:

Reimbursement Documentation 

1. Reimbursement or Payment Request 

A request for reimbursement, recharge, or payment of expenses for meals or light refreshments and related services must be submitted on the appropriate Entertainment Check Request form, Check Request form, or an equivalent campus electronic form. The completed request must include the following information:

  • Type of expense (lunch, dinner, etc.); 
  • Type of event; 
  • Number of participants (attach a guest list containing the name and title of participants, and their occupation or group affiliation, in order to establish the business-related relationship to the University);
  • Date and location of the event; 
  • Business-related nature of the occasion or purpose of the event; and 
  • The signature, printed name, and department of the department head or approving authority. The signature of the host must also be obtained for entertainment, recruitment, and employee morale-building activities. Examples of expenditures requiring signature by the host and/or additional approval at a higher level are listed in Appendix B of Policy BUS-79. 

A request to reimburse entertainment, recruitment, or employee morale-building expenses must include a written statement signed by the host and/or the approving authority certifying that the hospitality expenses were incurred for an official University business purpose. This statement is provided on the Entertainment Check Request form. Electronic requests for payment processing must be supported by the same information as that required for paper processing.9 

Expenses of $75 or more per occasion must be supported by original itemized receipts, or acceptable electronic receipts, which must be submitted with the request for payment. If a receipt cannot be obtained or was lost and all measures to obtain a duplicate receipt have been exhausted, the reimbursement request must contain a statement explaining why the receipt is not being provided. The statement must also include a certification that the amount claimed is the amount actually paid. 


Form Non-Employee/Vendor Business Entertainment Payment Request

Form Employee Business/Entertainment Reimbursement Request


ResourcesBUS-79 (Policy on Expenditures for Business Meetings, Entertainment, and Other Occasions)

UC Business and Finance Bulletins
  G-41, Employee Non-Cash Awards

UC Business and Finance Bulletin
  G-42, Gifts Presented to Non-Employees on Behalf of the University

 Additional Overview Information

Accounting News and Announcements