Uniform Guidance 200.438 Entertainment Costs
Per Uniform Guidance, Subpart F, Statute 200.438, entertainment cost cannot be assessed to federal grants.
Costs of entertainment, including amusement, diversion, and social activities and any associated costs are unallowable, except where specific costs that might otherwise be considered entertainment have a programmatic purpose and are authorized either in the approved budget for the Federal award or with prior written approval of the Federal awarding agency.
What is considered entertainment?
Events such as picnics, tailgates, and lab parties are considered entertainment. The costs of these events are not allowed on federally sponsored projects. This guidance should be applied to non-federally funded sponsored projects as well. Paying a group or individual to also perform at such events is unallowable. Taking students and visitors out for a meal with no meeting or research purpose is considered entertainment and thus is an unallowable cost.
During travel status, it is also unallowable to claim charges for movies, ballgames, musicals, plays, etc. These events are considered to be on personal time (even if during travel status) and should not be claimed as a travel expense either as a direct expense or under the per diem cost.
If there is an event (as noted above) tied to a workshop or conference, the cost should be paid for with personal funds. Please connect with a CALS Business Services Accountant to determine if the costs could be reimbursed using Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association funding directly or to UW unrestricted funding such as multiple donor or departmental discretionary funds. To be considered allowable on these funds, there needs to be a UW business benefit.
Resources and Helpful Links
- Uniform Guidance, Subpart F, 200.438 – http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=ee873e1aa906cf3b0d7474d25be3b5a9&node=2:220.127.116.11.1&rgn=div5#se2.1.200_1438
- See page 83 in the NCURA blue-colored guide