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Glenn Hegar  ·  Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts

Prohibited reimbursements

Meal expenses incurred within a designated headquarters

A state agency may not reimburse a state employee for a meal expense incurred within the employee's designated headquarters unless it is mandatory and connected with training, a seminar or a conference. Texas Government Code Sections 660.113(c), 660.009

Meal expenses incurred while not conducting state business

A state employee may not be reimbursed for a meal expense incurred while not conducting state business unless an exception applies. Texas Government Code Section 660.009 State business does not include the breakdown of a personally owned vehicle or any occurrence not connected with a state employee's official duties.


Tips or gratuities paid in conjunction with meal expenses are generally not reimbursable. A “mandatory” service charge may only be reimbursed if the service charge is imposed by an establishment and cannot be refused by the customer.

Alcoholic beverages

A state agency may not reimburse a state employee for the purchase of an alcoholic beverage unless the employee is a peace officer who purchased the beverage as evidence for an administrative or criminal case. Texas Government Code Section 660.113

Designated Headquarters
The area within the boundaries of the city in which a state employee's place of employment is located. If an employee's place of employment is located within an unincorporated area, then the area within a five-mile radius of the place of employment is the employee's designated headquarters. If an incorporated municipality or an unincorporated area is completely surrounded by the incorporated municipality in which an employee's place of employment is located, then the employee's designated headquarters includes the surrounded municipality or area. Texas Government Code Section 660.002(7)
Something given voluntarily or beyond obligation, usually in response to or in anticipation of a service.
May Not
A prohibition against a specified action. The term does not mean "might not" or its equivalents. Texas Government Code Section 311.016(5)
State Agency
A unit of state government that uses appropriated funds to pay or reimburse a travel expense of a state employee. This includes the Teacher Retirement System of Texas and the Employees Retirement System of Texas. Texas Government Code Section 660.002(19)
State Employee
An individual employed by a state agency, including a key official. Texas Government Code Section 660.002(20) The term includes prospective state employees and aircraft pilots.
Glenn Hegar
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
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