Bona Fide Business Purpose

Spouse/family members who accompany a University employee or Non-employee guest may qualify for reimbursements for travel, meals, and entertainment to an event if they meet the bona fide business purpose criteria. According to IRS regulations, reimbursements that do not meet the bona fide business purpose criteria are taxable income.  


The bona fide business purpose:

  • Must be clearly documented on the expense report.

  • Meets a specific business need.

 

Expenses are more likely to be taxable when:

  • Family member(s) are not required to attend meetings, given advance assignments, or asked to make presentations at the event.

  • The employee or non-employee guest can efficiently perform the required duties without the presence of the family member(s).

  • Family member(s) perform only “helpful” services, such as limited note taking, secretarial services, attendance only at social functions, etc.

  • Only UVA employees and family member(s) attend event.

  • Family member(s) participate in substantial tourist activities (shopping, sightseeing, etc.).

  • Children or other family member(s) DO make the trip.

 

Expenses are more likely "bona fide" when:

  • Family member(s) are required to attend meetings, given advance assignments, or make presentations at the event(s).

  • The employee or non-employee guest cannot efficiently perform the required duties without the presence of the family member(s).

  • Family member(s) perform “necessary” (not merely helpful) services by acting as a representative of the University in a substantial manner.

  • Non-UVA employees (donors, alumni, recruits, etc.) attend event.

  • Family member(s) do not participate in tourist activities.

  • Children or other family member(s) DO NOT make the trip.