Where I live, it is normal to give a tip after eating in a restaurant and to provide a tip to the maid when staying in a hotel. When travelling on business, are those tips normally part of the business expense, or are they something I should cover personally?

For food, if I'm paying with a card and have an opportunity to add the tip to the bill, I will do so. In that case, the business is paying. But for some meals and for the hotel, the tip is cash. If a business normally covers that, how is that documented, since there is no receipt?

Is paying a cash tip during business travel something a business usually covers, something the individual usually covers, or is there any consistency, and it's something that can change from company to company? (In other words, only my company can answer this question.)


2 Answers 2


In my experience, the tips are part of business expenses and most companies have a guideline as to what percentage is reasonable.

Also, regarding receipts, again in my experience, every place I have worked has a line item for tips in expense reports and do not expect receipts to be provided. Failing that, there is normally a "sundries" line item that can be used. In fact, most companies have a threshold on expense items (e.g. $25) under which no receipts are required.


This is very much company specific, you need to check with your HR or travel department. While I think most US companies would cover this expense, it is still company specific as to what documentation may or may not be required for the expense.

Also, this is typically treated as a valid expense for you because the company gets to take it as an expense for tax purposes, so you also need to understand what tax law impacts your company. As always, the best answer comes from the appropriate department at your company.

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