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Overhead Rates (Marketing and Continuing Education Costs)

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INQUIRY: Dear Paul, I know that marketing expenses are not allowable by the FAR. What about continuing education? What if the education occurs at conventions that require travel, hotel, & meals? Can all of this be categorized as part of the expense of continuing ed & be an allowable part of overhead for negotiating federal contracts? Thank you for your help with this. RESPONSE: The following represent my opinion and response to your inquiry. First of all, not All marketing expenses are unallowable! Some are and some are not. There are several cost principles you must look at to determine if the specific type of expense is allowable or not. Four cost principles to review are, 31.205-1 (Public relations and advertising costs; 31.205-12 (Economic planning costs); 31.205-18 (Bid and Proposal costs) and 31.205-38 (Selling Costs).

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