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Truman State University
Travel Reimbursement Policy
for Travel on or after October 15, 2007
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The university recognizes and appreciates the efforts of
those traveling for university purposes. Travelers should understand the
university’s travel policies, be comfortable while traveling and receive timely
reimbursement. At the same time, travel costs submitted for reimbursement
must be incurred in accordance with these guidelines.
Departments may implement policies that are more
restrictive, but not more generous, as long as the more restrictive policies are
consistently applied within the area.
The primary responsibility for the expense report items
being properly documented and within university policy rests with the traveler
and the approving supervisor. The Business Office will review expense
reports on a sample basis for compliance with this policy, and forward taxable
reimbursements, if any, to payroll for inclusion on W-2 wages.
The traveler is responsible for the submission of all forms
related to his/her travel. The traveler may delegate responsibility for
preparation of the forms to an associate but the traveler and the authorizing
supervisor will retain accountability for travel expenses. A completed and
signed Travel Expense Report form should be submitted as soon as practical, but
no later than 60 days after the traveler’s return. One exception is that
travel taken during June should be submitted no later than July 10 in order to
classify the travel in the appropriate fiscal year.
This policy is intended to:
Ensure clear and consistent understanding of policies and
Ensure compliance with state, federal and university regulations.
Ensure equitable consideration to both the traveler and the
Provide guidelines covering university travel and other business
expenses, as well as the documentation required for substantiation.
Truman policies require prior approval for all travel
reimbursed by university funds. Travelers may not approve their own travel
requests. Prior written approval by the appropriate President’s staff
member is required for international travel. The traveler’s supervisor may
specify the written format used to obtain prior approval for business travel, as
long as the approval is in written form and is retained in the department
through the end of the annual audit.
The university’s travel expense reimbursement program meets
the Internal Revenue Service (IRS Publication 463) definition of an accountable
plan. As a result, expenses and reimbursements that conform to this policy
are not reported as taxable income to the individual.
Under the accountable plan, business travel expense
reimbursement must meet two requirements:
- Reimbursements must be made for business expenses
only. A business expense is defined as: “A clear and understandable reason
for travel that is specific enough to explain how the university benefits
from the expenses being claimed (it should answer who, what, when, where,
- Travelers must provide a statement substantiating the
amount, dates, use and business purpose of expenses within a reasonable time
(normally not to exceed 60 days) after the expenses are incurred. Original
receipts must be attached to the statement.
If for some reason the traveler is unable to provide an
accounting for the expenditures within the time frame indicated above, the
traveler should provide documentation as to the reason for the delay.
Reimbursement is subject to the availability of funds, and the department
responsible for providing the budget has the discretion of denying the
reimbursement especially if the tardy expense reimbursement request crosses
When a travel advance is involved, such as for group travel
for athletics or study abroad travel trips, additional accountable plan rules
are involved as follows:
- The advance is not disbursed to the traveler more than
30 days prior to incurring the expenses; and
- Any cash advance amount not used for business travel
for which the advance is received is returned to the university within 60
days after the expenses were paid or incurred.
Failure to account for a travel advance will result in:
Past Due 60 days
- Suspension of travel advance privileges
Past Due 90 days
- Withholding of taxes on the advance from the
employee’s pay check; inclusion in the traveler’s W-2 wages.
Official Headquarters is the location where performance of
official duties requires an employee to spend the largest part of his or her
working time and where business travel normally begins and ends. For
all but a few Truman employees, the official headquarters is the campus address
in Kirksville. However, for an employee stationed in Kansas City, the
Official Headquarters would be that person’s home location in Kansas City.
Employees are on travel status while away from the Official
Headquarters on authorized university business. Travel status begins when
employees leave Official Headquarters, their residences or other authorized
locations to go directly to their work destinations. Travel status ends
when employees return directly to their Official Headquarters, their residences
or other authorized locations after completing university business.
Business entertainment meals while in travel status are
those taken with guests, donors or others during which time focused business
discussions take place. Travelers may be reimbursed for an approved,
necessary and reasonable business entertainment meal while in Travel Status.
To meet IRS guidelines for a tax free reimbursement, the following information
must be provided:
- Date and location of meal
- Names of attendees
- Type of meal (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
- Business purpose
- Original receipt
Per IRS rules, business meals eaten during day trips
(Travel Status without an overnight stay) may qualify for reimbursement on a tax
free basis if the traveler is in continuous travel status for twelve hours or
more. Travelers must indicate on the travel reimbursement form the time
travel began and the time travel ended to document twelve hour travel status if
no overnight lodging is listed otherwise the meal will not be reimbursed.
At times a traveler may wish to combine personal activity
in connection with a business trip. The university accommodates such
activity provided that the related time and expense are paid by the individual,
and the business objective for the travel is unaffected.
In submitting a trip’s expense reporting the traveler is
responsible for excluding all expenses of a personal nature from the expense
report seeking reimbursement.
Travel extended to save airfare costs (e.g. a Saturday
night stay for domestic travel) may be reimbursed when the cost of airfare plus
additional expenses associated with the extended stay (e.g. additional night
lodging, meals) is equal or less than the cost of airfare had the traveler not
extended the trip. A justification statement documenting these savings,
including a price quote for the same airline, must be attached to the expense
Prospective employees, students, lecturers or official
visitors may be reimbursed, if authorized, for travel expenses incurred in
connection with university business under this policy. In some instances
the tax handling of payments to non employees may differ from this policy.
The type of payments the university may make to non
resident aliens depends on the Visa status of the traveler. Departments
should contact the Payroll department prior to committing travel reimbursement
to ascertain the current status.
*Current reimbursement rate is 50 cents
per mile as of July 1, 2012.
Business travel mileage shall be reimbursed and computed
between the travel site destination and the traveler’s Official Headquarters or
residence if leaving directly from the residence, whichever is less. For
example, a traveler living in Macon, Missouri, who drives to Columbia from Macon
on university business, may be reimbursed mileage from Macon to Columbia and
back. If for some reason the traveler needed to come to campus first, then
traveled to Columbia for the business meeting, then returned home to Macon, the
mileage to Columbia would be reimbursable from Kirksville to Columbia. The
mileage back would be reimbursable from Columbia to Macon.
Commuting expense is the cost of one round trip between the
residence and Official Headquarters. Travelers may not be reimbursed for
Example: A traveler works on campus in Kirksville and
travels back and forth from his or her home in Macon each day. This round
trip between Kirksville and Macon is considered commuting expense and would not
be reimbursable as business mileage.
Example: A traveler lives in and is stationed in St.
Louis and they do not have an office in that location; therefore the Official
Headquarters for that individual is considered his or her St Louis home.
Driving from home in St. Louis to the business travel destination in St. Louis
would be reimbursable as business mileage.
University employees may apply for the UMB Business Travel
Card, which is available to all State of Missouri employees who qualify.
Individual cardholders are liable for charges to their cards. Contact the
Business Office (660-785-4150) for an application.
Commercial flights are to be by coach, tourist or
equivalent class. Air fares from both Kansas City and St. Louis airports
should be secured to find the most economical price.
Airfare costs in excess of the lowest available commercial
discount airfare or customary standard (coach or equivalent) airfare are not
allowable except when such accommodations would:
- Require circuitous routing
- Require travel at unreasonable hours
- Excessively prolong travel
Reimbursing for use of aircraft owned or operated by the
traveler is prohibited.
Purchase of air transportation via the internet is
allowable if it provides economic benefit to the university. Travelers
should understand the risks associated with tickets obtained from consolidators
and through the internet.
The university will reimburse the traveler for tickets paid
for by the traveler on a personal credit card after the trip is complete.
Unused tickets purchased or reimbursed by the
university may not be used for personal travel. The department paying for
the ticket should work with the traveler to account for the unused ticket and if
possible, convert its use for future business travel.
Rail transportation may be used when the cost is less than
or equal to other methods.
Official University Business
trip optimizer has been added for your convenience when determining which
travel method is most cost effective to the University.
Calculators and Driving Directions
Employees driving a university-owned fleet vehicle on
approved university business are covered under the state legal expense fund for
liability (injury to third parties and third party property damage). Fleet
vehicles should only be used for business travel. If the university
employee is combining personal and business travel, a fleet vehicle should not
be used. The operator of the fleet vehicle assumes full responsibility for
bodily injury and damages to the vehicle and/or third party damages if an
accident occurs during any unauthorized use of a fleet vehicle.
Student workers who are required to drive a
university-owned fleet vehicle as a part of their campus jobs are covered by the
state’s legal expense fund as long as the vehicle is being used for an
authorized business purpose.
The State of Missouri has a contract in effect with
Enterprise Rental Car, and university employees needing a rental car should
first check with Enterprise and request the State of Missouri rate. If
cost effective, traveling employees may rent a car through Enterprise Rental
rather than drive their personal vehicle or a fleet vehicle. Employees
renting cars for university business within the state of Missouri with only
university employees riding in the vehicle should select CDW coverage on the
rental contract. Employees renting cars for university business within the state
of Missouri if non employees are going to be in the vehicle or if the employee
is traveling outside the state of Missouri should select both CDW and
Supplemental liability coverage. The Personal Accident insurance should
not be selected unless the employee wishes to pay for that option. If the
rental car is used for both personal and business travel, then the rental fee
should be prorated with only the business portion charged to the university.
Enterprise Rent-A-Car now offers online reservations at:
Travelers who use a personal vehicle to travel on
university business will be reimbursed for the business mileage at a rate set by
the university. Rates are effective each July 1 and employees will be
notified of changes to the current rates. The established mileage
reimbursement rate takes into consideration all costs of owning and operating a
vehicle—including fuel, insurance, maintenance and depreciation. The
reimbursement rate represents full compensation for the costs of operating the
vehicle and therefore the traveler maintains total responsibility to adequately
insure, safely operate, properly maintain and protect the vehicle. The
university does not provide automobile liability and comprehensive/collision
insurance for loss or damage to a personal vehicle used for business travel.
Physical damage to the vehicle or loss of physical property in the vehicle is
not covered by the university. Coverage should be obtained through the
traveler’s personal auto insurance. Liability to others, including
passengers, must be covered by the employee’s private auto policy.
Travelers should refer to their policy or contact their insurance agent for
If a personal vehicle is used primarily for the convenience
of the traveler and the approved travel is to a location more than 300 miles
beyond the point of origination, then reimbursement will not exceed the lesser
of the following:
- The cost per mile reimbursement, plus tolls or
- The round trip airfare using air coach or tourist fare
(including applicable costs such as airport parking and travel to and from
the airport) or equivalent rail. The cost of airfare should be based on a
7-14 day advance coach fare. Submit with the expense report a copy of the
internet quote, and the date the quote was obtained.
Reasonable and necessary amounts are allowed for lodging,
usually based on single occupancy rates unless rooms are shared with other
business travelers. When two or more staff share the same room, the total
claimed for reimbursement must not exceed the total paid for the room.
Additional room costs resulting from family or other non-business companions are
not reimbursable. A receipted, itemized statement furnished by the hotel
or motel is required for all lodging expenses. Summary statements provided
by credit card companies will not be accepted as backup for lodging
The university will reimburse the traveler for hotel costs
placed on a personal credit card after the trip is complete.
When staying in a Missouri hotel, request that the bill
exclude Missouri taxes. At the time of check-in, the traveler should
present a copy of Truman’s
Exemption from Missouri Sales and Use Tax on Purchases Certificate, and the
traveler’s Truman ID card. Hotels are more likely to give this exemption
if the traveler is using the university’s corporate card to pay for the charge.
On occasion a colleague, relative or friend may host a
traveler in a private residence. In these instances, the traveler may
compensate the host by a token gift as appropriate. Under IRS regulations
a receipt must be submitted for any such gift over $10. Only one gift per
stay may be provided.
For overnight travel within the fifty United States and the
District of Columbia, the meal expense allowance is not to exceed $50 per full
travel day for three meals, including tips. Tips should not exceed 20%.
Receipts for meals costing more than $10 are required. If fewer than three meals
per day are subject to allowance, amounts (including tips) should not exceed the
maximum reimbursement for the total of the eligible meals that day:
For example, if a traveler is at a conference where full
breakfast is provided as a part of the conference fee, then the eligible amount
for meals for lunch and dinner would total $40 (including tips).
Travelers going to high cost areas may receive additional
meal reimbursement consistent with the U.S. General Services Administration per
diem rates current with the dates of travel. Travelers should use the following
site to check for rates by county/city under the M&IE rates:
http://www.gsa.gov. From the U.S. General
Services Administration site, click on “per diem” rates and select the state.
The meal and tip rate will be available by city and county. If traveling to a
high cost area, but staying in a suburb, the traveler should check the web site
by county to see if it qualifies for high cost reimbursement.
Reimbursement for high cost areas must be approved as an override of policy by
the approving supervisor.
Meal expenses may be claimed by traveling employees for
restaurants outside a thirty-mile radius of Kirksville. For example, an
employee returning from business travel who stops to eat in Columbia, Missouri
at 6 pm could be reimbursed for that meal. However, an employee returning
to Kirksville at 6 pm could not stop at a restaurant in Kirksville and claim the
meal as a reimbursable travel expense.
Meals included in conference registrations, covered by
other university payments, or paid by others are not eligible for reimbursement
to the traveler. If a meal is provided by conference registration, but the
traveler chooses to eat elsewhere, the added meal expense is not reimbursable.
If a traveler pays for the registration fee from personal
funds, reimbursement may be made after the travel is complete.
The cost of taxis and other local transportation to and
from hotels, airports or railroad stations in connection with business
activities is reimbursable. Rental cars may be utilized if the business
purpose is documented.
Business Phone Calls
Travelers will be reimbursed for business phone calls:
- That are reasonable and necessary for conducting
- When documentation is attached to support the charge.
Travelers will be reimbursed for the cost of internet
connections for the purpose of administering university business.
Reimbursement will be allowed for other expenses under the
- Parking and tolls
- Shipping of university materials not carried by the
- Baggage handling
- Business expense such as copying and fax
- Currency conversion fees
- Ground transportation (used for business)
- Laundry if in travel status more than five days
- Hotel gyms
- In-room movie and mini-bar charges
- Laundry (unless traveler is in travel status for five
or more days). Receipts are required.
- Parking fines or speeding tickets
- Child or pet care
- Travel expense or meals of other persons, such as
spouse, traveling with the employee for personal reasons
- Food in excess of daily allowance
- Event tickets
- Taxis or other transportation to and from personal
- Commuting expense between your home and Official
- Additional transportation, hotel or other expense for
vacation related travel in connection with business travel (taken before,
during or after business trip)
- Personal phone calls
- Recreation expense
- Airline Club memberships
- “no show” charges
- Credit card delinquency assessments, credit card
- Medical expenses
- Lost baggage
- Magazines, newspapers, unless specific business
purpose is indicated
- Theft or loss of advance funds, personal funds or
other personal property
- Snacks unless in lieu of a meal
- Personal health and hygiene items
- Outside activities offered as a part of the conference
- Dues in private clubs
- Insurance costs, including baggage, flight and life
- Massages, saunas, spa
- Personal automobile repairs
The following support for reimbursement requests will be
required for all expenses:
Air transportation Airline ticket “receipt” coupon and copy of invoice and proof of payment by
credit card other method as long as the documentation includes the amount, date,
name of flyer and destination.
E-Tickets Airline “receipt/itinerary” and charge card receipt as long as the amount,
date, name of flyer and destination is shown.
Car Rental Car rental agreement and charge card receipt
Personal Auto Miles driven
Lodging Itemized hotel bill and charge card receipt
Meals Hotel bill, charge card or restaurant receipt (plus business purpose if business entertainment meal)
Conference Conference agenda and paid receipt (if paid by employee)
Telephone, Fax, Internet Hotel bill or other
connection charge receipt
Receipt of bill
Original receipts are required for all expenses indicated
above. Photocopies of invoices, credit card statements or record of charge
slips accompanying the monthly billing statements, receipts or restaurant stubs
are not acceptable.
A receipt is defined as a written acknowledgment that a
specified remittance, article or delivery has been made. At a minimum, the
name of the payee, date and amount should appear on the receipt. Receipts
are required for expenditures in excess of $10.
In the event a receipt is lost, a written statement from
the traveler stating that the original receipt is not available and that
reimbursement has not been previously received must be attached to the expense
Reimbursement of expenses to be charged to sponsored gifts,
grants or contracts made to the university must be in full compliance with the
specific terms and instructions of the gift, grant or contract, as well as this
Persons in travel status outside the continental United
States may seek reimbursement for reasonable expenses associated with their
travel. Such expenses may include, but are not limited to:
Visa, passports and other travel documents
Photographs for travel documents
Receipts are required for reimbursement. The amounts
must be stated in US dollars, with the traveler providing the conversion rate.
For faster reimbursements, employees may sign up for direct
deposit of their reimbursements by contacting the accounts payable section of
the Business Office.
All travelers are to be afforded equal opportunity to
travel for official business. If expenditures outside this policy are
necessary to provide accommodation, the circumstances should be noted on the
travel expense report.
Supervisors should contact the Payroll Supervisor regarding
overtime during travel for hourly paid employees and discuss these provisions
with the employee before permission to travel is granted.
Questions about this policy should be addressed to the
accounts payable section of the Business Office. This policy will be
reviewed on an annual basis. Individuals wishing to recommend changes to
the policy should contact the university Comptroller.