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Truman State University
Travel Reimbursement Policy
For Travel on or after October 1, 2013
Table of Contents
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 needs to be submitted in
accordance with fiscal year closing dates in order to classify the travel in the
appropriate fiscal year.
This policy is intended to:
Ensure clear and consistent understanding of
policies and procedures.
Ensure compliance with state, federal and
Ensure equitable consideration to both the
traveler and the university.
Provide guidelines covering university travel and
other business expenses, as well as the documentation required for
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
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
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
Rules for Travel
Advances Received for Group Travel
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
Past Due 60 days
Suspension of travel advance privileges
Past Due 90 days
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)
Original receipt if total of meal is over $25
Reimbursement for Meals on Day
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
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 report.
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
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
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
Commuting expense is the cost of one round trip between the
residence and Official Headquarters.
Travelers may not be reimbursed for commuting expenses.
A traveler works on campus in Kirksville
and travels back and forth from his or her home in
each day. This round trip between Kirksville and
is considered commuting expense and would not be reimbursable as business
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
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
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
Rail transportation may be used when the cost is less than
or equal to other methods.
Driving on Official
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 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.
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
taxes. At the time of check-in, the
traveler should present a copy of Truman’s exemption from Missouri Sales and Use
Tax certificate (available on the web) 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 or meal 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 15%-20%.
Receipts for meals costing $25 or less are not 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
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
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 business, and
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 traveler
Business expense such as copying and fax
Currency conversion fees
Ground transportation (used for business)
Laundry if in travel status more than five days
In-room movie and mini-bar charges
Laundry (unless traveler is in travel status for five or more
days). Receipts are
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
Taxis or other transportation to and from personal events
Commuting expense between your home and Official Headquarters.
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
Airline Club memberships
“no show” charges
Credit card delinquency assessments, credit card annual fees
Magazines, newspapers, unless specific business purpose is
Theft or loss of advance funds, personal funds or other personal
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 insurance
Massages, saunas, spa
Personal automobile repairs
The following support for reimbursement requests will be
required for all expenses over $25:
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.
Airline “receipt/itinerary” and charge card receipt as long
as the amount, date, name of flyer and destination is
Car rental agreement and charge card receipt
Itemized hotel bill and charge card receipt
Hotel bill, charge card or restaurant receipt (plus business purpose if
business entertainment meal). While a
receipt is not required for meals under $25 or less, a business purpose is still
required for business meals.
Conference Agenda and paid receipt (if paid by employee)
Telephone, Fax, Internet
Hotel bill or other connection charge receipt
Receipt if over $25
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 $25.
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
Direct Deposit of Travel
For faster reimbursements, employees may sign up for direct
deposit of their reimbursements by contacting the accounts payable section of
the Business Office.
Compliance with the Americans with
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.
Business Travel for Hourly paid
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
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