Travel Expense Reimbursement Process
- The travel expense report is the official document used by the traveler and the department to approve actual travel costs and travel dates associated with an authorized trip.
- Travel expenses shall be reimbursed upon completion of a travel expense report that is submitted by the individual requesting reimbursement. If the travel is over 10 percent and exceeds $200 of the original request or if the funding source changes from the original request, the expense report must be approved by the individual with authority to expend the funds. If the traveler is the expenditure authority, supervisor approval is required.
- A travel expense report is required for all travel conducted under a travel request form, including travel for which all expenses are paid directly by the university.
- The travel expense report should be submitted to the campus business or travel office within 15 business days of completion of a trip.
- Personal travel routing and leave time during the period of travel must be clearly noted on the expense report and a cost comparison itinerary showing the most direct routes and/or efficient modes for the basis of reimbursement must be attached to the travel request or expense report. Documentation must be attached showing no added cost to the university resulting from indirect routing.
- Expenses accrued while on personal travel are not reimbursable. For more detail see item 8. Personal Travel.
- Foreign receipts must be explained by type of expense in English. For example, if a traveler receives a taxi receipt in Russian, he or she should write “taxi” on the receipt. Currency exchange rates will be calculated by the travel expense tool.
- Travelers should utilize direct deposit as the means to receive reimbursement.
- All change fees and differences in airfare must have a business justification noted on or attached to the travel expense report and are subject to disallowance.
- Actual, scanned, or photographed pictures of receipts must be submitted for all travel expenses for which reimbursement is claimed. Individual expenses (except for air, lodging and vehicle rental) less than $75 may be reimbursed without a receipt, in the event the receipt is lost, misplaced, or inadvertently not obtained.
- General Reimbursement
- Reimbursement of travel expenses will be made to the traveler within 15 business days after receipt of a properly completed and approved travel expense report by the business or travel office.
- Reimbursements requested more than 90 days after the completion of the trip fall outside the reasonable time frame for IRS accountable plans, and therefore are subject to income tax and will be reported on the employee’s Form W-2.
- Travel around duty station or local mileage reimbursement may be made through petty cash.
Submitting the Expense Report
Submission of the Expense Report is the traveler's official certification that the expenses claimed are true and accurate.
Therefore, Concur is configured to require the traveler to submit the Expense Report. If extenuating circumstances exist, please work with your campus travel administration to have the Expense Report submitted on the traveler’s behalf.
Receipts are required for all UA business travel expenses except "per diem offset meal." Concur will allow travelers to submit individual expenses under $75 without a receipt except for airfare, lodging and car rental. There are great reporting capabilities within Concur which allow for monitoring of expenses without receipts. If there is abuse, this is reported to the employee’s supervisor.
- A receipt is defined as an itemized record (paper or digital) issued by the vendor on which the purchased goods or services are listed with the total amount paid and the prices for each.
- Receipts for “Actual Meal” expenses require itemization and cannot include alcohol purchases unless part of a representational entertainment expense reimbursed with a non-public funding source (such as UA Foundation funds).
- Foreign receipts require explanation by type of expense in English. Currency exchange rates are calculated by Concur.
- While a charge on the travel card will provide information such as vendor name (in most cases) and total amount paid, receipts provide an itemization and description of the good/service purchased from the vendor by which the business need for the expense is validated. Generally, the itemization and description do not come through with the card charge.
The Traveler: During Travel page includes additional information about receipt management.
Taxable Reimbursement After 90 days
When an Expense Report is not submitted within 90 days of the business travel end date, the out-of-pocket expenses directly reimbursed to the traveler are reported on the employee's W-2 as taxable income.
If an Expense Report is submitted within the 90 days but is returned for corrections, the out-of-pocket expenses are not reported as taxable income.
Travelers must identify on the Expense Report personal days taken in conjunction with UA business travel. For this reason, the Expense Report Header in Concur includes a section for documenting the personal days.
Expenses accrued during or because of personal days are not reimbursable unless the traveler would reasonably incur those costs if the trip were business only (e.g. taxi to the airport or home).
A business-only cost comparison itinerary attached to the Travel Request or Expense Report is required. This comparison establishes the business cost for airfare and the business time in travel status.
The Traveler: After Travel page includes additional information about completing an Expense Report for business + personal travel.
Third-Party Paid Travel
An Expense Report is not needed if a trip is fully paid by a third party, including self-funded travel.