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Policy: VI.G.1x (inactive)

Issued: April 21, 2000

Owner: Director of Procurement Services

Latest Revision: July 2, 2001

TRAVEL EXPENSES


**INACTIVE POLICY**

For Current Policies:
Policy Table of Contents

 


1.0 Purpose

This documemt describes the rules for reimbursing individuals for transportation, lodging, meals, and other expenses incurred while traveling on official University business.

This policy does NOT cover non-travel meals. Reimbursement for non-travel meals is covered in Meal Expenses -- Policy VI.G.2.

2.0 Policy [Top]

2.1 INTRODUCTION

Business trips should be well planned and the need for a trip established before travel begins. All travel must be approved by your supervisor or department head. The traveler should compare prices and use the least expensive transportation and lodging.

The traveler must report and support his/her expense claims. Expenses must be reasonable for the area traveled. The University will check travel vouchers for reasonableness. Fully explain all exceptions and, if possible, cite policies that apply.

The University of Virginia is a public institution governed by the Commonwealth of Virginia. As such, all expense records, regardless of fund source, are open to the public under the Federal and State Freedom of Information Acts.

The University reimburses the expenses of its employees and non-employees, including students, on University business. It does not reimburse the travel expenses of individuals traveling with employees who are not on official University business. Entertainment is a personal expense and will not be reimbursed. Falsifying expense claims constitutes fraud and will be so treated.


2.2 REQUESTING REIMBURSEMENT

To request reimbursement for expenses incurred while traveling on University business, use the Payment Voucher and the Travel Workbook, found in the University Forms Directory and the Procurement Services web site. The Voucher must include: the purpose or reason for travel, departure and arrival times, and receipts for all expenses not covered by the Meals & Incidental Expenditures (M&IE) per diem. The M&IE includes tips, taxes, personal telephone calls, laundry, and transportation to where meals are taken.

Departments must send a signed and dated hard copy of the Travel Workbook to Accounts Payable - Procurement Services as an attachment to the Payment Voucher.

Refer to Procedure 6-101, "Preparing Payment Vouchers" for details on the documentation requirements.

In the case of lost receipts, contact the hotel or rental agency and request a copy. Lost receipts for smaller expenditures may not require replacement.

Original receipts sent with the Travel Workbook must be retained by Accounts Payable for a minimum of 3 years plus the current fiscal year. Departments must retain copies of these documents in their files for a minimum of three years plus the current fiscal year.

2.2.1 Department Policy and Travel Expense Reimbursement

Nothing in this policy prevents departments from establishing documentation requirements beyond those described in this policy and in Preparing Payment Vouchers -- Procedure 6-101. In addition, departments may determine for themselves whether to reimburse the full per diem amounts listed in tables 1 and 2 below or only the traveler's actual expenses (as documented with original receipts) within the overall per diem limit. Such documentation should be kept in departmental files and NOT be sent to Procurement Services.

Departments may also require employees to adhere to the specific spending limits for each meal as outlined in table 3 below and to produce all appropriate receipts. Again, such documentation should be kept in departmental files and NOT be sent to Procurement Services.


2.3 TRAVEL MEALS AND LODGING [Top]

2.3.1 Introduction

Individuals traveling overnight on University business may be reimbursed for meals and lodging. The dollar limits may change, based on location and on source of funds. Travelers will be reimbursed actual costs up to maximum applicable guidelines. Although more expensive lodging and restaurants may be used, reimbursement must be limited to the guideline amounts. Consult the following charts to determine an allowable travel budget.

Reimbursement up to $75 for meals and meal tips for a trip involving an overnight stay is considered by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to be non-reportable income.


2.3.2 Source of Funds

Travel costs may be paid from State or Local funds. However, expense limits change with the source of funds.

Local Funds: Lodging costs up to a limit of $250 daily, regardless of purpose or location, may be paid from local funds. The $250 limit includes all taxes and fees. Actual meal costs, up to a limit of $110 daily (with no single meal exceeding $65) may be paid from local funds. This limit is not a per diem, so the cost for each meal must be provided and receipts are required for any meal over $25. Any exceptions require the approval of a Dean or Vice President to be processed.

State Funds: Expense limits for State funds vary depending on travel location. Consult the guideline tables below (under 3.3, 3.4, and 3.5) for exact travel expense limits. With the approving signature of the appropriate Dean, Vice President or designee, one can go up to 50% over the guidelines established for in-state, out-of-state, and out-of-country travel. Approving signatures must appear on the completed Travel Workbook. Anything more 50% over the limit must be paid on local funds.

Note: Funds coming from grants are subject to State limits, plus any additional limits imposed by the grant itself.


2.3.3 In-State Guidelines for Lodging and Meals

Notes:

  Table 1:
                   In-State Per Diem Rates for Lodging and Meals

Location

Lodging Rate

M & IE

STANDARD

$55

$30

Charlottesville

$66

$42

Lynchburg

$64

$38

Manassas (Prince William County)

$62

$34

Richmond (1)

$77

$38

Roanoke

$59

$34

Tidewater (2) (4/1 – 10/31)

$109

$38

Tidewater (2) (11/1 – 3/31)

$55

$38

Wallops Island (Accomack Co.) (6/1 – 9/30)

$91

$34

Wallops Island (10/1 – 5/31)

$69

$34

Williamsburg (3) (4/1 – 10/31)

$99

$38

Williamsburg (3) (11/1 – 3/31)

$59

$38

Wintergreen, Homestead, The Tides Inn, Tides Lodge, and Greenbrier Resorts

$110

$46

Woodbridge
$69
$38
    1. Richmond includes: City of Richmond, plus Chesterfield and Henrico Counties
    2. Tidewater Region includes: Norfolk, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, and Virginia Beach
    3. Williamsburg includes: Gloucester, Hampton, Newport News, Yorktown, and York County.


2.3.4 Out-of-State Guidelines for Travel Lodging and Meals

Notes:

Table 2:

              Out-of-State Per Diem Rates for Lodging and Meals

Location

Lodging Rate

M & IE

Standard

$88

$34

Atlanta (Fulton Gwinnett)

$93

$38

Baltimore

$110

$42

Boston (Suffolk, Cambridge)

$192

$46

Charlotte (Mecklenburg)
$88
$38

Chicago (Cook, Lake, O'Hare)

$130

$46

Cincinnati (Hamilton, Warren)

$88

$46

Cleveland (Cuyahoga)

$88

$42

Dallas

$89

$46

Denver (Adams, Arapahoe)

$88

$42

Detroit (Wayne)

$109

$46

Fort Worth

$94

$38

Houston (Harris)

$88

$42

Kansas City (Jackson, Clay)
$88
$42

Las Vegas (Clark)

$88

$38

Los Angeles (Orange, Ventura)

$99

$46

Miami (Dade)

$89

$42

Minneapolis / St. Paul (Hennepin, Rosemount)

$91

$46

New Orleans (Iberville, St. Bernard)

$88

$42

New York (Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island)

$198

$46

Orlando (Orange)

$88

$42

Philadelphia

$118

$46

Phoenix (Maricopa, Scottsdale) (1/1 - 4/15)

$107

$42

Phoenix (Maricopa, Scottsdale) (4/16 - 12/31)

$88

$42

Pittsburgh (Allegheny)

$88

$46

San Antonio (Bexar)

$91

$42

San Diego

$96

$46

San Francisco

$139

$46

Seattle (King)

$104

$46

St. Louis (St. Charles)

$88

$46

Washington, D.C. (1)

$118

$46

    1. Washington, D.C., includes: Cities of Alexandria, Falls Church, Fairfax; Virginia counties of Arlington, Loudoun, Fairfax; and Maryland counties of Montgomery and Prince George.

2.3.5 Meal & Incidental Expense Per Person Per Meal

In addition to daily expenditure limits, the State has also placed limits on individual meals. This table provides a breakdown of the individual Meal and Incidental Expense guideline amounts for each respective daily meal amount presented in the In-State and Out-of-State Guideline Tables.

Rather than giving travelers a flat per diem rate that can be apportioned among daily meals entirely at the traveler's discretion, departments may require travelers to adhere to the following specific spending limits for each individual meal.

In addition, the following chart should be used to calculate how much to deduct from the standard per diem reimbursement rates when no-cost meals are provided to the traveler. Persons traveling on official University business may NOT claim reimbursement for meals provided at no cost to themselves.

Table 3:
                                     Reimbursement Rates for Individual Meals

Total

$30

$34

$38

$42

$46

Breakfast

$6

$7

$8

$9

$10

Lunch

$6

$7

$8

$9

$10

Dinner

$16

$18

$20

$22

$24

Incidentals

$2

$2

$2

$2

$2

75% Travel Days (1)

$22.50

$25.50

$28.50

$31.50

$34.50

(1) Prorated per diems for departure and return days are now 75% of the appropriate per diem, regardless of the start or completion time of travel.

 

2.3.6 Foreign Per Diem Rates

Per diem rates for allowable expenditures during out-of-country travel can be found on the State Department’s official web site at: http://www.state.gov/www/perdiems/. A copy of the corresponding rates for country or countries visited should be attached to the Payment Voucher as reference for reimbursement.


2.3.7 Important Lodging Information

If possible, the traveler should contact several hotels in the area traveled to obtain cost comparisons. Departments are strongly encouraged to make lodging arrangements through the University's contracted travel agencies.

See the Procurement Services web site for a list of frequently used contracts.

First Night Lodging: Travelers are sometimes asked to pay for first night’s lodging when they make their reservations. University employees may use their University Travel Card to pay this expense. However, these charges cannot be reimbursed until after the trip. If you need these charges to be prepaid from University funds, ask that the hotel invoice you for any first-night charges, then use the Payment Voucher’s prepayment procedure to have a check issued. Advance payment for lodging is limited to one night.

When two or more people are staying in the same room the reimbursable amount allowed is the corresponding M&IE rate plus the cost charged by the hotel for an additional person.

Travelers should cancel lodging reservations in a timely manner. Hotels can charge for non-canceled reservations and these charges will not be reimbursed if the traveler is negligent in canceling reservations.

Alternative Lodging: When the traveler uses lodging other than hotels/motels, e.g., apartments, private homes, etc. he/she must include a cost comparison and authorization by the Agency head or designee. The cost comparison must show the amount saved by using alternative lodging.


2.4 BUSINESS MEALS [Top]

Non-Overnight Travel or Local Meals: Employees should pay for the meals, then receive reimbursement after submitting appropriate documentation. A credit card charge slip is often used as such documentation. It is against University policy to pay for meals through charge accounts with local vendors. Students helping to recruit prospective students may use their own credit cards, cash, or a petty cash advance to pay for the meal.

Package Plans/No-Cost Meals: Such no-cost meals for overnight travel will reduce the M&IE rate by the amount of the meal as shown on the meal chart. The number and type (breakfast, lunch, dinner) of these no-cost meals must be recorded on the travel voucher.

Gratuities: Tips are reimbursed as part of the M&IE per diem, and are not reimbursed separately.

Professional Meetings: The University allows reimbursement of meal expenses from local funds only for employees attending non-overnight professional development meetings when attendance is approved by the department head.

 

2.5 TRAVEL TRANSPORTATION [Top]

2.5.1 Introduction

Transportation during travel, whether by public transportation, privately owned auto, state owned vehicle, or for hire conveyance, shall be over the most direct and economical route. Any deviations from a direct route must be explained on the travel voucher and reimbursement may be limited to costs using the most direct route.


2.5.2 Air and Rail Travel

Air and Rail Travel may not exceed the rate for tourist, coach or international business class. Use the most direct and economical route possible. The traveler must return any unused tickets or coupons to the travel agency or department. The department head/employee supervisor must certify that all travel expenditures are appropriate. Travelers should purchase nonrefundable tickets ONLY if the possibility of being rescheduled is minimal.

To purchase air or rail tickets, you may use:

Only purchases made with the UPC can be prepaid. Purchases made with the Travel Card or with a personal credit card cannot be reimbursed until after traveling. Note: For air or rail ticket purchases exceeding the individual's established Purchasing Card transaction limit, see Use of the University Purchasing Card -- Procedure 7-105.

See also Policy VI.B.10, "American Express Travel Card."

See also Policy VII.C.3, "Use of University Purchasing Card."

The University has several contracts with travel agencies in place. Use of travel agency contracts is not mandatory, but it is strongly encouraged.

Travel Privileges or Unused Tickets: Any special privileges received from University travel, i.e., frequent flyer coupons, reduced rates, free services, free trips, free gifts, etc., or any unused portions of air or rail tickets, belong to the University and must be returned. These special privileges/unused tickets should be reported to the traveler's department and be used to reduce other appropriate travel expenses. Failure to report such privileges could result in disciplinary action.

Private or Chartered Air Travel (except University air charter service) is permitted when authorized by Agency head or designee and has a documented cost benefit analysis. Without prior approval, the University reimbursement will be limited to the current cost of tourist or coach air fare for all passengers, but not exceeding actual cost.

 
2.5.3 Travel By Auto

When travel is by vehicle, the total travel expense reimbursement, including meals and lodging, shall not exceed the cost of tourist or coach class air fares.

Use of Personally Owned Vehicles is allowed when it is cost justified or a motor pool vehicle is not available. Reimbursement for the use of personally owned vehicles will be allowed at the rate established in the current Appropriations Act, which is $.325 per mile. Reimbursement rates are reduced to $.13 per mile for travel in excess of 15,000 miles in one fiscal year. Prospective employees or consultants who originate their trip outside the Charlottesville area may be reimbursed at the approved state rate of $.325 per mile.

Use of University Motor Pool: Vehicles for in-state business travel may be obtained through the University motor pool. The motor pool is operated through a contract with a commercial car rental agency. For details on this agreement, consult the contract summary sheet on the Procurement Services web site.

For permanently assigned vehicles, see Policy VII.Q.1, "Parking and Transportation Services."

Out-of-Country Travel: In using personal vehicles for out-of-country travel, the University will reimburse the actual cost of operation of such a vehicle. (Out-of-country travel is outside the United States, its territories and possessions, Puerto Rico, and Canada). Travelers should make sure their insurance is in force outside of the U.S.

Transportation to Meals: Transportation between places of lodging (or business) and restaurants during overnight travel are considered reimbursable as part of the meals and incidental expense (M&IE) per diem, and are not reimbursable separately.

Vehicle Rental: University employees are strongly encouraged to rent any vehicles through agencies under contract with the University. The traveler should decline any additional insurance offered for any vehicle leased or rented within the continental United States, its territories or possessions, or Canada. Such insurance will not be reimbursed. Consultants and non-State employees are not covered under the State's automobile self-insurance plan. For these individuals, the University may reimburse car rental insurance. However, the University will only reimburse liability damage waiver (LDW) and collision damage waiver (CDW) insurance.

For vehicles rented outside the United States, its territories, or possessions, or Canada, the traveler is required to purchase the LDW and CDW insurance on the rental contract.

Refer to Policy VII.H.1, "Risk Management Program (Insurance Coverage)."

Travelers should verify that the proper government/corporate rate is used, both at the time of reservation and at pick-up. When the vehicle is rented, the traveler may be required to present:

Methods of payment include cash, personal credit cards, or the American Express Travel Card. University-issued traveler checks are discouraged.

See also Policy VI.B.10, "American Express Travel Card."

For rental vehicles, the University reimburses actual expenses rather than mileage rates. The traveler must include receipts for both the rental car and gas with the travel expense reimbursement voucher.

Refuel the rental vehicle before returning it. The rental agency's refueling charges are excessive and may not be reimbursable, unless properly justified for safety or time constraint reasons.

For trips originating in the Charlottesville area, University travelers may use a rental vehicle to their destination or to a regional airport when travel includes an overnight stay. Note: In this case, reimbursing the use of a personal vehicle is preferred to using a rental vehicle. A cost comparison or justification is suggested and should be attached.

Public Transportation: Use wherever possible. Public transportation rates must not exceed tourist, coach class, or international business class. Retain all receipts for the Payment Voucher. First Class accommodations must not be used except in an emergency or when there are no other accommodations available. When first class accommodations are used, full justification must be stated on the travel voucher.

Parking and Tolls: Bridge, tunnel, or turnpike tolls and parking fees may be claimed on the travel voucher. The location of the facility as well as the names and reasons for including a charge for passengers, where applicable, must be stated on the voucher. Receipts are required if the reimbursement claim is greater than $10 per item /location.

Commuting: Commuting to and from work for any reason is not considered travel status mileage and is not reimbursable.



2.6 MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES [Top]

Reimbursable travel expenses include:

Laundry expenses are reimbursable as part of the meals and incidental expense (M&IE) per diem. These expenses are not reimbursed separately.

Cash advance fees (Automatic Teller Machine access fees, traveler's check fees) incurred in using the University travel charge card are reimbursable.

Traveler’s checks, passport, and visa expenses are reimbursable. Traveler's checks can be obtained only by using one's University Travel Card and only at the Bursar's Office, the Newcomb Hall Branch of Jefferson National Bank, and the Hospital Branch of the University Credit Union. The travel card does not operate traveler's check machines at other American Express locations. For additional information, see also Policy VI.B.10, "American Express Travel Card."

Funeral attendance expenses for one University representative are reimbursable, if travel is required outside the local area.

Prepaid conference registration fees may be paid by using a Payment Voucher form with a copy of the registration and/or proof of payment attached.

Registration fees for functions related to University business may be reimbursed when employees are expected to attend as part of their job duties. Receipts are required for reimbursement.

Telephone calls, telegrams, and facsimiles for official University business paid by the traveler can be claimed. For business related calls, state on the voucher the points and parties between which the calls/wires were made and the reasons.

Personal calls are reimbursed as part of the meals and incidental expense (M&IE) per diem, and are not reimbursed separately.

Business travel and vacation leave: The University reimburses only those expenses related to official business. The University is not responsible for any expenses for accidents or injuries when the employee is not on official business.


Non-reimbursable travel expenses include:

-Fees associated with social or non-mandatory activities at conferences such as tours, sports activities, etc.

-Lost or stolen articles,

-Alcoholic beverages (never allowable from state funds),

-Inordinately expensive meals and lodging,

-Damage to personal vehicles, clothing, or other items,

-Charges to gain entry to a locked vehicle,

-Movies charged to hotel/motel bills,

-All expenses related to the personal negligence of the traveler, such as fines (including parking fines, speeding tickets, etc.),

-Entertainment expenses,

-Towing charges,

-Travel expenses related to family members or companions (including babysitting), unless approved by the President (or designee) prior to the expenses being incurred. In rare circumstances, it may be appropriate to seek reimbursement for the travel expenses of one's spouse. Reimbursements for a spouse’s travel expenses must be approved by the President prior to the expenses being incurred and can only be paid from local funds.


3.0 Definitions [Top]

4.0 References [Top]

This policy closely follows the State guidelines described in the Commonwealth Accounting Policies and Procedures (CAPP) manual, Section 20335, State Travel Regulations (Adobe Acrobat pdf file).

See "Preparing Payment Vouchers" -- Procedure 6-101 for detailed instructions on preparing a payment voucher to reimburse travel expenses.

Also see "Expenditure Credits and Reimbursements" -- Policy VI.E.1.

5.0 Approvals and Revisions [Top]

06/26/00 Updated Lodging and M&IE Limits and deleted section on "Travel Authorization".
Previous version in effect from 7/1/95 to 4/21/00 available in policy archive.
Previous version in effect from 4/21/00 to 7/02/01 available in policy archive.
07/02/01 General update and revision.
08/09/01 Information on reimbursement for non-travel meal expenses moved to Meal Expenses -- Policy VI.G.2.


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© 2001 by the Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia