70.04 - Travel Entitlements

October 12, 2010

A. General. Subject to limitations stated and procedures described in this section, UI reimburses employees for the expenses that they incur in the performance of authorized travel and that are necessary to the conduct of the UI business or other function for which the travel is authorized. In order for reimbursement to be excluded from taxable income, the travel reimbursement must be ordinary and necessary, IRC 162(a), and directly related to the conduct of University business, IRC 274(a)(1)(A). In those few situations whereby the department has agreed to reimburse outside of IRC 162(a) and IRC 274(a)(1)(A), reimbursement will be reported as taxable income to the employee.

B. Substantiation of Expenses. In general, receipts for expenses incurred by the employee must be attached to the claim that is submitted for reimbursement. Travelers must submit original, itemized receipts for all expenses claimed. Receipts must show vendor, date, amount, and evidence of payment (zero-balance receipt). If the original receipts are misplaced, the traveler must make a reasonable effort to obtain duplicates. Exceptions to the receipt requirement are: (1) mileage for use of personal vehicles; (2) meal expenses; and (3) certain miscellaneous expenses, such as parking meters. For those misplaced receipt items, which the traveler has made a reasonable effort but is unable to obtain replacement receipts, departments should provide a memo explaining the expense and verifying the amount, signed by the department head.

B-1. Original Receipts. To substantiate expenses for registrations and Internet purchases, the following apply if original itemized receipts are not available:

a) For registration reimbursements specifically, where an original receipt is not available, the following applies. If providing a copy of the completed registration form either paid by check or by credit card, the copy must have an original signature and be dated by the attendee being reimbursed.

b) For those using the Internet for items such as airfare, a printout of the web site showing the URL address and information of what was purchased will work for an original. It should also have the signature and date of the traveler, plus the individual submitting the purchase.

B-2. Mode and Route of Travel. Reimbursement of travel cost is limited to the amount that would be incurred by using the most economical and practical standard mode of travel (considering time and cost) and the most usually traveled route, unless the president or the president’s designee determines that other means of transportation or other routes are justified by unusual circumstances.

B-3. Expenses Not Reimbursable. UI does not reimburse employees for any of the following items or activities:

a) Personal expenses (e.g., purchases of items that are kept by the employee).

b) Expenses incurred for the personal benefit of the employee (e.g., traveling for personal reasons by indirect routes or with stopovers or for extending the period of travel for personal convenience.)

c) Expenses for travel between home and office or for other non-official purposes. iv) Expenses incurred by an employee while on leave.

C. Types of Transportation. The following modes of transportation are reimbursable by the university:

C-1. Public Transportation. Expenses incurred by an employee for transportation by a common carrier are reimbursable. Cost of airfare approved for reimbursement is limited to the amount of the lowest-priced airfare available, unless the president or the president’s designee determines that a higher fare is justified. The final copy of the actual ticket is required as a receipt.

C-2. Private Transportation. Whenever it is more practical than the use of public transportation or UI vehicles, use of private automobiles, airplanes, or other conveyances is authorized.

a) Required Insurance. Private vehicles used for UI travel must be adequately covered by public liability insurance. UI liability insurance does not provide primary coverage for private vehicles. UI students traveling on official University business must complete a Registration of Personal Vehicle form [See Sample Form] and demonstrate proof of insurance and a valid driver’s license to either the Office of Risk Management or the Travel Office prior to departure. [See APM 05.08] concerning insurance of rental cars and [See APM 70.02] when transportation of students is involved.]

b) Allowed Mileage Reimbursement. Reimbursement for costs of operation is at the rate of 44.5 cents a mile [Effective 01//01/06] for private automobiles and for airplanes. Specific expenses, including repairs or replacements, are not subject to reimbursement. Mileage allowed is based on actual mileage traveled to the destination and in the vicinity, utilizing the most economical and practical standard route available.

c) Parking Fees. Reimbursement of fees for vehicle parking or storage, when necessary for the protection of UI or private property or other benefits to UI, is authorized.

d) Private Transportation as Personal Choice. If an employee chooses to use private transportation as a matter of personal preference, reimbursement for mileage is limited to the amount of the lowest available airfare, plus necessary attendant ground transportation had commercial air transportation been used. Reimbursement for per diem and lodging expenses is correspondingly limited if travel time is also increased compared to using commercial air transportation. The expense claim should show both the actual times of departure and return and the times that would have applied if the travel had been by air. Unless the president or president’s designee specifically authorizes the employee to take the extra time at UI expense, it must be taken as annual leave.

e) Vicinity Travel. In addition to mileage for travel between localities, reimbursement is authorized for use of private vehicles in traveling in and about a community in the conduct of official business (including reasonable travel between places of business and food and lodging establishments). Such mileage is consolidated on a daily basis and reported as vicinity travel on the expense claim. This provision applies also to travel involved in conduct of official business within the employee’s official duty station, provided it is covered by a Travel Authorization Request approved in advance. The employee is required to maintain a mileage log subject to review by the Travel Office and/or Auditing Services. [Visit Travel Management Services, Travel Management Services ].

f) Private Vehicle Passenger Limitations. The number of riders in a private vehicle (sedan) used on official UI travel is limited to six (including the driver) on trips of less than 400 miles in total, and to five on longer trips.

g) Seat Belts Required. Employees are encouraged to install and use seat belts (Idaho law) in private vehicles used on official business. There must be a seat belt for every passenger.

C-3. Rented or Chartered Transportation. Automobiles and airplanes may be rented or chartered for use on official travel when that is the most economical and practical means of transportation. Anyone making arrangements to use charter flying services or private aircraft for UI business should first check with the Administrative Affairs Office to see whether it is on the approved list of vendors.

a) Rental Cars. The University of Idaho has access to contracted rental car rates through the state of Idaho. [Visit Travel Management Services, Travel Management Services for more information].

D. Lodging Allowances. Applicable lodging expenses are reimbursable. The accommodations and rates must be reasonable, due consideration being given to the locality and to the nature of business for which the travel is authorized. Reimbursement is for the actual single room rate. If more than one guest is noted on the traveler’s receipt, a notation must be provided to indicate either (1) the additional guest(s) are authorized UI expenses; or (2) the single rate is the same as the double rate; or (3) actual amount claimed is reduced to the single rate. When making reservations, UI employees should identify themselves as such and find out whether a special rate is available. Lodging costs within an employee's official station are not allowable.

D-1. Invoice Required. The traveler should submit a detailed receipt, which shows all motel/hotel charges to be reimbursed. If the traveler is being reimbursed for more than his/her own travel, the name(s) of the additional traveler(s) must be typed on the reimbursement forms. If two employees share the cost of a double room, they should request a separate receipt for each portion of a shared room rate.

D-2. Use of Campers or Trailers. An employee who provides a camper or travel trailer and uses it as lodging in connection with official travel may be reimbursed for such use. The reimbursement, at the rate of $8 a day or as determined in specific instances by the Vice President for Finance and Administration, must be authorized in advance. Authorization will be given when savings will be realized in transportation cost, lodging cost, and travel time; generally will not be given in cases of travel to localities where adequate public accommodations are readily available; and will be given when reimbursement is not in conflict with state policies governing reimbursement for lodging or when the reimbursement is to be charged to a grant, contract, or other non-state fund.

E. Per Diem Allowances Defined. A per diem reimbursement shall be paid to the employee for all official business travel. Per diem is defined as the reimbursement for: meals, meal gratuities, and fees and tips given to porters, baggage carriers, bellhops, hotel maids, stewards or stewardess on ships, and hotel servants in foreign countries. Per Diem Allowances: The amount reimbursed is limited to the lesser of

(a) actual expenditures or

(b) whichever of the following maximum applies: For in-state travel -- $30 a day; for out-of-state travel -- $46 a day, unless travel includes designated cities as identified on the IRS’ Publication 1542, Table 2, Localities Eligible for $58 (M&IE) Per Diem Amount Under the High-Low Substantiation Method, [excluding cities listed in Idaho]. See IRS Website. [rev. 10-10]

E-1. Limitations on Partial Day Reimbursement with Overnight Stay. The following limitations on reimbursement are applied separately to the expenditures on each day of travel when travel involves overnight.

a)Full Travel Status. For fractional days of travel, the limitation is applied on the basis of the time of departure on the first day and the time of return on the last day as per the following schedule:

Departure Schedule Restrictions
7:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. No Breakfast
11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. No Lunch
After 5:00 p.m. No Per Diem Allowed
Return Schedule Restrictions
Before 8:00 a.m.. No Per Diem Allowed
8:00 a.m. to 2:00 pm.. No Lunch
2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. No Dinner

E-2. Limitations on Partial Day Reimbursement Without Overnight Stay. Partial day reimbursement under these situations may be taxable to the employee if the activity is not ordinary and necessary, IRC 162(a), and directly related to the conduct of university business, IRC 274(a)(1)(A). The following limitations on reimbursement are applied when travel does not involve overnight stay.

Meal In-State ($30/day Maximum) Out-of-State ($39/dayMaximum or Allowable Federal Per Diem)
Breakfast $7.50 $9.75 or 25% of Federal rate
Lunch $10.50 $13.65 or 35% of Federal rate
Dinner $16.50 $21.45 or 55% of Federal rate

E-3. In-State vs. Out-of-State Travel Status. The out-of-state per diem allowance is not permitted unless an overnight stay is involved. In-state rates are paid for partial-day, non-overnight, out-of-state travel, e.g., Spokane, WA.

F. Foreign Travel. The University of Idaho Foreign travel policy follows the State of Idaho guidelines, specifically:

F-1. Foreign Travel Per Diem. The foreign travel per diem allowance (FTPDA) is a payment in lieu of reimbursement for actual expenses. The FTPDA is intended to cover the costs of meals at adequate, suitable and moderately priced facilities including costs of mandatory service charges, taxes, laundry and dry cleaning.

F-2. U.S. Department of State. The FTPDA will be based on the most current publications of U.S. Department of State maximum travel per diem allowances for foreign areas. The daily FTPDA will be 100% of the listed M & IE rate in the referenced publication.

F-3. Foreign Lodging Costs. The actual cost of lodging plus applicable tax and service charge will be reimbursed to the traveler.

G. Pre-Paid Registration Fees. If an employee attends a meeting at which a lump-sum fee is paid that includes payment for one or more meals, possibly for lodging, and for some organizational charge for the event (i.e., registration, proceedings, etc.), an attempt should be made to obtain, from the organization or from the establishment where the meeting is held, breakdown of the fee into the components for meals, lodgings, and miscellaneous items and to reflect this breakdown on the expense claim.

H. Miscellaneous Expenses. Certain expenses are also reimbursable, receipts or explanations are required as specified below.

H-1. Miscellaneous Fares. Fares for transportation between terminals and lodging or meeting places or as otherwise required by employee.

H-2. Communication Charges. Traveling employees are entitled to one personal telephone call per day, limited to ten (10) minutes.

H-3. Business Office Services. Payments for computer services, fax services, copiers etc available at the hotels and airports. Receipts and explanation must be furnished.

H-4. Office Supplies. Purchase of postage, or other supplies (receipts are required).

H-5. Cash Transactions. Fees assessed for money orders or cashier's checks used to make a remittance to UI. Receipts are required.

H-6. Registration Fees. Fees that are required for admittance to, attendance at, or official participation in conferences, conventions, etc. (receipts are required).

H-7. Miscellaneous. Any expense that the employee is required to bear in the course of UI duties, and not covered above, will be reimbursed with receipts.

H-8. Laundry. Laundry during a state business trip of five (5) days or longer duration away from the employee’s official station.

I. Leave During Travel Status

A traveler who has been granted leave, either compensable or non- compensable, while in travel status shall report in his claim for reimbursement the exact date and time of departure from duty and return

J. Compensatory Time for Travel

Compensatory time for travel will be granted in accordance with Fair Labor Standards Act Regulations 29 C.F.R. Section 785.38, 785.39, 785.40, 785.41, to all employees except those listed as "non-covered" under the FLSA, including elected officials, personal staff members selected or appointed by elected public officials, policy-making appointees of elected officials, legal advisors, legislative employees, bona fide volunteers, independent contractors, prisoners, and "trainees".

Office of the State of Idaho Controller