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Comptroller's Office - Faculty & Staff Reimbursement
The Internal Revenue Code provides employers with requirements that must be met to qualify research, travel, and entertainment expenses as legitimate business deductions. The following guidelines have been established within the framework of these regulations. The regulations require that adequate personal records of each trip be kept, and pertinent information in support of each research or travel expenditure be submitted to the employer. Original receipts are required for all expenses in excess of US $25.00. Reimbursements above this amount which are not accompanied by receipts will be included as taxable income on the recipients's W-2. All expenditures should be within the range approved by the U.S General Services Administration.
IAS Staff should obtain signature approval from their supervisor. Members and visitors should obtain signature approval from their respective School Administrative Officer.
If your travel is funded by a federal or state grant, contact Roxanne Bridger, , for expense reimbursement guidelines specific to your grant.
Travel expenses that are identified in advance, such as airfare or registration fees, can be paid directly by the Institute and charged to the appropriate expense account. Invoices for such items should be forwarded to the Comptroller's Office for processing in the following format:
- All receipts small than 8 ½ by 11 must be taped to an 8 ½ by 11 piece of paper. The receipts should be taped at the top and bottom. Receipts may be taped to both sides of the paper and/or to the back of the requisition form.
- Documents should not be stapled together instead they should be held together with paper clips or binder clips.
- Documents should not be sent with torn edges. All tears should be taped or cut off if trimming is more practical.
To request reimbursement of out-of-pocket travel expenses, a travel voucher with supporting documentation and original receipts should be forwarded to the Comptroller within one month of return. The travel voucher is available in a pdf version. The dates and purpose of travel should be noted clearly on the voucher. A record of expenses incurred by the individual while traveling should be maintained and documented by original receipts. Current exchange rates for foreign denominations can be obtained from the Classic 164 Currency Converter.
Mileage for use of one's personal vehicle will be reimbursed at the current government approved rate. Mileage is calculated from one's place of business to the destination. Mileage from home is considered commuting and is not reimbursable. The current mileage rate is available at the U.S. General Services Administration.
Gratuities may be included in the amount shown for applicable expenses such as meals, taxi service, etc. The gratuity should be limited to the generally accepted norm of 15% unless the expense is incurred in a country where local practices are not consistent with this guideline. Tips for skycaps, bellhops, and porters are generally limited to US $1.00 per bag.
Travel costs for meals and hotel can only be reimbursed for those expenses incurred during the period of the conference/meeting.; If a trip includes additional working days before or after the conference/meeting these days must be charged to an employee’s Paid Time Off.
Domestic air travel including Canada and Mexico may be in coach or business class. International travel, when actual flying time excluding stop-over is under 10 hours, may be in coach or business class. International travel, when actual flying time excluding stop-over is over 10 hours, may be in business or first class.
If a spouse or companion elects to accompany the employee on a research/business trip, the additional expenses incurred are considered personal expenses.
Per diem rates may be used for reimbursement in lieu of the itemization method described above. Government sanctioned per diem subsistence rates are available on the U.S. Treasury website. Per diem rates for travel within the Continental United States may be obtained at the U.S. General Services Administration. Foreign per diem rates may be obtained at the U.S. Department of State.
Materials and Supplies
The Institute's general policy states that staff and members should obtain materials and supplies through the Purchasing department for reasons that include institutional tax exemption. Should certain circumstances require reimbursement, rather than direct payment, please submit the reimbursement request to the Comptroller's Office on a check requisition form with receipts attached. Materials and supplies include but are not limited to: books, periodicals, office supplies, photographs, and printing services. Expenses under $100 should be reimbursed through petty cash. The check requisition is available in a pdf version.
Petty Cash may be obtained from the Business Office, Monday through Friday, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The maximum amount that can be reimbursed is $100. Individuals seeking reimbursement must provide the original receipt for the transaction and the account number to be charged. Approval from the administrative manager responsible for the department incurring the expense is required prior to obtaining cash. Questions may be addressed to the Accounts Receivable Department, , ext. 4447.
The Internal Revenue Service requires that entertainment expenses be associated with the active conduct of "business," which in an academic environment would include fund raising, meetings and seminars, lectures, or other academic pursuits. Receipts for entertainment expenses should be submitted to the Comptroller's Office with the date, cost, location, and names of participants. The event or occasion involved should be explained on the check requisition with sufficient detail as to establish the business purpose of the expenditures. Charges for alcoholic beverages are specifically prohibited from government grants.