TRAVEL PROCEDURES (Effective July 1, 2010)
TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION PROCESS
When university funds are not available to reimburse all expenses, an individual is not obligated to travel. However, if the individual chooses to travel, it is expected that the traveler will assume the remainder of the cost.
The instructions for completing the TA form provide complete information in regards to the required authorizing signatures and outlining the Pre and Post Travel processes and procedures.
TRAVEL REIMBURSEMENT RATES
Motor pool vehicles are the preferred method when automobile travel is required for University business.
When using your private automobile, your personal automobile insurance will be the primary insurance coverage. The University's automobile insurance will only be effective after your personal insurance has been fully exhausted.
The mileage reimbursement rates are determined utilizing Motor Pool data for cost of operation adjusted for cost of fuel. Rates will not be greater than the approved IRS rate. Departments must use the mileage reimbursement rates to reimburse travelers.
The following rates are effective July 1, 2010.
- The current reimbursement rates for private automobiles are as follows:
Passenger Cars $.485 per mile
Pickups & SUVs $.50 per mile (Only available when University related travel requires hauling a load or towing a trailer)
- If a traveler is provided with a University vehicle and is required to cover all of the operating costs of that vehicle, the reimbursement rate for miles traveled on University business is $0.165 per mile. This rate will be adjusted as needed to ensure that it never exceeds the IRS moving expense rate.
Rates will be reviewed at least annually in November. If motor pool rates have changed, new reimbursement rates will be presented to the Executive Committee for consideration. New rates will become effective at the beginning of the next University fiscal year except in those instances where rates are being immediately reduced to comply with the allowable IRS rates.
Automobile at Airfare Rate
When traveling out-of-state and the traveler elects to drive his or her own car the entire trip instead of using a commercial carrier, reimbursement will be the lower of:
- The allowable mileage rate; or
- The applicable coach rate plus the standard reimbursement for travel to and from the Salt Lake City International Airport.
Reimbursement for rental cars will be based on actual receipts with reductions for any personal use outside of the University travel period.
Pre-contracted liability and physical damage insurance is available for vehicles rented from certain car rental agencies, if the traveler uses the appropriate Contract Number and pays the pre-negotiated rates. As these rental contracts are negotiated periodically, travelers should make sure they have the relevant information for the current fiscal year. For detailed information about contracts and insurance coverage, contact Risk Management Services.
Reimbursable air transportation costs are limited to those fares less than first class. Reimbursement will be based on actual costs as supported by detailed receipts.
Reimbursement will be ten cents higher than the private automobile reimbursement rate per mile for one person and fifteen cents higher than the private automobile reimbursement rate per mile for two or more persons.
Private aircraft owners opting to fly their aircraft on University business must have their own liability insurance. This insurance coverage should be at least $1,000,000 per occurrence and name the University as an additional insured for such flights.
Lodging will be reimbursed at actual costs as supported by itemized receipts.
Lodging will be reimbursed at actual costs as supported by itemized receipts not to exceed the maximum allowable Federal lodging per diem rate. The maximum allowable Federal lodging per diem rates can be found at http://aoprals.state.gov/web920/per_diem.asp. Per Federal guidelines, if reasonable lodging accommodations cannot be secured at a location where the actual cost is within the maximum lodging per diem allowed, the traveler may request reimbursement on an actual expense basis, not to exceed 300 percent of the maximum lodging per diem allowance. Approval of actual expenses in excess of the maximum lodging per diem allowed should usually happen in advance of travel and at the discretion of the Department Administrator.
Lodging at Other than a Motel/Hotel
Travelers may elect to stay with friends, relatives, personal accommodations other than the traveler's permanent residence, personally owned campers, or personally owned trailer homes instead of staying in a motel/hotel. With proof of staying overnight away from home (authorized TA) on approved University business, the traveler will be reimbursed as follows:
- $25 per night with no receipts required; or
- Actual cost up to $40 per night with a receipt from a facility such as a campground or trailer park.
Meals can be reimbursed for travel extending beyond 12 hours.
Actual Costs (applicable to both Domestic and International Travel)
Reimbursement for meals based on actual costs must be supported by an itemized receipt. If reimbursement for actual costs for any given meal is requested, then all meals for that day of travel must be reimbursed at actual costs.
- Domestic Travel - Travelers may be reimbursed on a per diem basis for any given day of travel. The current per diem rate is $46.00
- International Travel - Travelers may be reimbursed on a per diem basis for any given day of travel. The per diem rates applicable are those outlined in the Federal Travel Regulations. These rates are available through the Department of State website at:
- Partial-Day Travel - For single day travel where the individual is in travel status for more than 12 hours, the reimbursement rate will be at 75% of the per diem rate. The first and last day of any travel requiring more than a single day will be reimbursed at 75% of the per diem rate. If actual receipts are submitted, the traveler will receive full reimbursement for all meals submitted for travel in excess of 12 hours or for the first and last day of any travel requiring more than a single day.
- Example #1 - Assuming travel occurred over a two day period the following per diem calculation would apply:
|Day 1||.75 X $46.00||
|Day 2||.75 X $46.00||
- Example #2 - Assuming travel occurred over a three day period the following per diem calculation would apply:
|Day 1||.75 X $46.00||
|Day 2||Full per diem||
|Day 3||.75 X $46.00||
- Multiple Destination Points - The per diem rate will be based on the destination point. Where there is more than one destination point, the per diem could be different for any given travel itinerary. For example, travel might include a conference in Washington D.C. and then a departure to London, England. The initial per diem rate would be based on the current per diem rate for domestic travel. Upon departure from Washington D.C., the per diem rate would be effective for London, England.
- Example – Assuming per diem rate of $46 per day for domestic travel and $139 per day for London and an itinerary as follows:
- Depart Salt Lake City for Washington D.C. on Monday at 9:00 a.m.
- Attend a conference in Washington D.C. through Wednesday until 11:00 a.m.
- Depart Washington D.C. for London, England on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m.
- Make a presentation at a research conference in London, England that ends Saturday at 5:00 p.m.
- Depart London, England for Salt Lake City on Sunday morning at 8:00 a.m.
- Per diem calculations would be as follows:
|Monday domestic rate at $46 x 75% (first day of travel)||
|Tuesday domestic rate at $46||
|Wednesday (depart to London) international rate $139||
|Thursday through Saturday international rate$139x 3 days||
|Sunday domestic rate $46 X 75% (last day of travel)||
|Total per diem for meals||
- Adjustment for Meals Provided - Reimbursement under the per diem method will be adjusted for any meals provided by a conference or event or which is included in the cost of lodging. The adjustment for meals will be based on a percentage of the total per diem allowed: 25% for breakfast, 30% for lunch, and 45% for dinner.
Other Out-of-Pocket Expenses
- Parking Fees - Parking fees are reimbursable at the actual cost as supported by a receipt.
- Taxi, Telephone, etc. - All University business related expenditures are reimbursable at actual cost. Individual transactions of $15.00 or more must be supported by an original receipt. Credit card receipts are not acceptable.
- ATM Fees - ATM fees charged to obtain a cash advance related to University travel will be reimbursed to the traveler.
International Travel Insurance
Utah State University has contracted with International SOS to provide all faculty, staff, and students with emergency medical, personal, travel, legal, and security assistance when you are traveling internationally. Go to the University Risk Management website at: http://www.usu.edu/riskmgt and select International Travel Insurance. From there, access the SOS website to complete a traveler profile, obtain helpful travel information and print an ID card for your wallet.
The USU pin is: 11BYSG000002
For additional information regarding this valuable program call the Office of Risk Management, at 435-797-1844.
For those occasions when it is determined that family/companion travel is essential or beneficial to the University for the accomplishment of a bona fide business purpose, University funds may be used to reimburse the family/companion travel expenses with approval by the appropriate Dean or Vice President.
Reimbursement Approval Form
The following form is used to document the approval by the Dean or Vice President and to determine if the family/companion travel is essential or beneficial to the University http://www.usu.edu/controller/acctpay/forms/companiontravelapproval.pdf.
Essential Family/Companion Travel:
If the approved family/companion travel is determined to be essential (not just beneficial), to the University for the accomplishment of a bona fide business purpose, the reimbursement will be non-taxable to the employee.
Essential family/companion travel and a bona fide business purpose may be established with the following criteria:
- The presence of the companion would be considered essential to the University and is necessary for the employee to carry out the business purpose, AND
- The predominant purpose of the companion travel is to serve the University's business purpose, AND
- The companion must perform significant and substantive business related functions and those functions must be documented by including the following items:
- Agenda, Calendar, or Schedule of Events detailing the required companion participation.
- Describe the bona fide business purpose that predominantly benefitted the University.
- Describe the significant and substantive business related functions performed by the Companion.
- Describe how the presence of the companion was essential to the University.
Beneficial Family/Companion Travel:
If the approved family/companion travel is determined to be beneficial to the University for the accomplishment of a business purpose but does not meet the requirements for essential family/companion travel or the traveler chooses not to complete the documentation as listed above, the reimbursement will be taxable to the employee and withholding taxes will be deducted from the next available payroll.