Effective October 1, 2018 – all overnight out-of-state domestic, and international university-related business travel must be registered in Terra Dotta, the University Travel Registration System. All Travelers are required to submit the Terra Dotta Travel Registration ID, in addition to attaching summary documentation to applicable reimbursement documents – see process for new travel requirement. Travel reimbursement requests missing the Terra Dotta Travel Registration ID will not be processed by the UPST. This new requirement affects all applicable travel with a start date of October 1 and later.
What is the Terra Dotta?
This is an online travel registration system, also known as the Terra Dotta Travel Registry. All university business travel that is (1) overnight, out-of-state domestic or (2) international must be registered in the system. Anyone who has a UMass Dartmouth employee ID number and is traveling on university business is required to register. Registering is simple and takes only a few minutes to complete!
When should I register?
Travel is required to be registered 21 days before departure, or as soon as travel dates are known. Travel to high risk destinations should be registered 30 days in advance of departure, or upon notice of change in State Department Travel Warning List status.
How do I register?
As of January 1, 2020, Travel is now part of Shared Services. Please go to Travel & Expense Program UPST.
When traveling on University business, the University of Massachusetts encourages travelers to book through one of the University's preferred travel agencies, and to use our contracted airlines whenever possible. By utilizing our preferred agencies, travelers have access to discounted fares from our negotiated contracts and the University will be better positioned to negotiate deeper discounts in the future.
The UPST Travel & Expense site is also a good resource for all University employee related travel needs such as international insurance, and general car insurance needs.
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Student Travel Grants & Reimbursements
It is necessary to distinguish between student travel that is considered a reimbursement and student travel that is considered a scholarship.
Reimbursements are not reportable to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as income to the student if the student can document that the reimbursement:
- Directly supports a faculty member's project or research program, or
- Is related to presenting at a conference on behalf of UMass Dartmouth, or
- Is official University business
Any reimbursement to an undergraduate or graduate student which does not meet one of the criteria will be taxable scholarship income to the recipient but is not reported on IRS Form W-2 or 1099-MISC.* It is the recipient's responsibility to maintain records for these scholarship payments.
*Nonresident aliens for U.S. tax purposes are required to have a 14% federal withholding (assuming F-1 or J-1 visa) and the payment will be reported as scholarship income on Form 1042-S.
Student reimbursements are of a complex nature and the explanations below are not inclusive and determinations may need to be made on an individual basis. The student travel payment is generally considered reimbursement (nontaxable, non-reportable) if:
- The primary purpose and original intent is for the University to obtain useful results from the project/research
- Results or research will be used by the University
- Research is performed to fulfill University's obligations to outside funding entity
- Student is presenting or actively participating in a conference or competition on behalf of the University
Examples of nontaxable, non-reportable reimbursement
- Student travels to Texas to represent the University in a scholastic competition.
- Student travels to Michigan to present at a conference, where the student's name is published (poster, website, brochure) as a presenter/contributor at the conference.
- Student travels to India to perform sponsored research, which happens to be the topic of her dissertation. The University would otherwise perform research on this topic if they send someone else, regardless of this student's research – the University is the primary beneficiary.
- Reimbursement is made for activities in which the University is relatively disinterested or the research is student led
- The project/research's primary purpose and original intent is to further the student's education or training
- The University obtains little or no benefit
- Activities are performed to contribute to the development of the skills needed in the student's studies
- Student travels to the United Kingdom for dissertation research which is not research the University would otherwise conduct – the student dissertation is the primary purpose of the travel – the student is the primary beneficiary.
- Student travels to a conference in Mexico as an attendee and does not present/contribute in official capacity.
- Student travels to China for Mandarin language training which will assist in language proficiency needed for degree. This is supplemental work that the student may need tosucceed, but it is not a required part of the degree.
Taxes and reporting
Domestic Students (includes U.S. Citizens, permanent residents and residents for tax)
There is no tax withholding requirement for scholarship/fellowship payments, but this income is reportable and taxable income to the recipient. This income is not reported on
a tax document (e.g. IRS Form W-2 or 1099-MISC), but is considered to be self-reported income per IRS publication 970. Students may be required to pay estimated quarterly taxes to federal and state tax authorities on this income. Please seek advice from your personal tax advisor regarding this if needed.International Students (nonresident aliens for U.S. tax purposes) Assuming F-1 or J-1 visa, there is a 14% federal tax withholding on scholarship/fellowship payments, and this income is reportable and taxable income to the recipient. This income is reported on IRS Form 1042-S. Students may be required to pay estimated quarterly taxes to federal and state tax authorities on this income. Please seek advice from your personal tax advisor regarding this if needed.
Travel job aid
Travel Job Aid (PDF)