2013 Travel Memorandum

2013 Travel Memorandum

UMass/Dartmouth Accounts Payable

This memo is provided as a quick reference guide only. All employees who travel on University business should read the complete Travel Policy and Procedures manual in its entirety before traveling.

Any questions regarding travel should be directed to Rebecca Pina at X8189 or Denise Boyer X8095 in the Accounts Payable Department. (email-Rpina@umassd.edu or dboyer@umassd.edu)

Travel Reimbursement
Travelers are encouraged to exercise good judgment when considering the costs of their travel plans. Travelers are expected to utilize the least expensive, most direct, and efficient means of transportation available and should choose good quality, but reasonable priced hotels or motels whenever practical.

Fees for conference registrations, airfare and hotel deposits are often purchased months in advance. Because these fees can no longer be reimbursed until the completion of the trip, travelers are encouraged to use a University ProCard for these transactions.

Even charges on the US Bank Corporate Card will be the responsibility of the cardholder until the completion of the trip.

Personal Vehicle
Personal use of automobiles is permitted and reimbursed on a mileage basis at the effective Internal Revenue Service mileage rate.

The current reimbursement rate as of January 1, 2013 is 56.5 cents per mile. This mileage rate covers all automobile expenses such as fuel, maintenance, towing, repairs, tires, depreciation and insurance. No reimbursement will be made for vehicle repair costs, or parking tickets, regardless of whether it results from the travelers act or acts of others. Reimbursable items related to personal vehicle use include parking and tolls. Receipts are required.

Mileage is measured from the employee's home to the destination and return. Or, from the University or Department address to the destination and return, whichever is less. Mileage between an employee's residence and place of work is not reimbursed. Mapquest may be used in lieu of actual odometer readings.

Travel Authorization
All out-of-state, in-state, overnight and international travel must be pre-approved. A travel authorization form must be completed on-line by the traveler in the business expense module, printed out and signed by the employee. This can be kept within the department, but a copy should be submitted with the travel expense module report and either original receipts for out of pocket expenses and photo-copy receipts for ProCard expenses.

Per Diem and Business Expense Meals
The current per diem rate is $46.00 ($71.00 for high-rate cities) for employees who are traveling for at least 24 hours.

One half of the per diem rate is allowed when travel status is at least 12 consecutive hours but less than 24 hours. The IRS does not consider per diem for travel that is not accompanied by an overnight stay as a reimbursable expense. The University will continue to reimburse these requests, but they will be recorded as a taxable benefit.

Business meals that occur when a traveler is on travel status will require a business expense form to be completed, listing who the attendees were, location, and a brief description of why the expense was incurred. The travelers per diem will be reduced depending on whether the meal was a breakfast, lunch or dinner. Per diem meals must not be put on a ProCard.

On-Line Travel Expense Report Filing
The description line should include the date and destination of the trip. The comments should explain the business purpose of the trip. Overnight travel requests should include actual time of departure from the traveler's home or place of business for the trip and the time the traveler arrived home (or ended their University business if using personal time while on their trip.) This time is used to determine the amount of the per diem that the traveler is entitled to for the trip.

Late Travel Submissions
All travel expense reports must be accounted for within "a reasonable period of time" of when the expense was incurred. For IRS purposes, a reasonable amount of time is considered to be 120 days. Accordingly, all reimbursement requests must be received within 120 days of when the expense was incurred. Travel reimbursements requests that are submitted after 120 days will still be accepted, but the IRS requires that the reimbursement be treated as taxable to the individual receiving payment.