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Travel Rules & Regulations

Travel Rules & Regulations

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Travel Rules & Regulations

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  1. Travel Rules & Regulations

  2. Objectives • Who creates Rules & Regulations? • Travel Authorization Rules • Travel Reimbursement Rules

  3. Who creates Rules & Regulations? • Federal Government (IRS) • State of Texas • The University of Texas (Board of Regents) • University Departments

  4. Who creates Rules & Regulations? • IRS • Accountable Plan (nontaxable) • Bona fide Business Purpose • Provide an accounting of expenses within a reasonable period of time (IRS – 60 days) • Return any excess funds within a reasonable period of time (UT – 30 days) • Non-accountable Plan (taxable)

  5. Who creates Rules & Regulations? • State of Texas • Travel Regulations Act • General Appropriations Act • The State Comptroller’s Official Interpretations of the Travel Act • Texas Building and Procurement Commission

  6. Who creates Rules & Regulations? • UT – Board of Regents • Set policy & procedure for the university. • May further restrict federal & state regulations.

  7. Travel Authorization Rules • RTA = Request for Travel Authorization • Required for any business absence from campus or other designated headquarters • length of 1/2 day or more • whether or not there is a cost to UT • Approved by traveler’s director or supervisor

  8. Travel Authorization Rules • Traveler’s name • Destination • Dates of travel • Purpose • Benefit to UT • Disposition of duties • Account number (if cost to UT)

  9. Travel Authorization Rules • Special Approval Required for: • Washington D.C. • Foreign travel

  10. Travel Authorization Rules – Foreign Travel • *DEFINE requires document creators to certify that prior approval has been obtained for foreign travel on state funds for employees and prospective employees. • The document coversheet should then be printed and sent with the supporting approval documentation to: • OA Document ProcessingMAIN 132, K6000

  11. Travel Authorization Rules for Non-Employee Travel • RTA = Request for Travel Authorization • For any business travel expenses for non-employees ONLY when there will be no fee payment or honorarium paid to the non-employee (visitor) • Must have PIF to set up Vendor ID# • Can use for centrally billing airfare or hotel charges – payments to hotel made with VP2

  12. Travel Authorization Rules for Non-Employee Travel • Non-employees follow our accountable plan rules, as established by the University of Texas Handbook of Business Procedures. • Travel expenses are normally authorized on an APS (Authorization for Professional Services) form, unless there will be no fee or honorarium paid for services provided by the non-employee.

  13. Travel Authorization Rules for Non-Employee Travel • Special travel accommodations for a non-employee must be authorized with explicit provisions of a formal contract (required first class airfare, travel for a performer’s entourage, etc.).

  14. Travel Authorization Rules for Non-Employee Travel • The APS form can still be used to authorize travel expenses for non-employees even when there will be no fee paid or honorarium given. This may be easier than the VE5/VP5 reimbursement process when you don’t have a completed PIF form and cannot set up a Vendor ID #, but your Dean’s Office or Business Office must allow you to use the APS form in this manner.

  15. Travel Authorization Rules for Non-Employee Travel • Travel Reimbursements for non-employees that are authorized on an APS form are paid with a VP2 payment voucher instead of a VP5 payment voucher. • The APS authorization may be easier if you need to book airline reservations or want to have a hotel or car rental company directly bill expenses to a UT departmental account, or if you want to use a blanket APS for multiple travelers to the same event.

  16. Travel Reimbursement Rules • Conservation of Funds • Travel must be planned for maximum savings and efficiency. • Department may adopt reimbursement rates below maximum set by state or UT.

  17. Travel Reimbursement Rules • Official State Business • Official state business conducted at each location must be clearly stated on each voucher. • Erroneous Vouchers • Payment of an unallowable travel expense does not make future payments of like expenses proper.

  18. Travel Reimbursement Rules • Cancellation or Change Charges • Reimbursable only if for a business related reason or because of adverse weather conditions or a natural disaster. Changes due to personal reasons, such as illness or family emergency, cannot be reimbursed. • Free or Discounted Travel • An employee cannot be reimbursed if no expense has been incurred.

  19. Travel Reimbursement Rules • Weekend Travel • If official state business temporarily ends on Friday and resumes on Monday, an employee may choose to stay at the duty point or return to headquarters. • If an employee returns to headquarters, reimbursement is limited to the transportation expenses to headquarters & returning to duty point, orexpenses if the employee had stayed – whichever is less.

  20. Travel Reimbursement Rules • Packaged Travel Arrangements • If meal or lodging expenses are mandatory and included with the registration fee, they are fully reimbursable. If meal and lodging expenses are not mandatory, then the reimbursement may not exceed allowable limits.

  21. Travel Reimbursement Rules • Expenses incurred while qualifying for discount airfare • Allowable if cost of discounted airfare plus expenses is less than average coach airfare. • Lost or stolen tickets • Reimbursement is allowed if the employee exercised reasonable care to safeguard the ticket.

  22. Travel Reimbursement Rules • Travel while on personal leave • Reimbursement is not to exceed the lesser of the amount of actual travel expenses and the amount that the employee would have incurred had he traveled from his headquarters. • Employees with disabilities • Attendant care expenses are reimbursable. First class airfare is permissible if medically necessary.

  23. Travel Reimbursement Rules • Prospective state employees • Travel for an employment interview may be reimbursed, in same manner as an employee. • Cash advance is notpermitted. • Prospective employees are not exempt from hotel occupancy taxes and may be reimbursed.

  24. Travel Reimbursement Rules • Death of an employee • UT may pay the cost for transporting an employee’s body to the employee’s headquarters. • The amount paid may not exceed the amount that would have been reimbursed if the employee had not died. • Payment may not be made directly to the transport company.

  25. Travel Reimbursement Rules • Travel Voucher Claims: • Transportation • Meals & Lodging • Other expenses • Documentation

  26. Transportation • Personal Car • Mileage rate is 55 cents per mile for travel on or after January 1, 2009. • Official mileage must be used (between cities) or itemized POINT-TO-POINT (within cities). • Official state mileage

  27. Transportation • Personal Car • Coordinate travel if 2 to 4 employees from same dept are traveling to same destination. • If traveling out of state in personally-owned vehicle, reimbursement is limited to lesser of average coach airfare + related expenses OR mileage + allowable meals & lodging.

  28. Transportation • Commercial Airfare • Should be centrally billed through travel agency of contract when possible. • May be reimbursed provided it does not exceed the lowest available airfare. • First Class airfare may be reimbursedif only available airfare or if a documented medical condition exists.

  29. Transportation • Commercial Airfare • Frequent flyer miles that are earned as the result of a business trip, should be used for business purposes. • An employee may be reimbursed for the cost of a buy one, get one free promotion. However, the amount of the reimbursement is limited to the charges shown on the ticket with the employee’s name.

  30. Transportation • Mass Transit • Receipts are not required within a city for public transportation (taxi, bus, etc.). • Receipts are required between cities. • Gratuities are not permitted on state accounts. Limited to 15% on local accounts.

  31. Meals & Lodging • Overnight stay is required. • Receipts for lodging are required. • Only single occupancy rate may be claimed. • Excess expenses may not be carried forward. • Expenses incurred day before official business begins or the day the business ends are reimbursable.

  32. Meals & Lodging • Employees are exempt from state hotel occupancy tax. • If actual lodging exceeds allowable limit, hotel occupancy tax must be prorated. • When traveling out-of-state, the meal expense reimbursement may be reduced and a corresponding amount used to increase the lodging reimbursement rate.

  33. Meals & Lodging • Reimbursements for meal & lodging expenses incurred within the employee’s designated headquarters are prohibited, unless mandatory in connection with training, a seminar, or a conference. • Alcoholic beverages and tips are not reimbursable expenses. (Local accounts may reimburse for tips up to 15%).

  34. Meals & Lodging – all locations, federally-funded grants • The State of Texas adopts the Federal rates for all locations except inside the State of Texas, so the GG1 screen shows both State and Federal rates for all locations outside Texas. • For Federal rates inside Texas, consult the Principal Investigator or the Federal Joint Travel Regulation Per Diem information on the General Services Administration Web site.

  35. Meals & Lodging – in Texas, state-funded grants • State Accounts (14 or 20 prefix) and state-funded 18 & 26 accounts are limited to actual meal expenses not to exceed $36 per day and actual lodging expenses not to exceed $85 per day. Only lodging receipts are required. Unused meal allowances cannot be used to increase lodging reimbursements.

  36. Meals & Lodging – in Texas, local-funded grants • Local Accounts are limited to a combination of actual meal and lodging expenses not to exceed $220 per day. Lodging receipts are required. If actual meal expense exceeds $41 per day, all meal receipts (accompanied by a valid business reason for the excess) are required.

  37. Meals & Lodging – in Texas • How do I tell if an account follows local or state rules? • The GB1 screen (bottom left of the screen) for any account will indicate if the account follows state travel rules (Pur Auth: S) or local travel rules (Pur Auth: L).

  38. Meals & Lodging – in Texas (Continental USA) state-funded grants • State Accounts and state-funded 18 & 26 accounts are limited to actual expenses up to the limits provided by the federal travel regulations. State travel rates are shown by location on the *DEFINE GG1 screen. • Unused meal allowances for travel outside Texas (but not for travel within Texas) may be used to increase lodging and related tax reimbursements. Lodging receipts are required.

  39. Meals & Lodging – in Texas (Continental USA) state-funded grants • Local accounts are limited to a combination of actual meal and lodging not to exceed $325 per day. Lodging receipts are required. If actual meal expense exceeds $41 per day, all meal receipts (accompanied by a valid business reason for the excess) are required. • Unused meal allowances may be used to increase lodging and related tax reimbursements. Lodging receipts are required.

  40. Meals & Lodging outside Continental USA, state and local funds • If expenses occur in a foreign currency, the expenses must be converted to U.S. dollars and the documentation must include the conversion method, including the exchange rate used.

  41. Meals & Lodging (Apartment House) • If an employee will be at a duty point for at least one month, but less than one year, the expense of leasing an apartment or house may be reimbursed. • The apartment or house must be leased from a commercial lodging establishment. Name of employee must be listed on the lease and purpose of the leasing must be conservation of funds. • Deposits required are the sole responsibility of the employee and are not reimbursable.

  42. Other Expenses • Reimbursable • Expenses must be itemized • Receipts are required • Must be business related • Examples • Business Phone Calls • Gasoline (for rental cars)

  43. Other Expenses • Non-reimbursable • Alcohol • Dry Cleaning • Gratuities on State Accounts • Personal Phone Calls • Video Rental • Any non-business travel, including travel for spouses or other family members

  44. Receipts • Airline receipts • Rental Car receipts • Gasoline receipts • Bus, Taxi, Train receipts (between cities) • Lodging receipts • Meals receipts (when rules allow exceptions to limits) • Registration receipts (if paid by the traveler) • Miscellaneous expenses

  45. Items for Discussion • Spousal Travel • Unique Independent Contractor Issues • Exception Requests: • Rates • Policies or Procedures

  46. Recent Changes for Travel • January 1, 2009 – Mileage Rate Changes • March 30, 2006 – Local limits increase for travel funded by Local accounts • Automatic encumbrance of funds on RTA documents effective Fall 2005 • Local limit exception requests allowed in Notes of VP5 or VP2 if typed with director/chairman logon (can be substituted for requirement for request submitted on UT letterhead)

  47. Upcoming Changes • GG2 tables replaced by URL for Office State of Texas Mileage Guide in “?” Mileage column field level help • VE5/VE6/VP5 not allowed for “1” VID travelers • Centrally billed airfare – charges to be accompanied by simultaneous disencumbrance

  48. Send completed documents to: • Travel Desk • Office of Accounting • MAI 132 • Mail Code K5300 • Phone: (512) 471-7821