Meals, Lodging, Incidental Expenses and Other Fees for Travel for State and Local Funds

Responsible Officer: Vice President for Business Affairs and Controller

Sponsoring Department: Travel

Revision Date: 20 December 2013

Errors or changes to: aim@uta.edu

Procedure Objective

Procedure 2-86 provides procedural guidelines for the allowances and expenses for meals, lodging, miscellaneous and incidental expenses when traveling on state or local funds. This procedure distinguishes the difference between State Travel Rules and Local Travel Rules. This procedure does not apply to UT Arlington employees or students traveling for personal reasons with personal funds.

Rationale

The State of Texas and UT Arlington do not pay per diem for meals and incidental expenses, although we utilize various federal per diem tables to establish daily limits above which receipts are required for reimbursement. The account funding source for travel determines whether the account follows UT State Travel Rules or UT Local Travel Rules. This determination is critical because the state and the local rules for travel allowances and expenditures differ. Moreover, rules for travel allowances and expenditures for domestic and international travel also differ. An employee may request an exception to some portion of the travel rules (this applies only to accounts following UT local rules). However, the request must be documented in writing and final approved by the Vice President of Business Affairs and Controller. Any exception ultimately granted does not alter the existing travel rules and procedures.

Scope

All UT Arlington employees and students who are traveling for UT Arlington business.

Related Statutes, Policies, Requirements or Standards

Contacts

If you have any questions about Procedure 2-86, Meals, Lodging, Incidental Expenses and Other Fees for Travel for State and Local Funds, contact the following departments:

SubjectOffice NameTelephone NumberEmail/URL
All topics in procedureProcurement Services817-272-2194travel_help@uta.edu
http://www.uta.edu/policy/bac/travel
Website accessAdministrative Information Management(817) 272-0222aim@uta.edu
http://www.uta.edu/aim

Definitions

Actual Expense: Expenses that are reasonable and appropriate to the circumstance. Personal expenses are not included.

Appropriated Funds: Accounts funded by State general revenue, such as the "14 accounts" and some others. Also referred to as State Funds.

International Travel: Travel to any country outside of the United States, Mexico, Canada, and U.S. Possessions.

Local Funds: All accounts that are not State Funds accounts. Please check with the head of your department or the account administrator for specific travel or entertainment restrictions which may be placed on individual accounts within the Local Funds accounts.

Personal Expenses: Expenses that benefit the employee or spender only and do not benefit the University either directly or indirectly. Also includes inappropriate or excessive expenses that appear to be University related.

Travel Payment Voucher (VP5): This document is used in *DEFINE to reimburse business travel expenses. The VP5 document is used to provide a detailed record of the travel expenses as well as identify the nature of the business conducted.

State Funds: Accounts that are funded by State general revenue. Most State Fund accounts begin with "14" and are referred to as "14 accounts". State Fund accounts also appear in other numbered account series.

VP2 Service payment request or non-purchase order payment request in *DEFINE.

Responsibilities

The Traveler
  • Understands that State Funds and Local Funds have different travel rules

  • Follows the appropriate set of travel rules (State or Local) when traveling for university business

  • Refrains from purchasing alcohol with funds generated from student tuition, fees or state appropriations

  • Reviews the correct rate schedules listed for state and local funds

  • Completes An Official Occasion form for all entertainment expenditures

  • Understands that any exceptions granted do not alter or change UT Arlington travel rules or procedures

Vice President for Business Affairs and Controller
  • Approves at their discretion requests for exceptions to the University's entertainment and travel rules
Department Head
  • Ensures that all travel and charges are appropriate and support the mission of the University

Procedures


Section I. Exceptions to any of the Travel and Entertainment Policies and Procedures

There may be occasions when employees want to request an exception to some portion of the travel rules (this applies only to accounts following UT local rules). Exceptions to any of the travel and entertainment policies must be documented in writing and final approved by the Vice President for Business Affairs and Controller. In every case the department head is responsible for ensuring that all travel and charges are appropriate and support the mission of the University.

NOTE: The circumstances of the request will be taken under consideration. Any exception ultimately granted does NOT alter the existing travel policy and should not be construed as precedent for allowing repeated exceptions to the existing policy.

Section II. State Funds and Local Funds

When determining travel allowances and expenditures one must determine whether their travel will follow UT State Travel Rules or UT Local Travel Rules. This determination is critical because the rules for travel allowances and expenditures differ depending on whether one is following state travel rules or local travel rules. For more information regarding state funds and local funds please see Request for Travel Authorization and Obtain Permission to Travel (Procedure 2-80). To determine in *DEFINE if your travel will follow state or local travel rules, please refer to *DEFINE Education's Travel Guide Policy & Procedures.

Section III. Meals and Lodging (Contiguous United States) for Local Funds
  1. Meals: Receipts are not required if meal expenses are $50 per DAY or less. The maximum amount that will be reimbursed per person per meal will be $50, all inclusive. If more than $50 per DAY is claimed for meal expenses, attach the original receipts to the Travel Payment Voucher (VP5). If a meal is claimed for the traveler and other person(s), the actual meal receipt must be attached to the travel voucher (VP5) for the Traveler/Employee if claiming more than the daily maximum. The actual meal receipt or copy of the receipt along with an Official Occasion Expense Form (Form 2-98) for persons other than traveler/employee is to be processed on non-Travel voucher (VP2) to reimburse the traveler/employee for the other person(s). All entertainment expenditures must be reasonable and benefit the University. Reimbursement for meals paid with local funds includes the following requirements:

    1. Alcohol cannot be reimbursed on any travel budget code.

    2. Sales tax and a maximum tip of 20% can be added to the $50. This applies to individuals in travel status as well as those in the Metroplex entertaining guests.

    3. An employee may not be reimbursed for lodging expenses incurred within the employee's designated headquarters. However, meals are reimbursable, and are processed for reimbursement in accordance with Section I of Reimbursements and Payments Other Than for Travel and Purchase Orders (Procedure 4-26). These reimbursements must be paid from the M&O (maintenance and operation) budget category, not travel.

  2. Lodging: Lodging expenses are reimbursable. All lodging receipts submitted to substantiate claims for lodging should be an itemized original receipt from a hotel, motel or similar commercial establishment. A traveler may pay for, and be reimbursed for, another university employee's or student's lodging expense (unless the travel expense is charged to a state account).

    1. The receipt must list the names of the university employees or students included on the receipt. Included in the voucher must be an attestation statement by the employee whose expenses were paid stating they will not submit a claim for travel expenses already reimbursed to the employee who paid the expense.

    2. Lodging receipts should show a breakdown by day with the taxes clearly stated.

    3. Texas state sales tax will not be reimbursed. A Texas Hotel Occupancy Tax Exemption Certificate (Form 2-95).

  3. An Official Occasion Expense Form (Form 2-98) must support all entertainment expenditures.

  4. To qualify for reimbursement for meals or incidental expenses without receipts, an overnight stay is required. For travel that does not require an overnight stay, please see Section VII. Non-Overnight/Metroplex Travel.

Section IV. Foreign Travel including Alaska, Hawaii, and U.S. Possessions for Local Funds
  1. Employees are reimbursed for actual meal expenses for foreign travel. If meals and incidental expenses (M&IE) exceed the maximum rates based on federal travel regulations, receipts are required. The rate schedule for travel to Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, Midway, the Northern Marianas, U.S. Virgin Islands, Wake Island, and other possessions outside the contiguous United States may be found at:

    http://www.defensetravel.dod.mil/site/perdiemCalc.cfm

    The rate schedule for travel to all foreign countries including Canada and the United Mexican States outside the contiguous United States may be found at:

    http://aoprals.state.gov/content.asp?content_id=184&menu_id=78

    If a meal is claimed for the traveler and other person(s), the actual meal receipt must be attached to the travel voucher (VP5) for the Traveler/Employee if claiming more than the daily maximum. The actual meal receipt or copy of the receipt along with an Official Occasion Expense Form (Form 2-98) for persons other than traveler/employee is to be processed on non-Travel voucher (VP2) to reimburse the traveler/employee for the other person(s). All entertainment expenditures must be reasonable and benefit the University. Reimbursement for meals paid with local funds includes the following requirements:

    1. Alcohol cannot be reimbursed on any travel budget code. Alcohol cannot be purchased with any funds generated from student tuition, fees or state appropriations.
    2. Entertainment Expenditures for Person(s) other than Traveler:

      Please visit http://www.defensetravel.dod.mil/site/perdiemCalc.cfm OUTSIDE CONUS, Non-Foreign Overseas and Foreign to view by city and country the PMR (Proportional Meal Rate) or maximum daily amount that will be reimbursed per person for entertainment expenditures for persons other than traveler. Sales tax will be reimbursed and a maximum tip of 20% can be added.
  2. All lodging expenses will be reimbursed for all travel outside the contiguous United States. Actual lodging expenses will require itemized receipts. Refer to International Travel (Procedure 2-83) for guidelines on currency conversion documentation required for international receipts.
Section V. Miscellaneous Travel Fees and Incidental Expenses for Local Funds
  1. Miscellaneous Travel Fees:

    1. Registration Fees: Registration fees are reimbursable for attending official business conferences, seminars and other meetings. Receipts are to be obtained and attached to the travel voucher (VP5). The full name of the meeting should be typed on the voucher (please do not use abbreviations). The travel voucher must provide the date of the meeting, the sponsor, where it was held, and what benefits will inure to the University. The receipt shall include a photocopy of the agenda or program identifying all activities included in the registration fee. Entertainment, excursions or other personal expense items are not reimbursable. There must be a direct relationship between the duties performed by the employee and the type of conference attended.

    2. Cancellation Charges: Cancellation charges for "no shows" due to personal reasons are not reimbursable. When claiming reimbursement for cancellation charges for valid business reasons, receipts or invoices are required to document each cancellation charge submitted for reimbursement. Cancellation charges for airfare paid by the traveler will only be reimbursed if approved by the Vice President for Business Affairs and Controller.

    3. Dues and Membership Fees: Dues or membership fees that are included in a registration fee can be reimbursed on a VP5. If not included in a registration fee, dues or membership fees are reimbursed on a VP2.

  2. Incidental Expenses (Contiguous United States): Incidental expenses include tips, laundry, bus, subway, parking and taxi expense. A breakdown by amount with a description is required. Incidental expenses should be reported on Section 3 of the VP5 as other expenses. Receipts are not required if incidental expenses are $40 per DAY or less. If more than $40 per DAY is claimed for incidental expenses, then actual receipts are required. Other allowable incidental expenses that might be necessary to conduct official state business while in travel status will be reimbursed with a receipt. The following list of examples of other incidental expenses is partial only:

    1. Allowable Incidental Expenses (partial list)

      1. Phone calls for official business, local and long distance: traveler must state that calls were for official business.

      2. Money orders used for official business

      3. Gasoline for rental or state-owned vehicles

      4. Emergency purchases of postage

      5. Repair parts and labor plus towing charges to repair state vehicles

      6. Copies made by the employee

      7. Freight charges to ship state equipment or materials

      8. Visas for foreign travel and airport boarding passes or departure taxes in foreign countries.

      9. Notary fees

      10. Cancellation charges, if incurred for a valid business reason

      11. Charges to exchange foreign currency

      12. Inoculations

      13. Passport

    2. Non Allowable Incidental Expenses (partial list)

      1. Gasoline and repair costs for privately-owned vehicles

      2. Excess baggage charges for personal belongings

      3. Any other personal expense items such as, cleaning or laundry, alcoholic beverages, tours, sporting events, kennel or boarding charges for a pet, babysitting or daycare charges for children.

      4. Any expense not related to official state business

  3. Texas State Sales Tax: Texas state sales tax is not reimbursable. While on official State business, in the State of Texas, exemption from paying Texas state sales tax can only be obtained by presenting a Texas Sales and Use Tax Exemption Certification (Form 2-5).

Section VI. Using State Appropriated Funds for Travel
  1. State of Texas Travel Allowance Guide and Travel Management Program: Travel using State Appropriated Funds must follow the State of Texas Travel Allowance Guide which is available on the Internet at the following address:

    https://fmx.cpa.state.tx.us/fmx/travel/textravel/index.php

    The State Travel Management Program can be accessed at the following address:

    http://www.window.state.tx.us/procurement/prog/stmp/

    This directory lists the state contracted rates for airfare, hotel reservations, and car rentals.

  2. In-State travel using state appropriated funds (14 Accounts and some others) must follow the following published state rules:

    Refer to the General Service Administration (GSA) federal Domestic Maximum Per Diem Rates.

    If the city is not listed, but the county is listed, use the rate of the county.

    For areas not listed (city or county), the rates are:

    • Lodging In-State: up to $85
    • Meals: up to $46
  3. Out-of-State Travel (Contiguous United States): If using state appropriated funds, the web site address for out-of-state meals and lodging rates is:

    http://www.window.state.tx.us/fm/travel/out_of_state/rate_sched.html

    According to the General Appropriations Act (GAA) state employees are reimbursed for actual meal and lodging expenses for out-of-state travel up to the maximum rates based on federal travel regulations. The rate schedule for out-of-state locations within the contiguous United States may be found at:

    http://www.gsa.gov/portal/category/21287

    The meal and lodging rates specified in the schedule listed above are not flat per diem rates. Employees may only be reimbursed for their actual meal and lodging expenses. Reimbursement for meals and Incidental Expenses (M&IE) up to listed maximums will require a description of the expense, but no receipts are required. Maximum M&IE limits are adjusted to 75% of maximum for first and last day of travel. Reimbursement for lodging expenses up to listed maximums will require itemized receipts.

    1. Tips, gratuities, laundry or dry cleaning are not reimbursable.

  4. International Travel including Alaska, Hawaii, and U.S. Possessions: Employees are reimbursed for actual meal expenses for international travel. If meals and incidental expenses (M&IE) exceed the maximum rates based on federal travel regulations, receipts are required. The rate schedule for travel to Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, Midway, the Northern Marianas, U.S. Virgin Islands, Wake Island, and other possessions outside the contiguous United States may be found at:

    http://www.defensetravel.dod.mil/site/perdiemCalc.cfm

    The rate schedule for travel to all foreign countries including Canada and the United Mexican States outside the contiguous United States may be found at:

    http://aoprals.state.gov/content.asp?content_id=184&menu_id=78

    All lodging expenses will be reimbursed for all travel outside the contiguous United States. Actual lodging expenses will require itemized receipts. If expenses for meals and incidental expenses exceed the daily limits in the federal rate schedules, then receipts are required to obtain reimbursement above those limits. Refer to International Travel (Procedure 2-83) for guidelines on currency conversion documentation required for international receipts.

  5. Alcohol Prohibition: Alcohol cannot be reimbursed on any travel budget code

  6. Tips or Gratuities on Meals are Not Reimbursable: Tips or gratuities paid in conjunction with meal expenses are not reimbursable.

  7. Travel Voucher Account Number Restriction: When processing a travel payment voucher (VP2 or VP5), accounts beginning with 14 cannot be combined on the same payment voucher with other accounts.

  8. Travelers must ensure that each travel arrangement is the most cost effective considering all relevant circumstances. The traveler must complete and submit all documentation showing that a cost comparison analysis was done for personal vehicle mileage versus the cost of an airline ticket or rental car. Travel Services reserves the right to reimburse at the lower of the two rates.

Section VII. Non-Overnight/Metroplex Travel
  1. Non-Overnight/Metroplex Travel Reimbursement: Metroplex mileage along with any parking or toll fees related to the metroplex trip will be reimbursed by processing an Electronic Reimbursement Voucher (VP2). Mileage will be reimbursed for travel dates through 12/31/2013 at $0.565 per mile, and at $0.56 starting 01/01/2014, using State Appropriated Funds or local funds.

    A detailed log that supports the date of travel, origination point (headquarters), destination and total miles driven must be included with the voucher. An example of a form that could be used is Non-Overnight Mileage Detailed Report (Form 2-96). A travel request (VE5) is not required for this type of travel.

  2. Qualifying Conditions for Non-Overnight/Metroplex Travel: In order to qualify for metroplex travel the following must apply:

    1. No overnight stay.

    2. No rental car or airline ticket expense to be reimbursed.

    3. If longer than 6 hours, meal with original receipt may be reimbursed. Reimbursement for meals includes the following requirements:

      1. Alcohol cannot be reimbursed on any travel budget code.

      2. The maximum amount that will be reimbursed per person per meal will be $50, all inclusive. Sales tax and a maximum tip of 20% can be added to the $50. This applies to individuals in travel status as well as those in the Metroplex entertaining guests.

    4. Parking fees, tolls, and other related expenses require a receipt. If a receipt is not available, a note is required stating how it was related to the business of the trip.

    5. Registration fee is reimbursable on the same voucher as the related mileage. Receipt showing the traveler's name, name of the organization, date and payment received must be clearly stated on the receipt.

    6. Incidental expenses while away from the University may also be reimbursed on the same voucher. Example: battery for lap top that is needed for meeting, light bulb for overhead used in meeting etc. Original receipts are required. Texas State Sales Tax is not reimbursable. A Texas Sales and Use Tax Exemption Certification (Form 2-5) must be presented with each purchase.

    7. Mileage to the airport is reimbursable only if not related to other travel.

  3. Mileage Calculation: Mileage between addresses (point to point calculation) may be derived from an employee's odometer reading, or, by using the mapping service MapQuest at http://www.mapquest.com. Mapping services other than MapQuest will not be accepted for point to point mileage calculations. Documentation is required for all point to point mileage calculations.

  4. Mileage is reimbursable: A detailed mileage log that supports the date of travel, origination point (headquarters), destination (name of city) and total miles driven must be included with the payment voucher.

Forms and Tools/Online Processes

Texas Sales and Use Tax Exemption Certification (Form 2-5)

Texas Hotel Occupancy Tax Exemption Certificate (Form 2-95)

Non-Overnight Mileage Detailed Report (Form 2-96)

Travel Voucher Cover Sheet (Form 2-100)

*DEFINE Education's Travel Guide Policy & Procedures

State of Texas Travel Allowance Guide

State Travel Management Program

Department of Defense Rate Schedule

U.S. Department of State Rate Schedule

Appendices

None