Completing Required Documentation for Travel Reimbursements

Responsible Officer: Vice President for Business Affairs and Controller

Sponsoring Department: Travel

Revision Date: 06 May 2014

Errors or changes to: aim@uta.edu

Procedure Objective

Procedure 2-90 provides procedural guidelines of what documents to complete and what supporting documentation to submit for reimbursement of business travel expenses. The document to complete for travel reimbursements is the Expense Report which is prepared in UT Share. Original receipts for certain expenses will need to accompany the expense report. This procedure does not apply to UT Arlington employees or students traveling for personal reasons with personal funds.

Rationale

University travel conducted and expenses incurred must comply with the Travel Regulations Act, comptroller rules, travel provisions of the General Appropriations Act, the Texas Procurement and Support Services contract requirements, and policies and procedures adopted by the Texas comptroller's office. For certain travel expenses, proof of payment must be documented to validate that the expenses were actually incurred and appropriate. Travel expense reports and supporting documentation must meet the criteria set forth by the Texas comptroller. It is important to correctly prepare the expense reports because they are subject to state audits and examinations. Lastly, proper internal control procedures must be in place to ensure that an individual does not approve disbursement of funds to themselves.

Scope

All UT Arlington employees, prospective employees, students and non-employees who are traveling for UT Arlington business and/or university employees responsible for completing travel reimbursement documentation.

Related Statutes, Policies, Requirements or Standards

UT System Administration Policies and StandardsOther Policies and Standards
Texas Travel Regulations Act Chapter 660 of Texas Government Code

Texas Administrative Code, Title 34, Part 1, Chapter 5, Subchapter C, Section 5.22, State of Texas Travel Guidance

Request for Travel Authorization and Obtain Permission to Travel (Procedure 2-80)

Meals, Lodging, Incidental Expenses and Other Fees for Travel for State and Local Funds (Procedure 2-86)

Contacts

If you have any questions about Procedure 2-90, Completing Required Documentation for Travel Reimbursements, 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 Management817-272-0222aim@uta.edu
http://www.uta.edu/aim

Definitions

UT Share: The computerized financial system used at UT Arlington.

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.

Expense Report: This is used in UT Share to reimburse business travel expenses. The expense report is used to provide a detailed record of the travel expenses as well as identify the nature of the business conducted.

The Travel Authorization: This is used in UT Share to authorize travel for employees, prospective employees, students, and non-employees who are traveling for UT Arlington business.

Responsibilities

The Traveler
  • Does NOT approve disbursements of funds to themselves

  • Submits the expense report and all supporting documentation to Business Affairs and Controller no later than 60 days after the last date of travel
  • Keeps necessary original receipts when traveling

  • Attaches necessary receipts when submitting an expense report.

Procedures


Section I. Internal Control

Proper internal control procedures require that an individual not approve disbursements of funds to themselves. An individual receiving reimbursement or payment may not approve their own expense report. Individuals receiving reimbursement or payment will forward the online approval form to their supervisor for approval.

Section II. Timing

Every effort should be made to submit your expenses for reimbursement as soon as possible after incurring the costs in order to eliminate any confusion that might occur due to invalid chartfields, unavailable funds, or reporting periods.

All supporting documentation is required to be turned in with the expense report. In compliance with Business Affairs and Controller policy, expense reports are due to Business Affairs and Controller no later than 60 days after the last date of travel. If the timeline is not met, the traveler must submit documentation stating why the expense report was not turned in by the due date.

Expense reports submitted 120 days after the last day of travel may not be reimbursed by the university. If a travel advance was used to pay for travel related expenses, the traveler may be taxed on any unsubstantiated and unreturned amounts over 120 days.

Section III. Cancellation or Change Charges

A cancellation or change charge is reimbursable only if the charge is incurred for a business-related reason or because of adverse weather conditions or a natural disaster. Charges incurred for personal reasons, such as illness or family emergency, cannot be reimbursed. If an employee is unable to reach their duty point for personal reasons, their travel expenses are not reimbursable. For example, if a person has car trouble or becomes ill and is unable to conduct official state business, expenses for that trip cannot be reimbursed.

Section IV. Expense Reports

The Expense Report is prepared when reimbursing business travel expenses. This report is created in UT Share Travel and Expense.

  1. Expense reports are Processed Electronically:
    1. Information for Expense Report: The form must contain information stating:
      1. The point or origin and the town, place or point of destination of each trip and the reimbursable mileage traveled between each town, place or point (including intra-city)
      2. The actual period of time away from designated headquarters, i.e. the dates of travel.
  2. Support Documentation: Complete the online approval form. It certifies that the travel expenses reported are true and unpaid. Attach the original receipts to the expense report in UT Share.
    1. For information on what receipts to submit to Travel Services see Section V. Receipts of this procedure or contact Travel Services.
Section V. Receipts
  1. Receipt Content: Receipts should be in the name of the traveler and be for the dates claimed on the travel voucher. Always attach an explanation if there are differences.

  2. Loss of Receipts: If an original receipt is not available, prepare a memo explaining the lack of the original. This memo must be approved by the same individual who will approve the online approval form. Notes on the expense report online approval form, or an email message, will be accepted in lieu of a memo.
  3. Meals and Incidental Expenses: Receipts for meals and incidental expenses are not required if below daily limits specified in Meals, Lodging, Incidental Expenses and Other Fees for Travel for State and Local Funds (Procedure 2-86). The daily limits are not a flat rate per diem. Reimbursements below daily limits may be claimed only for actual cost of meals and incidental expenses.

  4. Lodging: Hotel receipts should be detailed showing the number of days with dates, room charge per day, and taxes charged per day. A Texas Hotel Occupancy Tax Exemption Certificate (Form 2-95) should be presented at time of check in, every time you travel within the State of Texas, for exemption from Texas State Sales Tax on your lodging invoice. Texas Sales Tax will not be reimbursed if you pay it.

  5. Alcohol: Alcohol cannot be reimbursed on any travel budget code. Alcohol cannot be purchased with funds generated from student tuition, fees, or state appropriations.

    1. Alcohol is not a reimbursable item when charging against grant accounts.

    2. Reimbursement claims should be processed on the expense report on a fund that allows alcohol purchases.

  6. Sales Tax and Tips on Meals: Sales tax and tips on meals will be reimbursed subject to limits specified in Meals, Lodging, Incidental Expenses and Other Fees for Travel for State and Local Funds (Procedure 2-86)

  7. Personal Time: If personal time is included on the expense report, all expenses must be pro-rated and expenses deducted for personal time.
  8. Phone Calls, Fax Expense, Office Supplies, or Other: If reimbursing phone calls, fax expense, office supplies or other expenses while in travel status, indicate on the expense report which ones are for business and which are personal. If not indicated that individual items are for official university business, items are not reimbursable. Credit card receipts must have accompanying original itemized receipts attached. To be eligible for exemption from paying Texas State Sales Tax on purchases of items for official university business, present a Texas Sales and Use Tax Exemption Certification (Form 2-94). Texas State Sales Tax will not be reimbursed.

  9. Receipts for certain expenses are sometimes required in special situations (i.e. transportation). Please contact Travel Services if you have any questions about what receipts to submit.
  10. Conference Attendance: All employees attending a conference must submit the conference agenda as part of their travel supporting documentation. Submission of the agenda allows reviewers and approvers to identify amenities provided to conference attendees, i.e., hotel rooms, meals, etc.

Forms and Tools/Online Processes

Texas Sales and Use Tax Exemption Certification (Form 2-94)

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

Business Affairs Training

Appendices

None