Effective January 1, 2013, several changes have been made to the University's travel policy. Please visit the policy and review.
Effective January 1, 2013 - The US Government privately owned vehicle (POV) mileage reimbursement rate increased to .565 per mile. Please visit the GSA.gov website for more details about the new per diems for FY 2013.
Welcome to the FIO Travel Reimbursement page. This page has been set-up to provide guidelines and reimbursement rates for expenses incurred by employees while in travel status and on official university business. Travel for the university must be necessary to execute official university business or educational objectives. Any conferences, professional meetings, or workshops must be directly connected to the individual's duties and roles within the university.
An official travel request should be in place in IRIS for any out-of-state or international travel incurred for the university prior to their trip. For your assistance, a Travel Request Worksheet (T-18) can be found on the FIO Forms page. The travel request should include dates and times of departure, destination, detailed explanation/reason of trip, account number to be charged and other pertinent information necessary for the approver in IRIS to review. An approved travel request in IRIS is the official authorization for the employee to travel. An approved travel request is required for direct bill of airfare, unless no other expenses are being submitted for that trip.
Please note a travel request is not required for travel incurred within the State of Tennessee unless required by your department or unit.
Employees should submit claims for reimbursement of travel expenses no later than 30 days after completion of the travel, with the exception of local mileage logs. Timely submission of claims will allow departments to more effectively approve travel.
Travelers should submit travel claims to the appropriate department/unit designee assigned for processing travel reimbursements. The designee should enter the reimbursement in IRIS and submit through workflow as soon as possible.
The IRIS Travel Expense Reimbursement Report with original signature along with necessary original receipts should be submitted to FIO upon completion of entry into IRIS.
Please note all signatures on the printed Travel Expense Report should be original. In situations where the employee cannot sign, a faxed or scanned signed copy will be accepted when original signatures are not available provided the amounts to be reimbursed are detailed on the document, required receipts are attached and an explanation is given.
Any other documentation (for example, a Form T-3 or a letter from a guest traveler) used to itemize expenses to the department for entry into IRIS can be signed by the traveler and attached to the Travel Expense Report in lieu of a signature on the Travel Expense Report generated in IRIS. This document must show the amount to be reimbursed.
Per Diem Rates:
Please note the lodging and meal per diem will be determined by the CONUS/OCONUS rate for the hotel address "where you lay your head" not the meeting destination.
An acceptable original, itemized receipt must be submitted for lodging, registration fees, airline tickets, rental cars, or any other allowable expenses of $50 or more.
Reimbursement for airfare will be limited to standard coach fare. No business or first class fares will be reimbursed. There will be no exceptions to this restriction.
An acceptable receipt for the cost of the ticket should be supported by the original passenger coupon which includes proof of payment. If the original passenger coupon cannot be obtained, documentation from the vendor will be accepted if it contains the name of the passenger, dates of travel, complete trip itinerary, amount, and the name of the airline. Additionally, the coupon or receipt must contain the class of service. On the coupon or receipt, the class of service will be identified by either the word "coach" or "economy," or a letter (e.g., W, S, Q, L, etc.).
Employees may be reimbursed for non-refundable and international airline tickets before the departure date.
Employees will be reimbursed fees for reissuing or revalidating a non-refundable ticket.
Any unused ticket or any portion of an unused ticket must be processed for a refund or the value of the ticket applied to a future trip. The traveler is responsible for managing and controlling this process.
Mandatory fees imposed by the airline industry will be reimbursed provided a receipt is provided regardless of the amount. An example is Baggage Fees now incurred by airlines.
Personal Travel with Business Travel:
When an employee extends their official trip to take advantage of discounted airfares, he or she can be reimbursed up to the per diems for meals and lodging associated with the personal time.
At the same time that you purchase your airline ticket for a combined personal and UT trip, a quote must be obtained from the issuing agency at the same time of the purchase of the ticket validating the cost of savings to the university. This quote should be for the UT Business travel dates only.
If the amount of the original purchased ticket including both business and personal days is less than the quoted ticket price and doesn't include another destination, the airfare can be reimbursed at the price of the ticket.
However, if the originally purchased ticket price including personal days is more than the quoted ticket price, only the quoted amount of the airfare cost will be reimbursed.
Failure to get the business only quote at the time of purchase can seriously delay and/or jeopardize your reimbursement.
An original receipt is required and must include the name of the individual occupying the room, the daily room charge, applicable tax, total charges and proof of payment.
To expedite reimbursements and minimize staff time in locating rates within the CONUS schedules World Travel (the university's designated travel agency) can assist travelers to secure CONUS rates. In the event World Travel cannot secure a CONUS rate for a trip, a World Travel consultant will document that a CONUS rate is not available and the rate booked is the lowest rate available at the time of the booking. The documentation will be in the form of an e-mail and must be attached to the reimbursement request along with the hotel receipt. Travelers who use this process will not be required to process the lodging as an exception.
Travelers attending official meetings (such as a conference, seminar, or workshop, but not just a meeting of several individuals) and lodge in the designated conference hotel or overflow hotel will be reimbursed for room and tax. Conference lodging will be reimbursed at the conference rate with back-up documentation such as a brochure/agenda stating the name of the conference, conference dates, destination, conference hotels and/or overflow hotels and most important the conference lodging rate. The absence of the conference brochure/agenda wil limit the reimbursement to the CONUS/OCONUS rate for the hotel destination.
If the traveler chooses to lodge in a hotel of their choice, the amount of the reimbursement will be limited to the rate of the conference hotel, documented by conference literature, and attached to the expense report. In the event the conference materials do not contain a conference-lodging rate, CONUS/OCONUS rates will be applicable.
Employees may pay registration fees with personal funds either in advance or at the conference site. This expense is reimbursed via a Travel Expense Report upon completion of the trip. An itemized receipt for the registration must be attached to the printed Travel Expense Report.
In some instances, lodging and all meals may be included in a registration fee. In these cases, the following criteria must be met:
- The lodging and meals must be part of a package arrangement and listed on the registration form.
- Both the registration fee and lodging/meal fee must be made payable to the same vendor.
- All meals, banquets, or proceedings to be paid by the university must be directly related to the official purpose of the conference.
- For meals purchased at an event, an itemized receipt must be obtained from the association, the cost must be supported by conference literature, and it should not inlcude any items of personal nature that are listed in item (5) below. The employee should claim meals actual on their expense report instead of the per diem.
- Expenses included in the registration fee that are purely of a personal nature are not reimbursable (e.g., golfing fees, bus and/or historical tours, theater and sporting event tickets).
Employees will be reimbursed for a rental automobile at the domestic destination when necessary to conduct University business. Reservations are encouraged through the university-designated travel agency to obtain discounts negotiated with auto rental vendors.
Whenever possible, travelers should refuel the automobile prior to returning the automobile to the rental agency.
Personal Accident Insurance, Collision Damage Insurance and Personal Liability Insurance are not allowed and should not be accepted with an automobile rental agreement. They are not reimbursable by the university.
Employees will be reimbursed for a rental automobile while on international travel status. The university recommends that collision waiver insurance be purchased. The cost of this coverage will be reimbursed to the traveler.
Please note any expense $50.00 or over must have a itemized receipt regardless of the type of expense incurred.
The following is a list of reimbursable expenses provided the necessary information is noted on the travel reimbursement in IRIS:
- Business-related cellular phone charges while in travel status, including international travel will be reimbursed for airtime, roaming, and applicable tax for individuals who do not have a cell phone allowance or a university phone. The calls must be identified on the Travel Expense Report to include the name and location of each call, date of the call, and purpose of the call.
- Printing, duplication, and promotional materials required for official business
- Parking - Parking sites must be identified on the travel reimbursement report. Such as Airport, Hotel, etc..
- Fees and expenses incurred for the purchase of passports and visas for university business travel - Expenses, including a receipt for the passport or visas, must be fully documented. Expenses related to passports and visas as a condition of employment are considered a personal expense.
- Personal computer connect charges to access or connect to the university - An explanation for the charge must be provided on the Travel Expense Report.
- Reasonable taxi, bus, or shuttle charges to and from airports, between lodging and meeting sites, and to and from restaurants - Regardless of the amount of the fare, the destination and reason for each fare reimbursement claimed must be listed on the Travel Expense Report under "Transportation, Ground." Credit card statements showing ground transportation charges can be submitted as reimbursable receipts.
- Business-related local and long distance telephone calls provided a the name and location of each party called, date of the call, purpose of the call, and an explanation for the charge are provided on the Travel Expense Report.
- Tips for meals and taxis service - The tip amount should not exceed twenty percent (total before taxes). The addition of a tip on a receipt does not constitute an alteration of the receipt.
The guidelines and procedures for guests, such as consultants, candidates for positions, and other individuals who are authorized to travel at university expense are listed below. Please see the applicable rates in the TRAVEL REIMBURSEMENT RATE SCHEDULE.
Non-resident alien guests must submit a copy of their visa as a part of reimbursement documentation. Non-resident guidelines can be found on the Payroll web site.
An employee number, Travel Request, and Travel Expense Report are not needed if the only expense for the guest is direct-billed airfare.
Any guest with expenses other than direct-billed airfare must be entered into the IRIS HR system as a Guest Traveler and assigned an employee number. An e-form is now available to request the personnel number for a guest traveler. A RECORD A GUEST TRAVELER WORKSHEET is available for collecting the guest information for entry into IRIS.
If a guest traveler's destination is somewhere other than a university location, the benefit to the university for the visit must be explained.
The meal allowance will be reimbursed in accordance with applicable per diems.
Lodging should be arranged at a hotel or motel that honors State or CONUS rates. If such rates are not available, actual lodging expenses will be reimbursed or can be direct-billed to the university.
Transportation expenses may be paid by the guest or billed directly to the university. Guests are covered under the university's Hired and Non-owned Automobile Liability Insurance for business use. Guests should purchase collision damage waiver insurance offered by the rental agency. Additional insurance to cover personal exposure is at the discretion of the guest, but not reimbursable by the university.
The travel expenses for any individuals accompanying a guest must be entered in IRIS as "Other Exceptions to Policy" on the guest's Travel Expense Report with an explanation given in the Comments section.
All signatures on the Travel Expense Report should be original. In situations where the guest cannot sign, a faxed, signed copy or an e-mail of the document showing the amount to be reimbursed will be accepted.
Any other documentation (for example, a TRAVEL EXPENSE REPORT (FORM T-3) or a letter from a guest traveler) used to submit documentation to the department for entry into IRIS can be signed by the traveler and attached to the TRAVEL EXPENSE REPORT in lieu of a signature on the expense report.
For more detailed information about Travel Reimbursements, please visit the UT Policy & Procedures Web Page.
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