Travel and Entertainment
Lewis & Clark’s policy is to reimburse employees and non-employees for necessary travel and entertainment expenses incurred for authorized College business.
Travel and Entertainment expenses must be reported on a Travel and Entertainment Expense Report or on a Check Request.
Please see below for the reporting and documentation requirements when submitting a Travel & Entertainment Expense Report form.
When travel costs are to be charged to a third party, restricted grant, or sponsored project, the terms stipulated by the funding source will take precedence if they are more restrictive than College policy.
Each department is responsible for making its own travel arrangements. Employees must obtain the prior approval or their supervisor before securing airfare, hotel accommodations, conference registration, etc.
Travel Advances are available to defray direct expenditures incurred by college employees traveling on college business. Such expenses include cab fares, meals, tips, and other incidental expenses that typically must be paid in cash. The minimum Travel Advance will be $250.00. Note: Pre-paid travel expenses such as airfare, conference registration fees, and lodging can be reimbursed to the employee prior to travel through the Expense Reimbursement process. See reimbursement instructions below.
In order to obtain a travel advance, complete a Check Request in the amount of the advance. The request must also include a budget listing the type and amount of anticipated expenses. An advance must be requested no more than 30 days prior to the scheduled travel date. The employee’s supervisor must approve the travel advance request. An employee may not authorize his/her own advance. The Check Request must include, in the description section of the form, the dates, destination and business purpose of the travel. The employee’s Lewis and Clark ID number is required for travel advances. Submit the Check Request form to Accounts Payable by 12:00 p.m. Friday for pick-up in the Student and Departmental Account Services Office at 12:00 noon the following Friday.
A Travel Advance is considered to be a loan to the employee until the employee submits a Travel and Entertainment Expense Report documenting the use of the funds for business purposes. You are personally responsible for this money until it can be accounted for. After the report is submitted to the Business Office, the advance will be cleared and the expense charged to the departmental budget.
Travel advances should be accounted for on a Travel and Entertainment Expense Report within one month of the end of the travel associated with the advance. If the properly documented Travel and Entertainment Expense Report is not received within 60 days, the amount of the travel advance will be added to the employee’s income for the month. If the employee subsequently submits a properly documented Travel and Entertainment Expense Report, he/she will be able to deduct the amount on their tax return for that year.
When your trip has been completed, return any remaining travel advance funds to the Student & Departmental Account Services Office. These funds should be deposited to your travel advance account, not your department’s budget. Attach the Student & Departmental Services Office receipt to your Travel and Entertainment Expense Report along with your other receipts. Record the travel advance on the Travel and Entertainment Expense Report as a credit in the Cash Summary section under the “Less: Travel Advances” line.
Travel & Entertainment Expense Reports
The College requires an itemized Travel and Entertainment Expense Report for all travel expenses charged to a College account. A properly completed Expense Report signed by the employee and with all required receipts attached should be sent to the Business Office within one month of the completion of each trip. A Travel & Entertainment Expense Report should be completed even if using a Purchasing Card for all travel expenses.
- Requests for reimbursement must be submitted within 60 days of the date of the expenditure. If the properly documented Travel & Entertainment Expense Report form is not received by the Business Office within 60 days of the end of the travel, the amount of the reimbursement will be added to the employee’s income for the month. If a properly documented Travel & Entertainment Expense Report form is submitted at a later date, the employee will be able to deduct the amount on their tax return for that year.
- Meal costs incurred while on an overnight trip for the college within the United States are reimbursed on a per diem basis. Receipts are not required. See the Per Diem Allowance for Meals policy below. All other expenses, such as airfare, lodging, car rental or cab fare, require itemized receipts. Original itemized receipts showing what was purchased and that payment was made must be attached to the Travel & Entertainment Expense Report form. If the receipt does not show that the amount was paid in full, proof of payment must also be attached. (such as a credit card slip or statement) Please note that proof of payment alone is not sufficient. There must be an itemized list of items purchased.
- There must be a complete description of why the expenditure was a business expense.
The employee’s supervisor must authorize the travel and approve the travel expenses. The business purpose of the travel must be noted on the form. For example: “travel to Seattle” is not a business purpose; “travel to Seattle for admissions recruiting” is a business purpose. The description of the business purpose should clearly spell out the benefit to Lewis and Clark College resulting from your travel and/or entertainment.
Travel and Entertainment Expense Reports are available by download from this web site and in the Business Office.
Receipts are required for all non-Meal expenses over the amount of $10.00. Receipts should be attached to the Expense Report, and arranged in the order that they are listed on that report. Where expenses are shared with external organizations, a duplicate copy of the receipts will suffice when submitted with either a copy of the Expense Report submitted to the other organization or a common Expense Report showing all expenses charged to both Lewis & Clark and the other organization.
In all other cases, original receipts must be submitted for reimbursement.
If it is not possible to obtain a duplicate receipt from the billing agency, the employee must submit a signed memorandum, approved by the supervisor, and stating:
- The amount and purpose of the expense.
- That no receipt or cancelled check is available.
- That no other reimbursement of expense has been, or will be, sought or accepted from any source.
Only expenditures under $25 will be reimbursed without the appropriate receipt. If a receipt for an amount under $25 is misplaced, a memo as described above will be acceptable. If the amount of the expenditure is more than $25, only $25 of the expenditure amount will be reimbursed.
In general, expenses not directly related to or required for official college travel and incurred primarily for the traveler’s convenience are not reimbursable. Examples of non-reimbursable expenses are:
- Auto insurance, except when traveling in a foreign country
- Baggage insurance, except where assets are owned by college
- Excess baggage
- Flight Insurance
- Life Insurance
- Personal entertainment
- In-room movies
Travel and Entertainment Reimbursement Policy
The following policy complies with IRS regulations. If an employee fails to meet these guidelines, reimbursements may have to be reported as employee income on the employee’s W-2 form, and subject to withholding for employment taxes.
Per Diem Method for Meal expenses for Travel within the United States
The College does not reimburse for meal costs incurred on one-day (non- overnight) trips. The IRS does not view reimbursements for meals on one-day trips as an allowable expense. Meals that an individual purchases while traveling between locations without an overnight stay or while at a local seminar are personal and not reimbursable.
This does not refer to or include reimbursements of expenditures for meals with a specific, substantiated business purpose. A substantiated business purpose in this circumstance includes lunches where business is the main topic or purpose of the meeting. The College will reimburse these meals where there is a clear, substantiated business purpose. In these circumstances, it will be necessary to obtain and submit an itemized receipt in order to be reimbursed. See the requirements for reimbursement of meals associated with a specific business purpose in the Entertainment policy.
Per Diem Allowance for Meals
Meal costs incurred while on an overnight trip for the college within the United States are reimbursed on a per diem basis. Under a per diem method, the individual receives a daily allowance in lieu of reimbursement of the actual cost of meals while traveling away from home. The per diem covers all meals and snacks, including alcohol and tips.
The per diem amount must be substantiated by recording the dates of travel, the locality of travel and the business purpose of travel. The description of the business purpose should clearly spell out the benefit to Lewis and Clark College resulting from your travel. For example: “travel to Seattle” is not a business purpose; “travel to Seattle for admissions recruiting” is a business purpose.
The per diem rate is broken down into separate amounts for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If a third party is providing one of your meals (such as a breakfast provided by the hotel or lunch provided at a seminar), the rate claimed must be reduced by the portion represented by the meal provided. Meals which could reasonably be eaten at home on the dates of departure and return should also be deducted from the daily rate.
Per Diem Rates for Meals
The current rate, in effect until December 31st, 2015, is $50.00. The breakdown of the daily rate into individual meals is as follows:
Your supervisor may establish decreased rates for your travel. The rates above represent the maximums that will be reimbursed by the college.
Per Diem Rates for Meals in high cost areas
The following areas are considered high cost for travel: the states of Alaska and Hawaii, and the metropolitan areas of Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington DC. The per diem rate for these high-cost areas is $60.00 per day. You may use this higher cost rate for days when you will be staying in one of the listed areas at the end of the day. The breakdown of the higher cost daily rate into individual meals is as follows:
Your supervisor may establish decreased rates for your travel. The rates above represent the maximums that will be reimbursed by the college.
Meal expenses for international travel
The College does not provide a per diem allowance for travel outside of the United States. You must prepare a written record of your expenses, including meals. This record can be either on the college’s Travel and Entertainment Expense Report form or in a diary format. All expenses are to be confirmed by original itemized receipts showing what was purchased and that payment was made. Restaurant receipts must document the name of the restaurant, the number of people served, the date and amount of the expense, and the individual items served. If a receipt is not available, a memo will be accepted only for expenditures of $25 or less. The memo should detail all of the information required for the receipt.
The hotel invoice/receipt must be submitted with the Travel Expense Report. Meals and other incidental expenses charged to the hotel room should be reported on the appropriate lines of the Travel Expense Report. (not under “Lodging”). Hospitality gifts up to $50.00 in lieu of lodging charges will be reimbursed with a receipt documenting the purchase of the gift.
Employees paying for lodging deposits in advance with their own funds, may request reimbursement prior to the travel date through the Expense Reimbursement process. See reimbursement instructions above.
Lodging must be reported on the Travel and Entertainment Expense Report as lodging expense. If it has been charged directly to the College by one of the preferred travel agencies, or has been previously reimbursed to the employee, it must be reported again in the “Cash Summary” section as a credit.
Business-related expenses incurred by a College employee for the benefit of other persons (e.g. donors, Trustees, vendors, etc.) are classified as entertainment expenses. Details regarding place, business purpose, and persons entertained, must be reported in order to satisfy IRS standards. The business purpose should clearly describe the benefit gained or expected to be gained.
Entertainment expenses incurred separately from a business trip may be reported in the “Entertainment” section of a Travel and Entertainment Expense Report, or on a Check Request form - in either case the details listed above must be reported. Receipts are required for all items over $10.00. See the Lost Receipt section above if you have lost an entertainment related expense.
Each traveler is responsible for arranging, confirming and canceling reservations and for obtaining refunds in the case of cancellations. Employees paying for airfare with their own funds may request reimbursement prior to the travel date through the Expense Reimbursement process. See reimbursement instructions above.
Air tickets purchased through one of the College’s preferred travel agencies will be charged to a central credit card account. The preferred travel agencies are:
Nob Hill Travel: 503-227-3530
Prestige World Travel: 877-967-5340 or 360-834-4876
Azumano Travel Service: 503-223-6245
Airfare must be reported on the Travel and Entertainment Expense Report as airfare expense. If it has been charged directly to the College by one of the preferred travel agencies, or has been previously reimbursed to the employee, it must be reported again in the “Cash Summary” section as a credit.
Use of Personal Vehicles
At the beginning of each fiscal year, the College will update its standard rate to match the IRS published mileage rate at January 1 of that year. For miles driven between July 1, 2015 and May 31, 2016 the College will pay a standard rate of $0.575 (57 and 1/2 cents) per mile. Mileage is to be based on the most direct route. The College does not reimburse employees for commuting between home and campus.
The mileage rate covers all costs of automobile ownership, operation and maintenance, including insurance. Employees’ personal vehicles do not have coverage under the College’s insurance policy when used for College business: the owner’s insurance represents the only coverage available.
Use of personal vehicles is not recommended when transporting other College employees or students, because it exposes the owner to serious financial loss in the event of an accident. If a personal vehicle is used for College business the driver’s personal automobile insurance is primary in the event of an accident (i.e. claims filed are first the responsibility of the driver’s policy). In the event of an accident involving passengers who are College employees or students, a copy of the accident report (or other notification) should be submitted to the Risk Manager immediately upon return to the College.
You must be authorized as a driver by the college’s Occupational Health and Safety Officer in order to be reimbursed for leasing a rental car. For instructions, go to Vehicle Rental Policies & Procedures .
The College will reimburse employees for the cost of renting a compact or standard size car and for automobile-related expenses. It is not necessary when renting a car within the United States to buy additional insurance from the rental agency, because the College’s insurance provides coverage in excess of the rental agency’s insurance. For insurance reasons, employees filling out car rental agreements should specify “Lewis & Clark College” after their own name.
It may be necessary to purchase additional auto insurance when renting a car in a foreign country.
In the event of an accident, a copy of the accident report (or other notification) should be submitted to the Risk Manager immediately upon return to the College.
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