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Section 9: Travel

Travel Reimbursement

Effective Date:

05/10/11

Approved By:

Lenora Chapman, Associate Vice President for Financial Affairs

Last Revised On:

01/06/14

For Assistance Contact:

Disbursements & Travel Services (DTS)

PURPOSE/SCOPE

This guideline applies to all employees and individuals whose travel costs are paid by UTSA, including:

  • Student employees traveling for reasons related to their employment, regardless of funding source.

  • Students participating in study abroad, national student exchanges, student teaching, internships, practicums, observations and those attending athletic events held out of town, including NCAA Division I athletes attending NCAA athletic activities or events.

  • Prospective employees, prospective students and consultants and guest traveling to UTSA for reasons related to employment interviews, recruitment visits and to provide professional services.

Hereinafter, these individuals will be referred to as 'travelers'.

AUTHORITY

Travel costs are primarily regulated by the following governing authorities

  • State of Texas Travel Regulations Act

  • General Appropriations Act

  • Rules and Regulations of The University of Texas System Board of Regents: Requires institutions to issue travel regulations covering authorization for travel and reimbursement for approved travel.

  • Official interpretations of the Travel Act as made by the State Comptroller of Public Accounts.

  • Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulations (IRC §162 and various rules): Stipulate those expenditures that may be treated as non-taxable reimbursements and the corresponding documentation requirements.

  • U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) UTSA must meet the minimum rules and requirements set by the agencies listed above; however, the university may choose to be more restrictive in the application of travel rules.

  • UT Systemwide requirements for use of the contracted travel and car rental agencies.

UNIVERSITY GUIDELINES

Table of Contents

A. Overview

UTSA travel must be planned to achieve maximum savings and efficiency. The travel expenses must be the lowest possible considering all relevant circumstances.

A traveler may be reimbursed for meals, lodging, transportation and other expenses while traveling on official business, as determined by UTSA and TexTravel. Reimbursement for airfare and car rental expenses requires the use of UT Systemwide contracted travel and car rental agencies.

Prior approval for all business travel outside of the traveler's designated headquarters is required for absences during the normal working period, whether or not there is a cost to UTSA. The traveler must complete a Request for Travel Authorization (RTA) (VE5) in DEFINE and it must be approved by the traveler's supervisor prior to being eligible for reimbursement.

Travel should not be authorized for reimbursement unless funding is available for the estimated amount of approved expenses. Before submitting documents for reimbursement, the traveler should assure that all travel costs have been included as partial reimbursements are generally not allowed.

NOTE: An RTA is not required for travel within the traveler's designated headquarters.

B. Reimbursement Accountability

UTSA follows Internal Revenue Service (IRS) rules for travel reimbursements, which allow amounts paid under an accountable plan to be non-taxable to the traveler.

To be considered an accountable plan, the following rules must be met.

    • The authorized travel must have a business connection;

    • Travel expenditures must be substantiated - adequately accounted for within 30 days after travel has been completed following university processes, and

    • Any advance amount paid in excess of authorized travel expenses must be returned to UTSA within 30 days after the travel has been completed.

C. Reimbursement Rates

Reimbursement rates for meals and incidental expenses (M&IE) and lodging differ, depending on the travel destination and the first and last calendar day of travel.

NOTE: UTSA does not reimburse for meal expenses associated with non-overnight travel (non-overnight meals) as these do not qualify as non-taxable expenses by the IRS.

As required by the Texas State Comptroller for Public Accounts, UTSA adheres to the General Services Administration (GSA) per diem reimbursement rates as the method for determining maximum meal and lodging rates for all business travel.

NOTE: GSA incorporates the U.S. Department of Defense rates for Alaska, Hawaii, U.S. Territories and Possessions and the U.S. Department of State rates for international travel.

Reimbursement for M&IE for the first and last calendar day of overnight travel is calculated at 75 percent of the per diem rate for domestic travel only.

EXAMPLE: If the per diem rate is $71, then the rate for the first and last day of travel is $53.25.

For more examples, including a per meal breakdown, see the GSA Meals and Incidentals (M&IE) Breakdown website.

1. Accessing the GSA Per Diem Rates Website

See the GSA Per Diem Rates website to locate current rates for:

  • Domestic Travel:

    • Ensure the correct fiscal year is selected in the Find Rates for drop-down menu (located at the top right-hand corner of the U.S map image)

    • If the destination city/state is not listed, then use the rates located in the Standard Rates column.

  • International (foreign) Travel:

    • Ensure the correct month and fiscal year is selected from the Previous Rates drop-down menu.

    • If destination location does not appear in the Post Name column, use the rates that appear in the Other post name row.

  • Alaska, Hawaii, U.S. Territories and Possessions:

    • Ensure the correct month and fiscal year is selected from the PUBLISHED drop-down menu.

    • If the destination location does not appear in the Locality column, use the rates that appear in the [OTHER] locality row.

2. Department Authorized (Lower) Rates

Reimbursement rates may be lower than the GSA per diem rate. If applicable, departments must notify the traveler before traveling. Meal and lodging expense limitations must be reflected in the appropriate fields of the Travel Reimbursement/Settlement (TRS) form.

NOTE: Departments may add comments on the TRS form when entering a M&IE reimbursement amount that is different than the GSA reimbursement rate, however, these comments are used for department reference only and are not monitored by DTS.

D. UT Systemwide Contracted Travel and Car Rental Agencies 

Effective May 13, 2013, UTSA travel arrangements must be made through Corporate Travel Planners (CTP) or Anthony Travel, Inc., (ATI).   Additionally, all UTSA car rentals must be made through Avis/Budget, Enterprise/National, or Hertz.

As required by the UT Systemwide contracts, reimbursements to travelers for airfare and car rental expenses are allowed when purchased through the approved travel  agencies (CTP or  ATI)  or car rental agencies (Avis/Budget, Enterprise/National, or Hertz).

Travelers have the option to purchase airfare by contacting the full service travel agents at either CTP or ATI, or  by using the CTP on-line reservation tool  Concur. 

Travelers may also use Concur to purchase airfare and  make hotel and car rental reservation at their convenience for both domestic and international travel.

E. Accounting for Travel Expenses

All travel expenditures must be coded correctly for reporting purposes. It is the account administrator's responsibility for ensuring the accuracy of UTSA reporting by selecting the correct object code when approving electronic travel reimbursement related documents. 

1. Funding Restrictions
  • Restricted funds (26-accounts): Require advance approval from the appropriate Research Service Centers (RSC)- before Disbursements and Travel Services (DTS) may approve.

    NOTE: Additional restrictions may apply when using federal grant funds for commercial air travel. See Airline Open Skies Agreement/the Fly America Act or contact the UTSA Travel Agencies for assistance.

  • Gift funds (30-accounts): Must comply with the terms and conditions of the donor, if any.

  • Maintenance and Operations (M&O): can only be used with object codes 1523, 1260, 1261 and 1270 (inclusive of non-employee/non-student/participant, prospective employees, prospective graduate student and consultants).

2. Sub-Accounts

The eligible subaccount numbers to which the travel costs may be expensed are:

  • -50: For all non-employee/non-student/participant (prospective employees or consultants) domestic or international travel, including prospective students.

  • -60: For all non-employee (prospective employees or consultants) domestic or international travel using restricted funds (-14 and -26 accounts).

  • -68: For all student athlete recruitment travel.

  • -75: For all non-student domestic travel.

  • -76: For all non-student international (foreign) travel.

  • -77: For all student non-athletic team travel

  • -78: For all student athletic team travel.

3. Object Codes
Travel Destination/Type
Code
Description

In-State

1201

Public transportation fares

1202

Mileage

1204

Actual Expenses - Overnight travel

1205

Incidental Expenses (taxes, tips, gas, phone/fax calls, shipping charges, postage)

1206

Meals & Lodging not to exceed maximum per diem

Out-of-State

1221

Public Transportation Fares (bus, taxi, subway, car rental, shuttle, etc.)

1222

Mileage

1224

Actual Expenses - Overnight Travel

1225

Incidental Expenses (taxes, tips, gas, phone/fax calls, shipping charges, postage)

1226

Meals & Lodging not to exceed locality-based allowance

1265

Student Non-Employee

1275

Registration Fees-Employee Training

International

1240

All international travel (airfare, meals, lodging, tips, taxes, etc.)

Athletics

1250

Team Travel

1251

General Travel

1252

Recruitment of prospective student athletes.

Non-employee/Non Student/Participant

1260

Non-Employee/Non-Student/Participant (No 1099).

1261

Non-Resident Alien-Non-Employee/Non-Student/Participant

Prospective Undergraduate Student

1523

Recruitment of prospective students, excluding athletic recruitment and graduate student recruitment.

Prospective Employee, Prospective Graduate Student

1270

Recruitment of prospective graduate students and prospective employees.

F. Cancellation, Lost, Stolen Fees or Fees Incurred Due to Travel Changes

Travelers may be reimbursed for a lost/stolen or cancellation charge if the charge is incurred for any of the following reasons:

  • Change in business needs

  • Natural disaster

  • Personal emergency or illness

Travelers must specify the reason for the cancellation when completing the TRS form and must submit an original receipt as proof that the cancellation charge has been paid.

G. Transportation

Travelers are entitled to be reimbursed for transportation charges incurred while conducting official business. The most cost effective method of transportation available should be selected.

1. Mileage Rate for Personal Vehicle Use

The mileage reimbursement rate is inclusive of all expenses associated with the traveler's use of their personal vehicle. The reimbursement may not exceed the product of the actual number of miles traveled for business and the maximum mileage reimbursement rate per Texas Government Code Section 660.042.

Mileage Reimbursement Rates

If traveling between:

The reimbursement rate is:

Jan. 1, 2014 – Dec. 31, 2014

56 cents per mile

Jan. 1, 2013 – Dec. 31, 2013

56.5 cents per mile

The number of miles traveled for official business should be determined by the traveler's departure point to the traveler's destination point. The State of Texas requires that UTSA adopt a single online verification method to verify mileage reimbursement.

UTSA has adopted MapQuest® as has the State Comptroller's Office.

NOTE: The Travel Reimbursement/Settlement (TRS) form automatically rounds the total number of miles (for a specific route) to the nearest tenth to comply with the mileage format in DEFINE. Travelers are encouraged to enter the total number of miles that appears on the TRS form when entering the mileage in DEFINE.

        a. Traveling to and from the airport: The traveler may be reimbursed for mileage to and from the airport (as well as parking at the airport). If a traveler is dropped off and/or picked up (versus parking at the airport), they may receive reimbursement for two round trips to the airport (one for each way).

        b. Traveling outside of the traveler's designated headquarters:Must be associated with an approved RTA. Such reimbursements are allowed using the TRS form when the cost of using the traveler's personal vehicle is the most cost effective or only mode of transportation.

        NOTE: The Mileage/Parking Log for Travel Reimbursement may be used as a tool to track multiple trips made by a traveler, however it is not required and should not be submitted to DTS with the TRS form.

NOTE: Personal vehicle travel within the traveler's designated headquarters may be reimbursed without an RTA.
Mileage reimbursement for the approved use of an employee's personal vehicle within the traveler's designated headquarters may be authorized for official UTSA business provided that:

    • The employee is not a Vice President or Dean; or an individual whose base salary has been set to include a car allowance or those receiving supplement pay as a car allowance, unless otherwise approved by the President.
    • The mileage is not for travel between UTSA campuses or leased facilities unless approved by the appropriate executive officer per HOP 4.28 Assignments to Downtown Campus or routine business lunches within Bexar County.
2. Parking

Parking expense reimbursement is allowed when traveling on official university business, including attending meetings or training at off-site locations.

  • Event occurring within the traveler's designated headquarters (local area) and no additional meal cost: When authorized, should be reimbursed via a completed Mileage/Parking Log for Travel Reimbursement form.

  • Event occurring within the traveler's designated headquarters (local area) with an additional meal cost: When authorized, can be reimbursed via a completed Business Expense Form (BEF).

    NOTE: A TRS form is not required in addition to a BEF.

  • Event occurring outside of the traveler's designated headquarters: Parking must be tied to an RTA.

Travelers must submit an original receipt to be eligible for reimbursement.

3. Rental Vehicles

Travelers are entitled to reimbursement for the cost of renting a vehicle to conduct official business, when using the UT Systemwide contracted car rental agencies.

Travelers may select one of the five  car rental agencies:

  1. Enterprise/National Holdings
  2. Avis/Budget
  3. Hertz

Travelers  may complete the  car rental reservations by directly contacting the approved car rental agency,  making reservations online at the car rental agency website, or by using one of the  approved travel agencies or Concur.

Travelers may be exempt from paying the motor gross rental receipts tax when the vehicle is rented in Texas with any car rental agency, but they are not exempt from paying other taxes collected by the car rental agency.

To qualify for the exemption, the traveler must print a Motor Vehicle Rental Exemption Certificate prior to the trip and obtain their supervisor's signature in the Authorized person field. The remainder of the form, such as vehicle make, model and vehicle identification number is completed at the rental counter when picking up the vehicle.

If the traveler fails to provide this certificate, they may not be reimbursed for the motor gross rental receipts taxes charged. However, if the traveler provides the signed certificate to the car rental agency and the car rental agency does not honor it, the traveler may be reimbursed when submitting the TRS form.

Reimbursable expenses may include:

  • GPS Navigation System
  • Gas fill-up service
  • Insurance charges (for non-State contracted rentals only): UTSA travelers must accept Collision Damage Waivers (CDW) and liability insurance products when using a non-State contracted rental agency.
  • Additional driver charges: The additional driver must also be a UTSA employee and the reason for charge must be business-related.

The following expenses related to a rental vehicle are not reimbursable:

  • Failure to use the approved car rental agencies
  • Expenses incurred for personal use of the rental vehicle, including fuel expenses.
  • Insurance charges (for State contracted rentals only): UTSA travelers must waive Liability and Loss/Damage Waiver (LDW) insurance as State-contracted rental car costs include these products in the base rate.
  • Additional driver costs, if the additional driver is not a UTSA employee.

The traveler must submit an original/e-receipt to be eligible for reimbursement. The receipt must include:

  • The name of the approved car rental company
  • The name of the employee renting the vehicle: If the employee is not listed as the renter, the employee may be required to submit a statement attesting that the expense was incurred for UTSA business.
  • The starting and ending dates of the rental
  • An itemization of expenses incurred
  • Proof of payment

NOTE: Receipts may not be altered, unless altered by the rental agency.
If an original receipt cannot be provided, the traveler may provide a cancelled check, credit card slip or credit card statement that reflects the rental charges.

4. Mass Transit, Taxi or Limousine

Travelers are eligible for reimbursement for the actual cost of transportation by bus, taxi, subway, train or other commercial transportation company, including appropriate tips, if related to official UTSA business. Documentation should accompany the request for travel reimbursement.

The cost of a limousine when shared by travelers is allowed when conducting UTSA business only if the cost incurred is less than the most cost effective transportation.

If a taxi or limousine is shared by two or more UTSA travelers, then only the traveler who paid for the transportation may be reimbursed for that expense.

UTSA travelers are also entitled to be reimbursed for the cost of other modes of transportation if incurred to conduct UTSA business.

Examples of other modes of transportation include, but are not limited to ferry or water taxi.

Travelers must submit an original/e-receipt to be eligible for reimbursement.

5. Commercial Air

Travelers are entitled to be reimbursed for the actual cost of commercial air transportation incurred to conduct UTSA business when purchased through CTP,  ATI or Concur to book airfare.

Travelers may use any airline, but are encouraged to take advantage of the additional UT System discounts negotiated with American, United, Southwest and JetBlue.

Purchase of state fares and UT System negotiated discounted  fares requires the use of the state issued Corporate Liability Individual Billed Account (CLIBA) card or Travel Advance Card (TAC).  Failure to use the State issued CLIBA card or TAC may result in delayed reservations or additional fees imposed by the airlines.

In addition to airfare, additional fees assessed by the airline may be reimbursed, such as baggage charges; however, the fees must be business-related and charged to the traveling employee. All other fees must be business related and charged under the traveling employee’s name.

Travelers must provide an original receipt to be eligible for reimbursement. The receipt must include:

  • Name of the employee

  • Airline

  • Ticket Number

  • Confirmation number

  • Class of transportation/Fare basis code, if applicable

  • Travel dates

  • Fare total

  • Origin and destination of each flight must be included on the receipt.

  • Method of payment

If the airline ticket is purchased online, the employee must submit a receipt that reflects the information listed above, an itinerary print-out is not acceptable.

If the airline ticket is purchased with a CLIBA card, TAC or personal credit card, the traveler may provide a copy of the credit card statement in lieu of an original receipt. The credit card statement must include the information above.

6. Tolls

Reimbursement for tolls paid by a UTSA employee while traveling in a personally owned, leased, rented, or state owned vehicle are allowable if for official UTSA business.

Travelers are not required to submit an original receipt; however, the expense must be documented on TRS form.

7. Aircraft Charter

Per Board of Regents policy, any leased or chartered aircraft will be used only in the conduct of official State business and in compliance with the travel regulations contained in Section 2205.001 et seq., Texas Government Code and any other laws applicable to the use of state-owned or leased aircraft.

All use of chartered aircraft must be authorized through established contracting procedures and approved by the Vice President of Business Affairs or the Associate Vice President for Administration to assure compliance with reporting requirements.

UTSA will not reimburse a traveler for use of the traveler's privately owned aircraft even if used for official university travel.

H. Meals and Incidental Expenses (M&IE)

Travelers are entitled to be reimbursed for the GSA per diem reimbursement rate for overnight travel, even if the entire amount is not used.

The GSA per diem reimbursement rate differs for the first and last calendar day of travel. See Reimbursement Rates for more information.

NOTE: Incidentals covered by the M&IE per diem rate total $5 and are intended to include tips given to porters, baggage carriers, bellhops, hotel maids, etc.

If the traveler is attending a conference, seminar or workshop that includes meals, then a department may reduce the amount of the per diem reimbursement rate. See Department Authorized (Lower) Rates for more information.

Travelers are not required to provide meal receipts for reimbursement as long as the per diem is not exceeded (includes domestic and international (foreign) travel destinations). If the per diem rate is exceeded, then the traveler must submit original receipts.

NOTE: If the receipt contains an amount that is listed in foreign currency, see Foreign Currency Receipts for more information.

I. Lodging

Travelers are entitled to be reimbursed for actual lodging expenses – up to the per diem reimbursement rate for their travel destination - when traveling on official business as long as the expense is incurred at a commercial lodging establishment.

If the lodging expense exceeds the per diem reimbursement rate, then the traveler must substantiate the reason for the higher rate. See Lodging Rate Increases for more information.

Lodging expenses incurred the night before official business has started and the night after official business has ended is reimbursable.

The traveler must provide an original receipt to be eligible for reimbursement. The receipt must include:

  • The name and address of the commercial lodging establishment, and

  • The name of the employee, and

  • The single room rate, and

  • A daily itemization of the lodging charges, and

  • Proof of payment.

If an original lodging receipt is unavailable, a canceled check, credit card slip used to pay the lodging expense or a credit card billing statement may be provided when submitting the reimbursement request.

1. Contract Hotels

UTSA strongly encourages (but does not require) travelers to use State contracted hotels. Travelers may make hotel reservations by contacting the hotel directly, making reservations online at the hotel website,  or using the approved travel agencies. 

For more information, see the Texas State Comptroller – Hotel Directory Listing.

2. Shared Lodging

When at least two travelers share and pay for lodging expenses, each traveler will be reimbursed for their share of the expense, up to the maximum daily lodging reimbursement rate.

If the lodging expense is paid for by only one of the travelers, then the non-paying traveler's name and RTA number must be referenced on the TRS form.

3. Lodging Rate Increases

Travelers may be reimbursed for lodging expenses that exceed the per diem reimbursement rate for the travel destination if one of the following reasons exists:

  • Conference Hotel.

  • Recommended Hotel.

  • Safe lodging is not available for less than or equal to the maximum lodging reimbursement rate.

  • Decrease total cost of travel.

  • Other business reasons, such as car rental and parking, will be avoided that will result in a decreased total cost of travel.

  • Other business reason. The traveler must document all relevant circumstances.

If the lodging expense is paid from state funds (14-account), the traveler must detail the costs that are avoided, such as car rental or parking, as a result of staying at the lodging establishment.

Lodging rate increase requests must be approved by the traveler's supervisor in advance of travel with the RTA and when settling travel expenses via a TRS form, or when requesting a travel advance.

4. Related Taxes

UTSA travelers are exempt from paying the hotel occupancy tax when traveling in Texas ; however, they are not exempt from paying county, municipal, or other tax collected by a commercial lodging establishment unless an exception applies. To qualify for the exemption, the employee must present a completed Texas Hotel Occupancy Tax Exemption Certificate upon check-in.

If the traveler fails to provide the completed certificate to the commercial lodging establishment, they may not be reimbursed for the hotel occupancy taxes charged. However, if the traveler provides the completed certificate to the commercial lodging establishment and the commercial lodging establishment does not honor it, the traveler may be reimbursed when submitting the TRS form.

NOTE: Travelers who experience this latter situation must report the lodging establishment to the State Comptroller's Office.

5. Recalculating Hotel Taxes – State Funds Only (14-accounts)

If the lodging expense is greater than the maximum lodging reimbursement rate and the lodging rate increase is not approved, the traveler must ensure the hotel occupancy tax and similar taxes are also adjusted (in addition to the adjusted lodging expense) when submitting the reimbursement request.

J. Conference, Seminar, Workshop or Training Courses

Travelers may be reimbursed for registration fees for attending a conference, seminar, workshop or training course. Reimbursement must be associated with an approved RTA.

Travelers must submit an original receipt as proof of payment.

K. Other Expenses

Travelers may be reimbursed for other expenses associated with official business travel.

Some examples of other expenses include, but are not limited to:

  • Shipping charges for materials used for official business (example, FedEx, UPS)

  • Fees associated with placing or receiving official business related telephone calls

  • Internet usage fees

  • Business supplies/materials

Travelers must submit an original receipt to be eligible for reimbursement.

L. Travelers with Disabilities

Disabled travelers may be reimbursed for attendant care expenses for travel if such care is deemed medically necessary by a licensed physician. The attendant's travel expenses are subject to the same rules as a traveler.

A single reimbursement request may be submitted to cover the expenses incurred by one or more attendants.

The following conditions must be met for such reimbursement:

  • The expenses must be charged to the Texas Identification Number (TIN) of each disabled traveler who incurred the expenses, and each traveler must be listed on a separate detail line.

  • The TIN and name of the attendant payee must be listed on the address line.

  • The supporting documentation must include documentation for each expense that will be paid or reimbursed.

  • If a state agency uses an applicable federal law or regulation as authority to reimburse a travel expense, then the supporting documentation for the reimbursement must include the agency ADA coordinator's written determination that the law or regulation requires the reimbursement. The document must contain the signature of the coordinator.

Travelers must specify the reason for the charges when completing the TRS form and must attach the physician's determination.

Additional charges incurred to assist a disabled traveler, such as tips and transportation expenses are also reimbursable. Travelers must attach an original receipt as proof of the charge when submitting the reimbursement request.

M. Prospective Employees/Students and Consultants

Prospective employees/students and consultants may be reimbursed for the actual cost of meals and lodging - not to exceed the GSA per diem rate for San Antonio - and appropriate transportation expenses.

If UTSA is making the travel arrangements or using a CLIBA card, then use of the travel agencies and car rental agencies is required. 

Prospective employees, prospective students or consultants  who are making their own travel arrangements and paying for airfare or car rental expenses out of pocket may use the travel agency, car rental agency or on-line reservation tool of their choice.

NOTE: If the lodging per diem rate is exceeded, see Lodging Rate Increases for more information.

The TRS form must list the title of the position that the perspective state employee was interviewed or evaluated. The original recipt must also be attached to the TRS form.

N. Student Athletic Team and Student Group Travel

UTSA athletic travel and student group travel are not required to use the mandated travel and car rental agencies, although they must adhere to the other travel reimbursement requirements.

If the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) allows an athletic team to incur travel expenses not normally allowed for other University travelers, the Athletic Director or designee is responsible for compliance with NCAA regulations. When such expenses are included in a travel reimbursement, Athletic Director or designee signature certifies compliance.

Athletic and student group travel related expenses must be substantiated by attaching a list of student names that traveled, or a copy of the Student Travel: Request for Authorization form for each traveling student to the Travel Reimbursement Packet. The log sheet should include each traveler's name, amount received and the traveler's signature, which certifies the expense.

O. Reconciliation and Settlement

Travelers must settle travel related expenses within 30 days after returning from travel via a properly executed TRS form.

NOTE: If travel expenses are paid using a TAC and/or CLIBA card, then the travel card must be paid in full by the internal due date (20th of each month), even if the traveler has not returned from their trip. See How to Make a Payment, a section of the Travel Cards FMOG for details.

1. Funds Owed to the Traveler (travel reimbursement)

If travel expenses are paid by the traveler (out of pocket), the department must process a Travel Payment Voucher (VP5) in DEFINE to reimburse the traveler, except for travelers that are also issued a TAC. Travelers issued a TAC to pay for any travel expenses will be reimbursed by DTS upon receipt of the TRS form.

Travelers who fail to use the required travel agencies and car rental agencies are subject to the consequences listed in Section Q, Exceptions and Non-Compliance.

The traveler must select one of the following reimbursement payment methods when completing the TRS form:

  • Direct deposit: Authorization agreement must be on file with DTS. Travelers must complete a Direct Deposit – Non-Payroll form to setup or make changes to an existing direct deposit authorization.

    NOTE: DTS encourages reimbursements be issued via direct deposit. See the Vendor Address by Name Order (GG3) or Vendor Address by EID (GG4) DEFINE screens to determine whether the traveler is currently setup for direct deposit. Contact DTS for details.

  • Check: DTS strongly encourages travelers to setup direct deposit for travel reimbursements. If selecting payment by check, the traveler must select the check delivery method:
    • In-person: Traveler must select pickup location – DTS or any Fiscal Services office. Traveler must present a valid photo ID upon pickup. A proxy may pick up a check; however, the proxy is required to present a valid photo ID and sign for receipt of the check on behalf of the traveler.
    • Mail: Traveler must select mailing destination. The check may be mailed to the traveler's address on file (UT Direct) via U.S. mail, or to the traveler’s department via campus mail.
2. Funds Owed to UTSA (excess travel advance funds)

Travelers must return excess travel advance funds to UTSA, except for meal expenses less than the GSA per diem rate. For more information, see Excess Travel Advance Funds, a section of the Travel Advances FMOG.

P. Travel Reimbursement Packet

1. TRS Form
 

This form must be completed for each trip, even if the trip includes multiple destinations.

NOTE: For procedures to complete the TRS form see the How to Complete the TRS form presentation.

If seeking reimbursement for out of pocket expenses, a VP5 must be completed and approved in DEFINE before completing this form.

The form contains the following sections that must be completed:

NOTE: You may click on a link to navigate directly to that section.

Section 1 – Traveler Information

    • Enter the preparer's name and phone number. The Today's Date field pre-fills the current date.

    • Enter the traveler's name, email address, job title, department name, UT EID and phone number; then select the traveler type from the drop-down menu.

      NOTE: If the traveler is a prospective employee, enter the title of the position for which they interviewed or evaluated for in the Job Title field and attach original receipts.

    • If a travel advance was issued for the benefit of a student:

      • Enter the name and contact information for the Student Advance Responsible Party.

      • Select the Student Advance Responsible Party traveler type option. A row appears.

      • Enter the student's full name (separate multiple student names with commas) and select the Add Student Name(s) button, if necessary.

Section 2 – Trip Information

    1. Enter the 8-digit RTA and 11-digit document ID number.

    2. Select the business purpose.

      NOTE: If selecting Other from the Business Purpose drop-down, you must describe the business purpose in the Comments field.

Section 3 – Expenses

    1. Select the checkbox for each expense type to be reconciled/reimbursed.

    2. If selecting Meals (M&IE), select the Domestic checkbox (if the destination city is in the U.S, including Alaska, Hawaii and U.S. territories and possessions), enter the destination name, GSA per diem rate and total number of business days. The M&IE TOTAL field calculates the total reimbursement for meals.

    3. If the total amount to be reimbursed to the traveler is different from the amount in the GSA Reimbursement field, you must enter it in the Department Reimbursement field. The Comments field may be used for department reference only.

      NOTE: If this amount is greater than the amount that appears in the GSA Reimbursement Total field, then you must attach original receipts when submitting this form.

    4. If the trip includes multiple destinations, click the Add Destination button to add another destination.

    5. Enter the account number to be charged for this expense. If charging multiple accounts, click the Add Account button to add an additional account and amount.

      NOTE: The Account Total field must equal the amount listed in the M&IE TOTAL field.

    6. If selecting Lodging, enter the GSA per diem rate for the travel destination, room rate, hotel name, total room charge and total hotel taxes. The Total Hotel Cost field calculates the sum of the Total Room Charge and Total Hotel Tax. The LODGING SUBTOTAL field calculates the total reimbursement for lodging.

      NOTE: Taxes may include city, county, local and/or state tax.

      1. If the room rate is greater than the GSA rate, the Room Rate Increase section appears. Enter the total number of nights the (higher) room rate was charged in the Total # of Nights field.

        NOTE: The Rate Difference field pre-fills the difference between the GSA Rate and the Room Rate.

      2. Select the reason for the additional hotel cost(s) from the drop-down menu.

      3. If this expense is paid from state funds (14-accounts), select the checkbox. The State Funds Cost Itemization section appears.

        • Select the cost type and enter the amount of the potential cost that was avoided as a result of staying at the applicable lodging establishment.

        • If selecting Other, then you must enter an explanation in the Comments field.

    7. If selecting Mileage, select the date your personal vehicle was used for business travel outside of Bexar County. The Rate Per Mile field pre-fills with the reimbursement rate as of the date that is selected.

      NOTE: You must select the date from the calendar drop-down menu.

        1. a. Enter the city and state in the Traveled From and Traveled To fields.

          b. Enter the total number of miles (as verified via MapQuest®) in the Total Miles field. See Mileage Rate for Personal Vehicle Use for more information. The Total field calculates total number of miles and multiplies it by the rate per mile.

          c. If this route includes a return trip that is of equal distance, select the Round Trip checkbox.

          d. Select the Add Route button to enter additional routes completed for business travel during this trip.

          e. Enter the account number to be charged for this expense. If charging multiple accounts, click the Add Account button to add an additional account and amount.

          NOTE: The Account Total field must equal the amount listed in the MILEAGE TOTAL field.

    8. If selecting Transportation/Other, select the appropriate expense type from the drop-down menu, enter the total expense and comments (optional).

          a. If you are requesting reimbursement for additional charges associated with a car rental, such as a GPS Navigation System or a gas fill-up service, select the Other expense type option.

          b. If you are requesting reimbursement for additional charges associated with airfare, such as a baggage fees, select the Other expense option.

          c. Select the Add Expense button to enter additional expenses.

          d. Enter the account number that will be charged for this expense. If charging multiple accounts, click the Add Account button to add an additional account number and the total amount – by expense type.

          NOTE: The Account Total field must equal the amount listed in the TRANS/OTHER TOTAL field.

    9. If selecting Student Athletics Team/Group Travel, enter the account number to be charged and the amount of each expense. If entering an amount in the Other field, enter a description for the expense in the Comments field.

SECTION 4 – Settlement

    1. The TRIP TOTAL field calculates the sum of all expenses that to be reimbursed to the traveler.

    2. If travel expenses are paid by with any of UTSA's payment methods – not including out-of-pocket – select the Less UTSA Payment Method checkbox to subtract from the amount to be reimbursed to the traveler.

          a. Select the payment method from the drop-down menu.

          b. If selecting CLIBA Card, enter the document ID for the credit card payment (if available) and the last 6-digits of the card number.

          c. If selecting Travel Advance Card (TAC), enter the Travel Advance (TA) number (if available) and the last 6-digits of the card number.

          d. If selecting Travel Advance, enter the TA number (if available).

          e. If selecting Purchase Order (PO), enter the document ID for the payment.

          f. If selecting Other, enter the document ID (if applicable) and describe the payment.

          g. Enter the amount. This amount is subtracted from the TRIP TOTAL and the result appears in the Amount Owed to Traveler field.

        1. Click the Add UTSA Payment button to deduct additional amounts paid with any of UTSA's travel payment methods.

Section 5 - Certification

    1. Traveler: Traveler must certify that all expenses are true and correct. If requesting reimbursement, the traveler must also certify the expenses have been paid.

    2. Account Administrator/Supervisor Approval: Must be signed by an authorized individual as follows:

      • Account Administrator/Authorized Signer: An individual who has authority over the budget group used to charge the travel expenses. This individual is responsible for ensuring that travel expenses conform to the requirements of this guideline. If the Account Administrator chooses to delegate authority to sign this form, then the delegate must be at the level of Assistant/Associate Dean, Assistant/Associate VP or higher.

        NOTE: Authorized signers cannot delegate signing authority.

      • Supervisor: The traveler's immediate supervisor must sign if the traveler is also the account administrator or an authorized signer.

    3. If Research Service Center (RSC) approval is required (expenses charged to 26-accounts), select the RSC Approval Required checkbox. The FOR RSC OFFICE USE ONLY section appears.

Once completed, you must attach the supporting documentation. See Assembling the Travel Reimbursement Packet for more information.

2. Supporting Documentation

When required, an original merchant receipt is the primary form of supporting documentation that must be submitted with reimbursement requests.

Receipts must prove the expense was paid for by the traveler and should include the following items:

  • Date of purchase/sale date: Date must match the travel dates.

  • Sale amount in U.S. dollars: See Foreign Currency Receipts for receipts whose sale amount is listed in foreign currency.

  • Proof of payment: In the form of a credit card, cash, etc.

  • Traveler name, when applicable: This may appear, for example, if the item was purchased with a credit card.

    NOTE: If someone other than the traveler paid for an expense, and that individual's name appears on the original receipt, DTS may require that individual submit a written statement (email printout is sufficient) confirming the expense was reimbursed by the traveler.

Receipts for commercial airline, rental vehicle and lodging expenses may require additional information to be eligible for reimbursement.

In addition, the following documents may also be required when submitting a travel reimbursement request:

  • Statement confirming an expense was reimbursed by the traveler: Submitted when an original receipt identifies someone other than the traveler as the purchaser. That individual must submit a statement (email printout is sufficient) attesting to the reimbursement of those funds by the traveler in order for the traveler to be reimbursed.

  • Declaration of Missing Evidence form: Submitted when an original receipt cannot be provided.

    NOTE: One form may be completed per trip, even if more than one receipt is unavailable. Do not submit a form for each missing receipt.

  • Bank, credit card or other statement that reflects actual expense incurred.

  • Name(s) of traveling students, or copy of the Student Travel: Request for Authorization form for each traveling student. See Student Athletic Team and Student Group Travel for more information.

3. Documentation Retained by Departments/Colleges

The following documentation should not be submitted to DTS, however, departments may choose to retain in their department files:

  • DEFINE screen printouts

  • GSA Per Diem Rate website screen printouts

  • Event brochures/website printouts

  • Lodging establishment website printouts reflecting rates

  • Oanda® currency conversion website printouts

  • Mileage/Parking Log for Travel Reimbursement (if applicable, see Mileage Rate for Personal Vehicle Use for more information).

NOTE: The following forms are obsolete and no longer used:

  • Local Funds Travel Voucher

  • Voucher Payment Cover Sheet

  • Lodging Rate Increase Form

4. Foreign Currency Receipts

Travelers may receive a receipt with an amount that is listed in foreign currency. If the U.S. dollar (USD) equivalent and exchange rate is not listed on the receipt, then the traveler must obtain these items prior to submitting a reimbursement request.

Obtaining the USD equivalent for the actual expense incurred depends on the source of payment made by the traveler. If the item/service was purchased with:

Credit card or debit card: Obtain the applicable bank, credit card or other statement that reflects the exchange rate and USD equivalent.

Cash: Obtain the total USD equivalent for each expense type (i.e. meals, lodging, gas) from the OANDA Average Exchange Rate website.

        a. Enter the expense type total in the Convert amount field.

        b. Select the applicable time period from the Duration drop-down field.

        • If you are traveling for less than four weeks, select Weekly.
        • If you are traveling from one to three months, select Monthly.
        • If you traveling from three to 12 months, select Quarterly.
        • If you are traveling for 12 months or longer, contact DTS for assistance.

        NOTE: Exceptions to these conversion methods must be approved by DTS.

        c. Select the travel start month in the Starting Date field.

        d. Select the travel ending month in the Ending Date field.

        e. Select the travel destination currency type from the Base Currency list.

        f. Select US Dollar, USD from the Quote currencies list.

        g. Click Get Table. The Average Exchange Rates table appears.

        h. Obtain the total USD amount from the appropriate bid column.

5. Assembling the Travel Reimbursement Packet

Travelers must assemble travel reimbursement documentation prior to sending it to DTS for processing. The Travel Reimbursement Packet includes the TRS Form and supporting documentation, including original receipts.

NOTE: The traveler's name should be included on the top of each sheet.

Supporting documentation, including receipts when required, should be organized in chronological order and by expense type. If a receipt is smaller than 8.5 X 11 inches, you may tape multiple receipts to a blank sheet of 8.5 X 11 inch paper. The tape should only be placed at the top of the receipt to facilitate document imaging by DTS.

EXAMPLE:

    1. TRS form (COVER)

    2. Lodging expenses

      • Hotel A receipt from 01/01/11 - 01/02/11

      • Hotel B receipt from 01/02/11 – 01/03/11

    3. Meals and Incidental Expenses (M&IE) – per day amount claimed should not exceed published per diem rates adjusted to 75% for the first and last day of travel. No receipts are necessary if only claiming per diem at published rates.

    4. Transportation expenses

      • Gas receipts for 01/04/11

      • Car rental receipt paid on 01/04/11

    5. Other expenses

Send the completed packet to the DTS office in-person or by campus mail for processing. Once received, reimbursement requests will be processed within 7-10 business days. Travelers and TRS form preparers will be contacted by DTS via email if there are any processing delays (i.e. missing or incomplete documentation or incorrect VP5 entries).

Reimbursements charged to a 26-account must indicate approval by the appropriate Research Service Center (RSC) either electronically in DEFINE  or in the documentation.

Q. Exceptions and Non-Compliance

1. Exceptions Authorized for Non-Use of Mandated Agencies
    1. Travel paid by an outside entity;
    2. Emergency situations (flood, hurricane, etc.);  or
    3. The contracted travel agency is unable to provide an airfare within $100 of a lower fare available from an alternate travel provider, with apples-to-apples comparison (this exception requires advance approval of the Assistant Controller or  Director of DTS.
      The traveler must contact the travel agency for a price comparison.  The traveler must document the travel agent name,   the travel agency contacted (CTP or ATI), the date, and the time in which they were contacted.  DTS will verify with the travel agency the pricing. If the exception is approved,  note exception approval received in the comments section of the TRS form. Failure to do this for the apples-to-apples comparison will result in non-compliance.
2. Non-Compliance Consequences

All travelers are required to use the approved travel agencies and car rental agencies. Failure to comply with this requirement will result in the following implications:

1st violation:   Management including Vice President will be notified. Traveler (and travel arranger – as relevant) will receive a reminder along with a copy of this guideline.  Attending a travel information training session will be encouraged.

2nd violation: Management including Vice President will be notified.  Traveler (and travel arranger – as relevant) will receive a second reminder. Prior to future travel, both traveler and travel arranger will be required to attend a travel training class (or attend again, as may be the case).  Traveler will be required to submit a memo to their Vice President explaining why approved agencies were not used.

Further Violations - Management including Vice President will be notified. Traveler will not be reimbursed for non-compliant trip expenses.  Traveler will be suspended from future travel until allowed by the Vice President. Multiple infractions (three or more) of this policy will be handled by the appropriate Vice President consistent with a progressive disciplinary process.


DEFINITIONS

Term Description

Commercial Lodging Establishment

 

A motel, hotel, inn, apartment, house or similar establishment that provides lodging to the public for pay; or a person or establishment that provides lodging for pay that the Comptroller determines to have a sufficient number of the characteristics of a commercial lodging establishment for the purposes of the Travel Regulations Act. Texas Government Code Section 660.002(5) The term includes lodging provided by: (1) a governmental entity on property controlled by that entity; or (2) a religious organization on property controlled by that organization; or (3) a private educational institution on property controlled by that institution.


Request for Travel Authorization (RTA)

Request for Travel Authorization (RTA) is completed in DEFINE and is used to authorize travel for employees, students and non-employees who are traveling for UTSA.


TexTravel

A website developed by the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts to provide information on state travel requirements applicable to state agencies and institutions of higher education.

 

REFERENCES/LINKS

RELATED FORMS/WORKSHEETS

  1. Declaration of Missing Evidence

  2. Direct Deposit - Non-Payroll

  3. Mileage/Parking Log for Travel Reimbursement

  4. Motor Vehicle Rental Exemption Certificate

  5. Travel Reimbursement/Settlement (TRS) Form


REVISION HISTORY

Date Description

01/06/2014

Updated Mileage Reimbursement Rates for 2014.

05/30/2013

Update UTSA Travel Reimbursement FMOG with new System-wide requirements.

01/03/2013

Updated table to reflect 0.565 cents per mile increase effective January 1, 2013. Updated links section with Travel Rate Change url and Travel Reimbursement URL to reflect change.

05/10/12

Removed 'prospective employees' from the Request for Travel Authorization (RTA) definition. An RTA is not required to authorize travel for this type of traveler.

04/02/12
  • Mileage Rate for Personal Vehicle Use – added a note to inform users that the TRS form automatically rounds the total number of miles to the nearest tenth to comply with format in DEFINE.

  • Completing the Travel Reimbursement/Settlement (TRS) Form

    • Added steps to complete if the Student Advance Responsible Party traveler type option is selected (located in section 1 – Traveler Information).

    • Modified steps to complete if any travel expenses were paid using any of UTSA's travel payment methods (located in section 4 – Settlement).

02/29/12

Updates published on 2/29/12 are effective immediately, however, Financial Affairs encourages users to submit comments and/or concerns regarding these updates to financialaffairs@utsa.edu within the next 60 days.

  • Modified the partial reimbursement requirement. Travelers should assure all travel costs have been included as partial reimbursements are generally not allowed.

  • Replaced references to Bexar County with 'traveler's designated headquarters' throughout FMOG to address employee's whose headquarters are outside of Bexar County, for example, employees that telecommute.

  • Explained why UTSA does not reimburse for meal expenses associated with non-overnight travel.

  • Added the Accessing the GSA Per Diem Rates Website subsection heading (under Reimbursement Rates section) to help users locate related information. No additional changes were made.

  • Added the Department Authorized (Lower) Rates subsection heading (under Reimbursement Rates) to help users locate related information. No additional changes were made.

  • Completed the following changes to the Rental Vehicles section:

    • Added instructions for completing the Motor Vehicle Exemption Certificate when renting a vehicle to conduct official UTSA business.

    • Clarified when insurance charges are reimbursable to the traveler, including instance when the traveler must accept insurance products.

  • Completed the following changes to the Commercial Air section:

    • Modified the receipt requirement for airline purchases.

    • Corrected the hyperlink to International S.O.S.

    • Added statement regarding additional reimbursable fees assessed by airlines.

  • Clarified that travelers are entitled to be reimbursed the GSA per diem reimbursement rate for meals (for overnight travel), even if the entire amount is not used.

  • Removed 'baggage charges' from the list of other types of reimbursable expenses as it has been added to the Commercial Air section.

  • Modified the document type to be included in the Travel Reimbursement Packet for athletic team and/or student group travel.

  • Added a note in Reconciliation and Settlement section to clarify that travel card payments must be paid in full by the established due date even if the traveler has not returned from their trip.

  • Added the Funds Owed to the Traveler subsection heading (under Reconciliation and Settlement section) to help users located related information and completed the following changes:

    • Explained when departments should process a Payment of Travel Request (VP5).

    • Added additional pick up locate for reimbursement checks.

    • Explained that reimbursement checks are only mailed to the traveler's address on file or to their department.

  • Added the Funds Owed to UTSA subsection heading (under Reconciliation and Settlement section) to help users located related information and included a link to the Travel Advance FMOG that provides more information.

  • Modified the Completing the Travel Reimbursement/Settlement (TRS) Form section to mirror changes made to form. Details are located in the How To Complete the Travel Reimbursement/Settlement (TRS) Form PowerPoint Presentation.

  • Added the How To Complete the Travel Reimbursement/Settlement (TRS) Form presentation to the REFERENCES/LINKS section.

02/20/12

08/17/11

  • Corrected the beginning travel date for the 50-cent mileage reimbursement rate from 01/01/10 to 09/01/10 to correspond with start of fiscal year 2010.

  • Clarified procedures for authorizing and approving chartered aircraft contracts. In addition to the Vice President of Business Affairs, the Associate Vice President for Administration may also approve chartered aircraft requests.

07/01/11


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