Guiding Principles


  • Faculty, staff, and student travel is necessary to support and enhance the university's mission
  • Travelers are expected to be, and believed to be, reasonable and prudent utilizing university resources for travel
  • Budget Authorities are accountable and responsible for appropriate use of university resources. Departments are free to create policies/limits that are more restrictive (but not less restrictive) than university-wide policies/limits
  • University processes related to travel reimbursements should not be overly onerous so as to negatively affect travelers (including guests, visitors, recruits, etc.)
  • Travel reimbursement processes should be clear, consistent, transparent, convenient, efficient, and compliant
  • Travel reimbursements are for business-related expenses only, not for personal expenses of the traveler or any traveling companions
Procedure - Guiding Principles

The Concur travel reimbursement process is used for the reimbursement of travel expenses of employees and students who travel as UO employees.  For Student Travel and Guest Travel, review the information contained in those sections of the UO travel website to determine how to correctly pay for expenses and/or process reimbursements.

A travel reimbursement cannot be filed before the trip is completed and should be filed in a reasonable period of time, generally within 60 days of the completion of travel, per IRS Accountable Plan guidelines. If the trip is exceptionally lengthy, interim filings may be permitted.

Procedure - Grant and Sponsored Travel

When traveling on sponsored project funds, please note that the award or sponsor may have travel requirements or limitations that are more restrictive than university travel policy.  Please be aware of any requirements or limitations for travel costs on your awards, and contact Sponsored Projects Services with questions.

Approval


Travel expenses will be reimbursed provided the trip and reimbursement request are approved by authorized campus personnel (generally the traveler's supervisor or designee). Travel authorizations may be oral or written. Blanket authorization for a series of trips may be approved. Employees whose duties require frequent or continuous travel are considered to have approval when travel is within the usual limits of their duties.

Procedure - Approval

UO Travelers must submit their expense reports as the claimant. Reports may not be submitted by a delegate or proxy.  A statement of approval must accompany a guest travel reimbursement.

Travelers cannot sign as department approval for their own travel and ideally the signature authority should be a supervisor of the traveler.  Signature authorities may delegate their authority but they retain the responsibility.

A Concur Processor or the travel office reviews for policy compliance and authorizes payment of the reimbursement.

Travel-expense Reimbursement Eligibility


[1] Employees

University of Oregon employees may be reimbursed for expenses incurred in connection with official travel.

Procedure - Employee Reimbursement

All travel reimbursements for employees must be processed in Concur.

[2] Employees on Leave

Travel expenses incurred during sabbatical leave may be paid/reimbursed when the travel was approved by Academic Affairs as part of the application for sabbatical leave. Payment/reimbursement for travel expenses while on other types of leave is warranted only in exceptional circumstances.

Procedure - Reimbursement for Employees on Leave

Travel expenses incurred during sabbatical leave may be paid/reimbursed when the travel was approved by Academic Affairs as part of the application for sabbatical leave. Payment/reimbursement for travel expenses while on other types of leave is warranted only in exceptional circumstances.

Sabbatical Travel Approval

[3] University of Oregon Board of Trustees Members and Unpaid Members of university Advisory Committees

University of Oregon Board of Trustees members and unpaid members (non-university personnel) of university advisory committees may be reimbursed for actual and reasonable expenses, including mileage and gratuity.

Procedure - Reimbursement for UO Board of Trustees Members and Unpaid Members of UO Advisory Committees

Reimbursement must be processed in Concur.  For information on gratuity limitations, see Per Diem guideline table.

[4] Prospective Employees

Travel expenses incurred in connection with prospective university employee interviews and recruitment are reimbursable when properly authorized.

Procedure - Reimbursement for Prospective Employees

All business expenses related to the prospective employee are considered job-hunting expenses to the prospective employee and may be reimbursed tax free with itemized receipts and are processed in Concur. Departments may pay third party service vendors directly (hotel, airline, taxi) on behalf of the interviewee without tax consequences. Expenses paid or reimbursed by the university for the spouse, dependent, or other individual accompanying the prospective employee may be taxable to the prospective employee. Requirements or limitations in specific contracts or grants may be applicable to interview travel. Contact the Provost, Vice President or Dean for your area.

Candidate travel worksheet: “ Bringing interviewees and new hires to campus”

[5] New Employees

New employees may be reimbursed for travel and moving expenses as approved by the hiring authority and in accordance with Fiscal Policy Manual 66.200, Moving Expenses Policy.

Procedure - Reimbursement for New Employees

Moving and relocation reimbursements are processed in Concur using the Relocation expense types, coded to 10780.  Employees hired to teach on a Temporary Assignment (less than nine months/39 weeks) and who do not qualify for moving expense reimbursement may be reimbursed for round trip transportation with a taxable payroll stipend.

[6] Students

Students who travel as employees or officially-designated representatives of the university may be reimbursed for travel expenses.

Procedure - Reimbursement for Students
  • UO Student Aid Participant Support payments are processed as a Banner invoice. Use account codes 55105 or 55108.

    Participant Support Information Decision Guide

    The participant support account code guidance document from Sponsored Project Services (SPS) suggests using account code 55105 for post doc travel which is also paid as an invoice in banner. Participant Support guidance for grant funds. You can create a document trail by using the check request or disbursement request form found on Accounts Payable forms tab.
     

  • Non UO Participant Support payments use account code 286xx and must be processed in Concur.  Receipts are required.
     
  • UO Student Business Travel: A student who travels as an employee or officially designated representative of the university.  Travel reimbursement is processed in Concur as business travel; Traveler Type is Staff.

[7] Non-Employees/Volunteer Workers/Independent Contractors

Individuals not listed above may only be reimbursed for travel expenses incurred in conjunction with providing a service to campus through a formal or informal contractual relationship.

Procedure - Reimbursement for Non-Employee/Volunteer Workers/Independent Contractors, including International Visitors

For reimbursement information, please see Guest Travel

Travel-expense Payment


Travel expenses may be paid either by reimbursement to the traveler or direct payment to a provider/merchant (e.g., airline ticket through a contract agency, direct billing from hotel).

Requests to reimburse travel expenses must be made via the campus travel reimbursement process. Requests for reimbursement must be accompanied by receipts, when required. Direct payments/reimbursements from the University of Oregon Foundation are subject to that organization's policies and processes.

Cash advance funds may be requested from and approved by Business Affairs.

When employees travel together, it may be expedient for one employee to pay and claim reimbursement for certain expenses of other employees. Reimbursement for multiple employees is only allowed when actual expenses are being reimbursed and are supported by receipts. Deductions are made from the per diem amounts for employees involved.

Procedure - How to Make a Payment - A/P Set Up, Employees Traveling Together, Paying Vendors and Independent Contractors

For Guests, Independent Contractors, Bona fide Volunteers and International , please see Guest Travel

UO Employees and students may need to be activated through Accounts Payable to be reimbursed for travel expenses. Non employees must be set up as a vendor through Accounts Payable. A/P Vendor set up

Requests to reimburse travel expenses must be made in Concur. Reimbursement is made only after travel is complete. Reimbursements must be accompanied by itemized receipts showing payment of the expense, when required.

Employees Traveling Together: A traveler may not claim per diem for another UO employee.

  • Meals: A traveler may be reimbursed for another UO employee's meals with an itemized receipt showing payment.  The maximum allowable reimbursable amount is limited to actual expense, up to the allowable meal per diem rate.  Use the Group Meal expense type.

  • Hotels: A traveler can be reimbursed for someone else's lodging with business purpose and a receipt providing proof they incurred the expense.

Vendors/Merchants/Providers: Direct payments to provider/merchant (hotel, taxi) are processed as an invoice in Banner using a travel account code. Commonly used Travel Account Codes. UO Travel policy and GSA per diem limits apply.

 

Procedure - Conferences/Meetings

Reimbursements must include a copy of the conference/meeting brochure, email, or letter of invitation showing the location, dates of the conference/meeting, and agenda. The IRS states that the convention/conference/meeting agenda or program generally substantiates the purpose of the conference/meeting and that attendance at the conference/meeting benefits the individual's official duties and responsibilities of their position and helps document the travel expense. If this is not obvious, state the benefit or role.  (Agenda examples:  Agenda at a glance, electronic schedule showing traveler's personal schedule, program pages marked with sessions attended.)

Applicable meal per diem may not be claimed if a meal is provided and consumed as part of a hosted function (e.g., a conference registration fee includes a meal). Banquets or special meals served at conferences that are in excess of the per diem are an allowable expense and are coded to expense type: Registration Fees. For reimbursement, documentation such as the brochure or registration form must be provided verifying the meal expense, with a receipt showing payment. For travel day meal reimbursement, see additional information under MEAL AND INCIDENTAL EXPENSES

Conference Lodging:  Exceptions to standard lodging per diem may be provided for conferences & meetings. Lodging may be reimbursed at actual and reasonable cost with appropriate documentation such as a conference brochure/website that shows all of the following:

  • Assigned conference hotel(s), and
  • Lodging rate assigned to the conference, and
  • Lodging receipt that shows the amount paid.

Conference Registration:  Conference registration fees are normally paid in advance by a departmental PCard. However, if the fee is paid by the individual, reimbursement may be claimed only after travel is complete and may be included in the travel reimbursement. Documentation for registration fees may include conference brochure and/or registration forms identifying the applicable costs and a receipt showing payment. In Concur, use expense type: Registration fees. Commonly used Travel Account Codes.

Conference Social and Recreational Activities: Social/recreational activities associated with a business conference are usually not reimbursable or payable. If you think a social activity is applicable and should be reimbursed, write a justification and submit it with the reimbursement.

Procedure - Receipts

When required, itemized receipts showing payment must be provided. Credit card receipts/statements or bank statements are seldom accepted for reimbursement since they normally do not describe the detail of the expense. Check copies are not accepted. Receipts in a foreign language and currency:  Please have your traveler provide the detail of the receipt in English including date of expense, vendor, what was purchased.  Use the Concur currency conversion tool or the traveler may provide a credit card statement to claim the actual currency conversion.

Receipts for Airfare must have the following elements:

  • Passenger name
  • Detailed itinerary
  • Ticket number
  • Payment information

Itemized Hotel receipts are required and must show the following:

  • Traveler's name (or names)
  • Date(s) occupied
  • Itemization of Charges
  • Settlement in Full

Itemized receipts are required for the following:

  • Airfare/Train/Bus (such as Amtrak and Greyhound)
  • Airline Baggage fees $25.00 and over
  • ATM Fees
  • Banquet or conference meals over the per diem
  • Car Rental
  • Conference Registration
  • Expenses for other people
  • Expenses for supplies e.g. paper, books, supplies, etc.
  • Film or Theatre admission fees when related to business
  • Foreign transaction/currency exchange fees
  • Internet for business $25 and over per use
  • Lodging
  • Miscellaneous travel expenses $25.00 and over
  • Museum admission fees when related to business
  • Parking $25.00 and over
  • Phone Calls $25.00 and over per phone call
  • Printing and copies
  • Taxi, Shuttle, Limos, Inner City Rail, or Bus  $75.00 and over
  • Visa and Passport expenses
Procedure - Overpayment

If an overpayment occurs on a travel reimbursement, repayment must be made within 120 days of overpayment as per IRS Accountable Plan. A check for the overpayment, issued to the University of Oregon is given to the department travel coordinator or business manager. Check is deposited to the index from which it was paid and a copy of the deposit slip is uploaded to the expense report in Concur along with an explanation.

Procedure - Options for Travel Funds - One Card Corporate Travel Visa Card

US Bank One Card corporate card application form

US Bank One Card corporate card application form  instructions

UO employees who travel for university business may apply for the UO One Card corporate Visa card for convenience, security and flexibility when paying for business travel expenses.   This is a corporate bill/corporate pay card and carries no personal liability to the cardholder.

Processing expenses in Concur:  Reimbursable travel expenses charged to the One Card are paid by the university; the traveler is responsible to reconcile all expenses through a Concur travel expense report.  You must wait for the One Card expense to appear in the Concur profile to process the report which may take up to one week from the transaction date.  The card is only for reimbursable travel expenses and cannot be used for any personal expenses or cash advances.  Travelers claim meal per diem per UO policy, not actual meal expense.  If a meal is charged to the card, it is marked using Expense Type: Personal/UO Card/Non Reimbursable and will be deducted from the reimbursement.

  • Eligibility: Applicant must be a UO employee with at least .5 Full Time Employment (FTE) and forecast pay. The application is on  forms.uoregon.edu, under Business Affairs/Travel.  You must electronically sign the agreement and be approved by a department budget authority.  The travel office will review your application and will submit to US Bank. We will alert when your card arrives (about 5-10 business days).  It will be available for you to sign for and pick up at the Travel Office at TUC - Thompson University Center.  As a UO business traveler you will remain eligible for the card as long as you remain a UO employee, reconcile charges promptly and use the card according to the One Card agreement. If your employment with UO is terminated for any reason, you will need to relinquish your card immediately.
  • Insurance: Insurance coverage is provided by the Central Travel System (CTS) and covers $500,000 for death and lower amounts for dismemberment, and $1,500 lost luggage in addition to airline payment. Oregon worker's compensation covers employees on the job (ORS 656.204). Death benefits vary depending on marital status, spouse working, number and ages of children, and salary. Disability coverage is also offered. Corporate Card Insurance
  • Lost or Stolen Cards: Cardholders are responsible for notifying U.S. Bank immediately by calling 1-800-344-5696 of any loss, theft, or unauthorized use of their card. Cardholders are also responsible for notifying the UO Program Administrator at 541-346-3158.
  • Card Activation: Upon receipt of your card, contact U.S. Bank at 1-800-344-5696 to activate the card. All cards are mailed inactive to prevent fraud. You will need to provide the UO tax id number in place of a Social Security number to activate, as well as the default mailing address:  (Go to the US Bank One Card button and view link for One Card Guidelines for this information.  Requires duckid for access)

Upon receipt of your card, please read all correspondence from U.S. Bank for a clear understanding of the corporate card program. If you have questions, call the program administrator at 541-346-3158 or travel@uoregon.edu

Procedure - Options for Travel Funds - Cash Advance

Cash Advance Promissory Note

Cash Advance Terms and Conditions

Cash Advances may be requested from and approved by Business Affairs within Concur under limited circumstances - primarily for employees traveling with student groups who pay for expenses and distribute meal per diem for students.  (Please call the Cash Advance administrator at 6-3158 for information and to have Cash Advance option activated in your Concur profile.) Transportation expenses such as airfare, train and personal vehicle mileage cannot be advanced.  Air and rail should be purchased through the UO TMCs (Travel Management Companies) or using the Concur booking tool and charged to the university credit card.   Infrequent travelers who only travel every few years may apply for the One Card Visa travel card for their individual travel expenses. 

  • Applicant must be a UO employee with an appointment percentage of .5 or greater. Student employees are not eligible.
  • Requests must provide the business purpose of travel and a detailed description of funds requested.
  • The minimum amount is $200 per person. Advances are issued for 80% of expected expenses. Exceptions may be considered when traveling with a student group or paying for expenses for others.
  • Advances cannot be issued to an employee with previous outstanding travel advance.
  • Late fines and billing charges may be assessed if the travel advance is not cleared by the due date.
  • If the advance is not paid back, a deduct will be placed on the employee's payroll check. When this happens, the employee will no longer be eligible to receive travel advances

How to request an advance:

1.  Contact the Concur Cash Advance administrator 6-3100 or travel@uoregon.edu. Cash Advances are requested as part of the Concur Pre-Travel Approval Request at least 7-10 days prior to travel.  Advances will be processed as a Direct Deposit; check Duckweb to see that you have Direct Deposit set up for Accounts Payable Direct Deposit (different from Payroll).  Go to Duckweb: Employee Information tab; Pay Information; Direct Deposit; Update Direct Deposit Allocation; and then check the Employee Reimbursement and Student Refund check box. The advance may include meals, lodging and miscellaneous expense items such as taxis or fuel.  The UO does not advance for air (use the UO TMCs or Concur booking tool) or private vehicle mileage.

2.  Cash Advance direct deposits are part of the Accounts Payable weekly payment processes.  Payments are deposited approximately one week prior to travel.

3.  A travel reimbursement must be submitted to clear your cash advance within the IRS 60 day guideline.  IRS guidance indicates advances must be cleared within 120 days of travel or the loan may be considered taxable. The reimbursement will be applied to the outstanding cash advance. If the reimbursement amount is greater than the advance, a payment will be issued for the difference. If the reimbursement amount is less than the advance, Concur will automatically create a receivable and a notification will be emailed and will include directions to pay the balance electronically in duckweb. 

Tax Treatment


The university reimburses for travel expenses under an IRS Accountable Plan and in accordance with IRS Publication 463 (Travel, Entertainment, Gift, and Car Expenses) and IRS Publication 519 (U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens). This includes the provision that expenses be accounted for within a reasonable period of time.

Reimbursement of travel expenses for temporary assignments (less than one year in duration) is generally not taxable to the employee. If the assignment is indefinite, the employee is considered to have moved to the new work location. Reimbursement of expenses for indefinite travel is generally taxable to the employee.

Procedure - IRS Accountable Plan

Reimbursements that follow IRS Accountable Plan are not taxable to the recipient. Reimbursements that do not follow IRS Accountable Plan rules are considered taxable/tax reportable income.

  • (1) Expenses must have a business purpose/connection that clearly defines benefit to the UO.
  • (2)Expenses must be adequately accounted for in a reasonable period of time, within 60 days of the completion of travel (provide an explanation if reimbursement exceeds 60 days); and
  • (3)Excess reimbursement or allowance must be returned within a reasonable period of time, defined by IRS as 120 days.

Adequate accounting is defined by the IRS as giving documentary evidence of the travel and expenses. An established per diem plan satisfies the adequate accounting requirements; consequently receipts are not required for meals. Receipts are required for lodging.

Documentary Evidence shows the expense amount, date, place, proof of purchase and essential character of the expense and may include itemized receipts showing payment, hotel folios, final car rental receipts, travel log or diary detailing daily business activities, and/or account book. Additional supporting evidence may include a mileage log, meal per diem log, conference agenda, workshop outline, registration information, a bank or credit card statement or a canceled check.

Procedure - Business Purpose

IRS defines business purpose as "Business purpose for the expense or the business benefit gained or expected to be gained". The business purpose needs to be descriptive enough to clearly demonstrate benefit to the UO. Details should include who traveled, what they did, why they traveled, and any details deemed important to explain the circumstances. Spell out acronyms.

Travelers can provide documentation to explain business purpose, e.g. email confirming appointment, conference or meeting agenda, grant abstract, etc.  When documentation is not available, travelers should provide a daily log to document a business purpose for all days for which expenses are claimed. The log should include dates, name(s) of the organization(s) involved; names and positions of individuals visited/consulted; places, monuments, or institutions visited; or other descriptions as appropriate. A description of the activity should be specific and mention for example, the research topic, paper title, etc., as appropriate.

Examples:

Inadequate Descriptions:

  • Attend Conference
  • Research Book
  • Collaboration
  • Meet with Colleagues

Adequate business purpose descriptions with additional notes to offer supporting details:

  • Attend and present at the Gatlinburg Conference on Research and Theory in Intellectual Disability. Conference is March 5-7 at Hotel Allegro in Chicago, IL. This is in support of xxx grant objectives. Two personal days at end of trip. Comparison airfare quote attached shows business only price is more than actual air expense.
  • Field trip to Mojave Desert to study vertebrate fossil sites. Research agenda, grant abstract attached.
  • In state mileage for fall term to attend events, board meetings and town hall meetings, meet with alumni, conduct student recruitment, and meet with marketing representatives and UO colleagues to discuss recruitment efforts. Specific trip details outlined in attached mileage log.

Students, Student Groups, And Teams


[1] Student Travel

University policy on Traffic, Parking and Vehicle Safety (former OAR 580-40-0030) provides guidelines regarding transportation of students in a state owned, leased or controlled vehicle.

[2] Travel Expenses of Others

A university employee, such as a coach, athletic director, or group leader, may pay for the travel expenses of the team or group members.

Procedure - Travel Expenses for Team or Group Members

When reimbursing a university employee such as a coach, athletic director or group leader for student or team expenses, keep non-employee travel expenses separate from those of employees. Provide a detailed itemization of each person's expenses. Include an itemized receipt for group or team meals. If no receipt is available, such as when individuals are provided cash to buy their own meals, a signature log listing each individual's name, their signature, and the amount disbursed is required.

Meal per diem signature log sample form

[3] One-Day Trips

Meal expenses for an athletic team or student group on a one-day trip may be reimbursed at actual cost (as opposed to per diem). An itemized receipt is required. University employees such as coaches, trainers, or group leaders who accompany and are responsible for the care, custody, or control of the team or group are also eligible for meal-expense reimbursement. The request for reimbursement must state that the expenses result from a trip by an athletic team or student group.

Procedure - One Day Group Meal Expenses

Reimbursement is for actual expense up to allowable GSA per diem.

Travel Paid By Outside Source


Outside entities may reimburse the campus, pay a service provider directly, or reimburse a university employee for travel expenses related to university business. The university will not pay or reimburse for any travel expenses that are also being paid by an outside source directly to the university employee.

Procedure - How to Process an Outside Source Payment

When an outside agency requests a university representative to deliver a presentation, the outside agency should provide and pay for the travel arrangements. Otherwise, the traveler should incur the expense and be reimbursed by the outside agency.

If an exception is required for the university to prepay the expense, use expense type "Airfare Paid by Outside source - A3103" (Misc. A/R) to set up a receivable. The UO department must issue an invoice to the outside entity to collect payment. The payment is deposited to A3103 to clear the receivable.

Miscellaneous Expenses


Necessary business-related travel expenses are normally reimbursed. Personal expenses are not reimbursed. The university establishes the definition of miscellaneous expenses. All miscellaneous expenses must be itemized.

Necessary miscellaneous business-related expenses are not reimbursed using a per diem; rather, if the traveler has incurred a miscellaneous business expense as outlined below, that expense is reimbursable at the actual cost.

Procedure - Receipts for miscellaneous expenses

Itemized receipts showing payment are required for reimbursement.  Optional tips and gratuities may be reimbursed up to the state standard of 15% of the expense, excluding taxes.

For a list of items for which receipts are required, please see Travel-Expense Payment, Procedure - Receipts 

[1] Checked Baggage

Up to two (2) standard-weight bags (standard weight as defined by the airline used)

Charges for the following may be reimbursed only when necessary for the business purpose and approved by authorized institution personnel (receipts required):

  • additional baggage (more than 2 bags)
  • overweight/oversize baggage

[2] Other Business Related Expenses Normally Reimbursed

  • Telephone
  • Fax
  • Internet
  • Postage
  • ATM cash advance fees
  • Materials and supplies purchased to meet an immediate business need
  • Visa and passport expenses
  • Parking
  • Tolls
  • Energy surcharge
Procedure - Additional miscellaneous expenses and non-reimbursable miscellaneous expenses

Additional miscellaneous expenses:

  • Printing and mailing
  • Vaccinations or medications required for foreign travel, not covered by UO or individual's health insurance (Submit to insurance for coverage first)

Non-reimbursable expenses include, but are not limited to:

  • Airline vouchers
  • Alcohol
  • Babysitting
  • Barbers/hairdressers
  • Clothing or toiletry items
  • Expenses incurred because the traveler was accompanied by a spouse, family members or pets
  • Expenses related to vacation or personal days taken before, during or after a business trip
  • Flight insurance
  • Frequent Flyer Miles (Travelers will not be reimbursed for airline tickets purchased, partially purchased or accommodations and upgrades obtained using frequent flyer miles)
  • Home to office travel
  • Hotel charges for early checkin or late check out unless with business purpose
  • Insurance - Car rental insurance except CDW/LDW
  • Insurance - Trip, Flight or Cancellation, except when approved by ORM
  • Interest on personal credit cards
  • Laundry on international travel (by definition included in daily international incidental allowance)
  • Lost baggage
  • Loss or theft of cash advance money
  • Loss or theft of personal funds or property
  • Luggage/briefcases
  • Magazines, newspapers, personal reading materials
  • Medical expenses while traveling, except when required for foreign travel
  • Mileage reimbursement on rented vehicles
  • Movies
  • No show charges for hotel or car service
  • Personal entertainment or sightseeing
  • Pet care
  • Recreational expenses
  • Sauna, massages, spa visits
  • Shoe Shines
  • Snacks
  • Souvenirs or personal gifts

Exceptions


Upon consideration of documented extenuating circumstances, exceptions to these policy provisions may be granted by the Vice President for Finance and Administration (VPFA) or designee.