Personal Business Conducted during Period of Travel
The University will not reimburse travelers for expenses which are inherently personal in nature. Expenses of a strictly personal nature, as well as any incremental travel costs incurred to conduct personal business during the course of a University business trip, are the responsibility of the traveler. For example, gas and mileage charges for out-of-the-way travel to visit friends or relatives are personal expenses. Such incremental expenses must be identified and deducted from the expense report.
IRS guidelines require that any amounts paid by an employer for spousal travel expenses be included in the employee’s W-2 as taxable wages. To avoid a tax reportable situation, it is the University’s policy that except on the infrequent occasions when attendance of a spouse at an event furthers the business interests of the University, expenses incurred for accompanying spouses are considered personal in nature and will not be reimbursable. Pre-authorization at the executive level is required, along with the stated business purpose.
Expenses incurred for lodging when an individual is not traveling away from home (local lodging) is considered personal. Under certain circumstances, local lodging may be deducted as ordinary and necessary expenses incurred for business purposes. This is determined based on receipt of all facts and circumstances and should be approved in advance by the Vice President for Business and Finance who will evaluate each stay according to the IRS guidelines.
Additional examples of miscellaneous reimbursable travel expenses:
- Business telephone calls - the use of a calling card or cell phone is recommended as it is generally more costly to place calls from the hotel rooms
- Fees for currency exchange
- Limited laundry and dry cleaning charges for trips of more than a week
- Airline travel insurance
- Amenities such as movies or video rentals, in-room mini-bar, massages, etc.
- Charges from failure to cancel hotel reservations or airline tickets
- Child care, baby-sitting or house-sitting costs
- Collision Damage Waiver Insurance on domestic vehicle rentals (unless otherwise required to purchase)
- Fees for boarding pets or other animal care
- Fees for personal credit cards
- Fines for parking violations or towing charges
- Frequent flyer credits or tickets
- Incremental airline ticket costs to obtain frequent flyer benefits
- Incremental costs for first or business class airline tickets, extra-legroom seats, excess baggage fees
- Hotel cancellation fees
- Loss of cash advances, airline tickets or personal funds or property
- Magazines, books or other personal reading material
- Membership dues in airline clubs, athletic clubs, or the lake
- Personal clothing or accessories
- Personal grooming expenses such as toiletries