- Introduction and Contact Information
- Official Headquarters
- Sponsored Project Travel
- Non-Employee Travel
- Computation of Travel Time for Reimbursement
- Travel Authorization and Expense Reimbursement
- Transportation and Related Expenses
- Lodging, Meals, and Related Expenses
- Travel Advances
- Non-Employee Travel Expenses
- Foreign Travel
- Direct Payment of Expenses by the University
- Requirements for Reimbursement of Expenditures by Physically Handicapped Travelers
- Worker’s Compensation for Injuries Incurred During Travel
- Travel Expenses with Foundation Funds
- Tax Exempt Status
- The purpose of these University of Florida Travel Directives and Procedures is to provide direction for employees and others who undertake travel on behalf of the University. Travel costs are to be allocated and expended within established budgetary limitations and serve an official university purpose. Travelers are not to make commitments to travel or to incur travel expenses without first obtaining the appropriate approvals.
- These directives and procedures are intended for university-wide use. However, if an individual organizational unit elects to institute a more restrictive practice for purposes of budgetary control, the Controller’s Office will entertain a request of this nature. All university travelers are expected to comply with these Travel Directives and Procedures.
- University Travel Services is located in Elmore Hall and can be reached at 352-392-1245.
- University Traveler - The following may be considered allowable university travelers when performing authorized travel:
- Both full-time and part-time employees of the University.
- University consultants or advisors.
- Candidates for university executive or professional positions.
- University students – expenses incurred by students are reimbursable if specifically authorized by fellowship, contract, grant or provide for a clear university business purpose.
- Class “A” Travel - Continuous travel of 24 hours or more away from official headquarters.
- Class “B” Travel - Continuous travel of less than 24 hours which involves overnight absence from official headquarters.
- Class “C” Travel - Travel for short or day trips where the traveler is not away from his/her official headquarters overnight. Class “C” meals are no longer reimbursed by the University.
- Common Carrier - Train, bus, commercial airline operating scheduled trips/flights, or rental cars of an established rental car firm.
- Conference/Convention - The coming together of persons with a common interest or interests for the purpose of deliberation, interchange of views, or for discussion of their common problems and interests. The term also includes similar meetings such as seminars and workshops which are large formal group meetings that are programmed and supervised to accomplish intensive research, study, discussion and work in some specific field or on a governmental problem or problems and required when there is a registration fee. A conference does not mean the coming together of state university personnel.
- Foreign Travel - Travel outside of the United States, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. Travel from/return to a foreign country is considered foreign.
- Moving Expenses – Expenditures associated with moving an employee are NOT to be paid through the Travel and Expense Module. For information concerning the procedures to reimburse for a move, see the following directive: Moving Expenses
- Physically Handicapped - Generally this means, any person having a physical disability, including but not limited to blindness, or the loss of one or more life functions leaving that person mobility-impaired (or sensory-impaired) requiring the use of trained animal companions or prosthetic equipment, including, but not limited to, crutches, walkers, canes, or wheelchairs.
- Point of origin - means the geographic location of the traveler’s official headquarters or the geographic location where travel begins, whichever is lesser distance from the destination Travelers shall not be paid a mileage allowance for travel between their residence and their headquarters or regular work location. If travel begins more than one hour before or one hour after the travelers regular work hours, the point of origin may be the traveler’s residence, provided that miles claimed may not exceed the miles actually driven.
- Portage - Assistance in carrying or transporting the traveler’s luggage and/or materials.
- Travel Day - A period of 24 hours consisting of four quarters of 6 hours each.
- Travel Expense - Authorized travel expenses of travelers shall be limited to those expenses necessarily incurred by them in the performance of a university purpose and must be within the limitations of these directives and procedures.
- Travel Expense Report - The method used to request reimbursement for allowed travel expenses in the Travel and Expense Module.
- Travel Period – A period of time between the time of departure and time of return.
- Shared Expenses – Requires a copy of the other travelers travel expense report. If no expenses were incurred by one traveler and all was paid by another, a signed statement is required by the traveler not claiming reimbursement stating what expenses the other traveler paid for them. Meals can only be claimed by each individual traveler.
- The official headquarters of a University employee shall be the city or town in which the assigned office is located except that:
- The official headquarters of a person shall be the city or town nearest to the area where the majority of his or her work is performed, or such other city, town, or area as may be designated by his or her supervisor provided that in all cases such designation must be in the best interests of the University and not for the convenience of the person.
- When any University employee is stationed in any city or town for a period of over 30 continuous work days, such city or town shall be deemed to be his or her official headquarters, and he or she will not be allowed per diem or subsistence after the period of 30 continuous workdays has elapsed, unless this period of time is extended by the express approval by the Dean/Department Head. Authority to incur per diem in excess of 30 days will be requested on an Authorization for Travel in Excess of 30 Days form.
- A traveler may leave his or her assigned post to return home overnight, over a weekend, or during a holiday, but any time lost from his or her regular duties shall be taken as annual leave and authorized in the usual manner. The traveler shall not be reimbursed for travel expenses in excess of the established rate for per diem allowed had he or she remained at his or her assigned post. However, when a traveler has been temporarily assigned away from his or her official headquarters for an approved period extending beyond 30 days, he or she shall be entitled to reimbursement for travel expenses at the established rate of one round trip for each 30-day period actually taken to his or her home in addition to pay and allowances otherwise provided.
- Travel reimbursements are generally limited to those allowed by these directives and procedures that govern university-related travel. However, certain sponsored projects (including state grants) may contain provisions that further limit the amount and type of reimbursable travel expenditures. Travelers and/or appropriate sponsored projects personnel should ensure any proposed travel is in accordance with the sponsored project’s agreement before the travel begins.
- Fly America Act – The Fly America Act (41 CFR 301-10.131 through 301-10.143) requires that all federally funded travel (Fund 201) be on a US flag carrier or US flag carrier service provided under a code-share agreement (see list below), except under specific situations.When booking international travel, the Principal Investigator of the award to be charged is responsible for complying with the Fly America Act. The cost of travel subject to the Fly America Act that does not adhere to this regulation will be borne by the Principal Investigator’s department or will need to be moved to a suitable non-federal funding source.Exceptions must be documented prior to travel and pre-approved by the UF Travel Office. In no case is the use of a foreign air carrier justified because of cost, convenience, or traveler preference.International Airfare booked on a US flag carrier service will not require an exception. Also, the United Sates Government has entered into several air transport agreements that allow federal funded transportation services for travel to use foreign air carriers under certain circumstances.There are currently three bilateral/multilateral “Open Skies Agreements” (U.S. Government Procured Transportation) in effect and can be found on the GSA’s website.To easily ensure compliance with the Fly America Act, purchase all airline tickets for international travel that will be charged to a federal grant thru a US flag carrier (Delta, American, United, etc.) or use a travel agency for your booking. NOTE: Most travel agents are not familiar with this regulation, so confirm the travel agent is aware that the travel is federally-funded and must adhere to this act.Permitted Exceptions to the Fly America Act:If a U.S. flag air carrier offers nonstop or direct service (no aircraft change) from your origin to your destination, you must use the U.S. flag air carrier service unless such use would extend your travel time, including delay at origin, by 24 hours or more.If a U.S. flag air carrier does not offer nonstop or direct service (no aircraft change) between your origin and your destination, you must use a U.S. flag air carrier on every portion of the route where it provides service unless, when compared to using a foreign air carrier, such use would:
- Increase the number of aircraft changes you must make outside of the U.S. by 2 or more; or
- Extend your travel time by at least 6 hours or more; or
- Require a connecting time of 4 hours or more at an overseas interchange point.
For travel outside the U.S., if a U.S. flag air carrier provides service between your origin and destination, you must always use a US flag carrier for such travel unless, when compared to using a foreign air carrier, such use would:
- Increase the number of aircraft changes you must make en route by 2 or more; or
- Extend your travel time by 6 hours or more; or
- Require a connecting time of 4 hours or more at an overseas interchange point.
If an exemption is needed:
- Complete the Fly America Act Exemption form indicating the reason for the exemption.
- Attach a proposed itinerary of the trip.
- Fax to the UF Travel Office at 392-0081 for approval (include your department fax number).
The UF Travel Office will fax approved exceptions back to the initiating department.
This exception form will need to be kept on file in the department and a copy should be included with the Travel Expense Report when submitted to the UF Travel Office for auditing and imaging purposes.
- The provisions of these directives apply to all non-University of Florida employees (e.g., students, prospective employees, speakers, consultants) when traveling at the University’s expense.
- For purposes of reimbursement and methods of calculating fractional days of travel, the following principles are prescribed:
- The travel day for Class A travel will be a calendar day (midnight to midnight). The travel day for Class B travel will begin at the same time as the travel period. For Class A and Class B travel, the traveler will be reimbursed one-fourth of the authorized rate of per diem for each quarter, or fraction thereof, of the travel day included within his or her travel period. Class A and Class B travel will include any assignment on official business outside of regular office hours and away from regular places of employment when it is considered reasonable and necessary to stay overnight and for which travel expenses are approved.
- The allowance for meals will be based on the following schedule:
- Breakfast – When travel begins before 6 a.m. and extends beyond 8 a.m.
- Lunch – When travel begins before 12 noon and extends beyond 2 p.m.
- Dinner – When travel begins before 6 p.m. and extends beyond 8 p.m., or when travel occurs during nighttime hours due to special assignment.
- When travel is to multiple locations, the last business location where you sleep is where your meal allowance is calculated from no matter what portion of the day you are at that location.
- Travelers are allowed up to 1 day on domestic travel and 2 days on foreign travel to reach destination.
- No allowance shall be made for meals when travel is confined to the city or town of the official headquarters. As noted earlier, Class C meal allowances are not permissible.
- Travel Authorization – Travel on University business must be authorized in advance. A Travel Authorization, entered into the Travel and Expense Module, is required for all travel relating to conferences/conventions, cash advances, and foreign travel. All other types of travel will require a less formal method of authorization (e.g., email or letter) but will still need departmental approval by the individual with budgetary responsibilities. Comp TA’s do not fall into any of these categories and are not required. The instructions on how to complete a Travel Authorization can be found on the myUFL Toolkits.
- Travel Expense Reimbursements – University travel is reimbursed only on the basis of reasonable expenses incurred, subject to the limitations set forth in these directives and procedures. Requests for reimbursement are to be submitted on a Travel Expense Report in the University’s Travel and Expense Module. Original receipts are required for all major travel expenses, including airfare, hotel, car rental, and all individual expenses that exceed $25.00. In addition, the University reimburses expenses without receipts for meals and mileage based on rates as set forth in Florida Statute 112.061 and allowable incidentals up to a maximum of $25.00 per incident. These rates are provided later in these travel directives and procedures.
- Travel expenses of employees for the sole purpose of taking merit system or other job placement examinations, written or oral, are not allowed.
- A traveler who becomes sick or injured while away from his or her official headquarters and is therefore unable to perform the official business of the University may continue to receive subsistence during this period of illness or injury until such time as he or she is able to perform the official business of the University or returns to his or her official headquarters, whichever is earlier.Each Travel Expense Report must be signed by the traveler. If the traveler prepares the Travel Expense Report in the Travel and Expense Module, the electronic signature is all that is needed. If the Travel Expense Report is prepared by a departmental originator, a summary sheet must be printed and signed by the traveler. Individuals responsible for approving Travel Expense Reports are to ensure that expenses are appropriate and that all required receipts are attached. The traveler is then reimbursed for expenses incurred.All travel-related expenses must be listed on the expense report including expenses paid with a UF Purchasing Card, AVIS ACTO or by direct payment. This is done to properly reflect the true cost of the travel and to provide for full disclosure for auditing purposes.Travel Expense Reports with supporting documentation should then be faxed to the University’s Travel Office for imaging and audit review within 5 business days. Expense reports containing only expenses that do not require receipts will still need to be printed, signed by the traveler and faxed to the University’s Travel Office for imaging and audit review.The instructions on how to complete a Travel Expense Report can be found on the myUFL Toolkits.
- Fax Imaging – Expense Reports
- In an effort to make the process of submitting supporting documentation to Travel and Expense for expense reports a more efficient operation, the University has moved to a fax imaging solution. Supporting documentation for all expense reports created by a department’s travel processing staff will need to be faxed into the PeopleSoft Travel and Expense module.
- Once an expense report is input and saved or submitted, a new button labeled “Fax Cover” will appear on the Expense Report Details page.
Click on the “Fax Cover” button and a new window will open with a barcode sheet for your supporting documentation.
Print out this fax barcode sheet to use as the fax cover sheet and send along with all supporting documentation to the fax number 352-846-1020. IMPORTANT: The fax barcode sheet MUST be the first page in the fax – do not use any other document (i.e., department fax cover sheet, expense report documentation, etc.) You do not need to send the hard copies to Elmore Hall for audit.NOTE: You do not have to send a separate fax for each expense report. As long as a fax barcode sheet separates all documentation for each individual expense report, you can batch together multiple expense report’s supporting documents. Just keep the order: fax barcode sheet for expense report A, supporting documents for expense report A, fax barcode sheet for expense report B, supporting documents for expense B, etc.Do not fax your supporting documentation more than once. If you fax the same invoice 10 times, the new system attaches 10 images to the expense report.
- Once the fax has been received, checked for quality, and indexed by Disbursement Services, the expense report will populate with buttons to allow for the viewing of the supporting documentation directly from the report in the Travel and Expense module. To view the images, go to the expense report in the Travel and Expense module and click on the “T&E Image” button.
- Federal Acquisition Regulations, which UF must adhere to because of federal research performed, require that original documents, once imaged, must be maintained for 1 year after imaging. These documents may be destroyed 1 year after the accounting date of the expense report.
- When additional documentation needs to be submitted, return to the expense report in the Travel and Expense module. Print another copy of the fax cover sheet and fax in the additional supporting documentation.
- For checks where an alternate delivery is needed fax the Alternate Warrant form to PDS fax number 352-392-0081.
- A fax machine with a DPI setting of 200 will be needed to ensure a quality image is sent.
- For extremely large packets of supporting documentation (more than you fax machine can handle), do not fax. Send hard copies to Travel and Expense, PO Box 115350, 116 Elmore Hall.
- Once an expense report is input and saved or submitted, a new button labeled “Fax Cover” will appear on the Expense Report Details page.
- Travelers are to choose the most practical and economical mode of transportation, and are generally to travel the most direct route. Consideration is to be given to the total cost to the University, considering time of the traveler, impact on the productivity of the traveler, cost of transportation, and per diem or subsistence required. All travelers are to comply with the following directives and procedures for reasonable transportation expenditures.
- Commercial Transportation
The University reimburses commercial airfares for economy/coach accommodations. First class transportation is not allowed. Business class travel will be acceptable on flights lasting longer than 9 hours. Consideration should be exercised when considering the cost and must be approved by the appropriate departmental individual with budgetary responsibilities. Whenever possible, discounted or reduced round-trip rates should be considered when available. Many airlines discount flights involving a Saturday night stay over. The traveler may consider the option of extending one’s stay over a Saturday when the expense of an extra night’s lodging and additional meals is less than the savings between the airfare involving the Saturday night stay over and the airfare not involving a Saturday night stay over. Air travel is recommended when the cost of an employee’s time is an important factor or when travel time by other methods would increase the subsistence expense.The traveler may claim either the mileage rate specified in Section 112.061, Florida Statutes, or the lesser of the state contract fare and the most economical commercial direct airfare available for the same trip. If no state contract fare and no commercial airfare is available directly between the points of travel, reimbursement shall be limited to the mileage rate specified in Section 112.061, Florida Statutes, or the most economical commercial airfare closest to the point of origin and the point of destination.A passenger on a private aircraft may be reimbursed for the actual amount charged and paid for his/her fare up to:
- The mileage rate specified in Section 112.061, Florida Statutes, or
- The lesser of:
- the state contract fare, or
- the cost of the most economical direct commercial airfare available for the trip.
If no direct commercial flight is available, the most economical commercial airfare closest to the point of origin and the point of destination may be used.
- Purchase of Tickets
Transportation arrangements are to be made directly by the traveler/department. The traveler must retain all transportation ticket receipts for purposes of documenting Travel Expense Report reconciliations. This includes showing the purchase amount of the ticket and method of payment.Penalties for cancellation of discounted airline tickets, generally referred to as “super saver” tickets, may be paid from university funds only if the cause for cancellation is in the best interest of the University or if the cancellation is due to illness of the traveler or illness or death of a member of the traveler’s immediate family, for which an employee is authorized to use sick or administrative leave. Airfare insurance cannot be purchased on State Funds. If the ticket is canceled for the convenience of the traveler, the cancellation penalty may not be paid or reimbursed from university funds. Although the savings realized from the use of such tickets may be considerable, it should also be kept in mind that the penalties for cancellation of the tickets are generally substantial. Travelers or persons making travel arrangements should carefully evaluate the circumstances and risk of cancellation prior to the purchase of each such ticket in order to avoid or at least minimize the cancellation penalty on these tickets. When it is determined that it is in the best interest of the University to cancel a “super saver” ticket and pay the cancellation penalty, justification detailing the circumstances surrounding the cancellation must be included in the Travel Expense Report submitted to the University Travel Office. The University will not reimburse for an expense paid for with reward points (i.e., sky miles, motel reward points, or any other reward points). The University will also not allow reimbursement for the value of complimentary travel expenses.Charges assessed for the replacement of lost tickets are not reimbursable, and will be borne by the traveler.
- Private Automobile – When travel by private automobile is chosen over commercial transportation in order to save time, to transport equipment, or to reduce costs when a number of people are traveling together to the same destination, reimbursement to the traveler is made on the basis of mileage traveled. The reimbursement rate is set at the State of Florida mileage allowance rate in effect at the time of travel, currently 44.5¢ per mile. The mileage allowance covers all operating costs of the vehicle. Repair costs are not reimbursable, whether they result from the traveler’s acts or the acts of others. However, parking charges and ferry, bridge, tunnel and road tolls are reimbursable in addition to the mileage allowance.An accurate daily record of miles traveled is to be maintained. Upon completion of travel, mileage and expenses are to be submitted on a Travel Expense Report in the Travel and Expense Module.The University of Florida generally will not allow reimbursement for on-campus mileage. On-campus is defined as the area of 34th street to 13th street and Archer road to University Avenue. Travelers should use university vehicles when available. If a university vehicle is not available, UF will reimburse the traveler with a written justification from the department head.Travelers shall not be paid a mileage allowance for travel between their residence and their headquarters or regular work location. If travel begins more than one hour before or one hour after the travelers regular work hours, the point of origin may be the travelers residence, provided that miles claimed may not exceed the miles actually driven.
- Automobile Rental -Travelers whose transportation is provided by rental vehicles shall make use of any State contract for rental vehicles which may be in effect at the time of the travel (currently AVIS and Enterprise). The current State of Florida contract is with AVIS and can be found on the Purchasing website. When making arrangement for car rentals, travelers/originators should make certain to click on “Corporate Rate” to ensure getting the corporate rate after putting in the corporate discount number. If not, a promotional rate will be received without having the insurance coverage when renting for business. Failure to use the AVIS or Enterprise contract for rental vehicles will require written justification by the traveler. In the event the traveler fails to justify use of a rental company other than one of the above vendors, any additional cost will be borne by the traveler. The state contract requires the rental of a compact or a justification, signed by the traveler, of the necessity for a larger vehicle. The state contract with AVIS now includes an additional rental class of hybrid vehicles. The rental of a hybrid vehicle will be allowed without a justification. The cost of rental vehicles may be charged to a University of Florida Purchasing Card, a personal credit card or Global Electronic Billing number – GEB. To receive a GEB number each department cardholder would need to fill out an AVIS Global Electronic Billing form as well as an Avis P-card Information form and send them to Avis Representative Sharon McCarty either by e-mail: Sharon.McCarty@avisbudget.com or by phone: 1-800-525-7521 ext. 32520. Sharon will process the forms. You will be issued a Global Wizard Number in 3-5 business days.
- Reservations are highly recommended. Be sure to retain the confirmation number for future reference. In the event a compact size vehicle is reserved but at the time of rental is not available, a larger vehicle should be substituted at no additional cost.
- If it is necessary to rent a vehicle from a non-contract vendor, the renter should purchase collision and comprehensive coverage insurance on the rental vehicle through the vendor. Do not purchase liability coverage. Contingent upon the employee being at fault, the University will accept liability for damages to the other vehicle.
- The department will need to use the GEB number for all visitors so that state contract rate may be obtained. AVIS will not allow the state rate for rental vehicles to a non-UF employee unless this directive is followed.
- The AVIS contract no longer reimburses the traveler for gasoline purchases. AVIS recommends returning the vehicle with a full tank of gas. The use of the University of Florida purchasing card may be used for gasoline purchases on rental vehicles.
- Miscellaneous Transportation – Related Expenses
Necessary, reasonable tolls are reimbursable. Tolls $25 and under do not require receipts.
Necessary charges for parking will be reimbursed, including airport parking fees. The actual amount paid for mandatory valet parking and for valet tips that do not exceed $1 per occasion and which were incurred in the performance of public business will be reimbursed. Parking fees $25 and under do not require receipts.
- Traffic Fines
Traffic and parking fines received while driving rental, personal, or University-owned vehicles are not reimbursable.
- Shuttle Service
The cost of shuttle service to and from airports and railroad stations, plus reasonable tips (15%), is reimbursable.
- Taxi Service
Taxi fares are reimbursed when public transportation or shuttle service is not practical. Actual tips paid to taxi drivers which shall not exceed fifteen percent (15%) of the fare will be reimbursed. Taxi fares $25 and under per fare do not require receipts.
Airline baggage fees require a receipt if over $25.00
- Commercial Transportation
- Travelers are expected to use prudent judgment in the selection of hotels and restaurants while traveling on official university business. Expenses for lodging and meals are reimbursed, as explained below, either on an actual, reasonable expense basis or on a per diem basis. Personal expenses, such as guest accommodations, room service, entertainment and other non-business charges, are the responsibility of the traveler.
- Lodging – Lodging reimbursement is limited to single occupancy unless rental accommodations are shared by more than one authorized traveler. The university may require justification for a single room rate that exceeds the maximum lodging amount per the GSA Domestic Per Diem Schedule unless a conference/convention hotel rate is used or the rate claimed is less than the stated conference/convention rate. The traveler may use the University of Florida purchasing card or personal funds to pay the lodging bill. If using personal funds, the traveler will be reimbursed for the actual expense of the lodging. To secure reimbursement following completion of travel, the itemized hotel bill showing the actual amount paid or a $0 balance due and method of payment must accompany a properly completed Travel Expense Report in the Travel and Expense Module.A traveler may not claim per diem or reimbursement for lodging for overnight travel within 50 miles of his headquarters or residence, unless the circumstances necessitating such overnight travel are fully explained by the traveler and approved by the agency head. Criteria for approval shall include late night or early morning job responsibilities and excessive travel time because of traffic conditions.
- Meals – The state agency rate is required to be used for reimbursing travel related meal expenses. The State of Florida reimbursement rates for meals on UF domestic travel (all 50 states and U.S. Territories) are as follows:
- Breakfast: $6
- Lunch: $11
- Dinner: $19
- Total: $36
No one, whether traveling out of state or in state, shall be reimbursed for any meal or lodging included in a convention or conference registration fee paid by the University. Meals included in the cost of registration to be reimbursed by the University must be deducted from the per diem reimbursement and may not be claimed for subsistence.No allowance shall be made for meals when travel is confined to the city or town of the official headquarters or immediate vicinity (50 miles).The University of Florida does not reimburse for Class C meals (Travel for short or day trips where the traveler is not away from his/her official headquarters overnight).The University may reimburse authorized travelers for foreign travel at the current rates for meals and lodging as specified in the federal publication “Standardized Regulations (Government Civilians, Foreign Areas)”. These rates may be obtained from the Travel Office or at the following on the State Department website.
- Per Diem Allowance (in lieu of actual expenditures) – In certain cases, it may not be practical or possible to establish actual reimbursable expenses for lodging and/or meals. In such cases, a per diem charge in lieu of actual expenses may be reimbursed. Per diem reimbursement for these expenses is the payment to the traveler of a fixed amount per day to cover the cost of lodging and/or meals and all related incidental expenses necessarily incurred.The University of Florida’s per diem rate is up to $80 per day for both domestic and foreign travel. Per Diem is broken into $20 per quarter. The quarters are as follows: 1st quarter starts @ 12:00 a.m., 2nd quarter starts @ 6:00 a.m., 3rd quarter starts @ 12:00 p.m., and the 4th quarter starts @ 6:00 p.m. If the traveler is in any portion of that quarter they will receive that quarterly allowance of $20. With a per diem allowance, the traveler is not required to provide documentation and an itemization of actual lodging. Meals and/or lodging may not be claimed in combination with per diem. All meals provided to the traveler must be deducted from the per diem rate of $80 per day.
- Business Expenses – Other expenses normally associated with travel that are reimbursable regardless of whether a traveler receives lodging and/or meal reimbursement on an actual expense or per diem basis include registration fees, business telephone calls made while on approved travel, and miscellaneous expenses clearly related to the purpose of the travel and fully documented as such.
- Registration Fees – University employees are frequently required to pre-register for conferences and workshops. Prepayment for registration fees may be done with a University of Florida purchasing card, by personal funds or the department may request an unencumbered voucher payment through Accounts Payable. Whether registration fees are paid by pre-payment or paid at the conference or workshop, the registration form and/or conference brochure stating the amount of the registration and what is included (meals, lodging, etc.) must accompany a properly completed Travel Expense Report. The method of payment used to pay the registration fees must be clearly communicated within the Travel Expense Report. All travelers who attend a conference, convention, workshop, seminar or meetings requiring a registration fee are required to submit a copy of the agenda with the Travel Expense Report.
- Communication Expenses – Communication expenses incurred as a result of University business and substantiated by receipts, are allowable. Communication expenses include telephone, wire, email and/or fax.Communication expenses to contact the traveler’s family or for other non-business purposes is not eligible for reimbursement. Any calls to a traveler’s personal residence for which the traveler is asking reimbursement must be justified.
- Portage – Portage charges shall not exceed $1 per bag or a total of $5 per occasion. Each occasion should be reported separately on the Travel Expense Report. Tips for maid services are reimbursable.
- Incidental Travel Expenses – The traveler may be reimbursed upon presentation of a receipt for the following:
- Actual laundry, dry cleaning, and pressing expenses when official travel extends beyond seven days and such expenses were necessarily incurred to complete the official business portion of the trip.
- Actual passport and visa fees required for official travel.
- Actual and necessary fees charged to purchase traveler’s checks for official travel expenses.
- Actual fee charged to exchange currency necessary to pay official travel expenses.
- Actual cost of maps necessary for conducting official business.
- Gas receipts for AVIS rental, state vehicle, or personal car (when not claiming mileage and showing cost savings).
- Maid service $5.00 per day, no receipt required.
- Any item that is not listed requires a receipt.
- The University will authorize payment up to 100% of an approved Travel Authorization. In order to receive a travel advance, a traveler or travel originator must request the advance using the Travel and Expense Module. Cash advances must be settled within 30 workdays after the return to the official headquarters. The instructions on how to complete a Travel Advance form can be found on the Human Resources website.
- Only university employees are eligible to receive an advance unless a grant specifically states otherwise. Current travel advance directives and procedures provide for the following:
- A traveler shall not have more than one advance at a time and Travel advances should be processed at least 10 workdays prior to start of trip. Requests for an advance more than 30 days prior will need a written justification of the circumstances which necessitate an exception to this restriction.
- The advance must be settled no later than 10 workdays from the travel ending date.
- If not settled within 30 workdays, UF can garnish a traveler’s wages through Payroll.
- The traveler may make payment arrangements for a garnishment deduction until the cash advance is settled completely.
- Prior to the 30 workdays garnishment, the Travel Department will generate two email notifications regarding the unresolved outstanding debt to the traveler on or around the 10th and 20th workdays upon return to headquarters.
- If the travel advance results in payroll garnishment, then the traveler will not qualify for future travel advances.
- Departments need to attach the signed Cash Advance Signature Page when submitting a Cash Advance request. The Cash Advance request will be sent back if one is not provided.
- The travel expenses of non-employees (e.g., students, prospective employees, speakers, consultants) are reimbursed when required by authorized contractual agreement or when approved by the responsible organizational unit head. Reimbursement is made in accordance with the directives and procedures stated herein.The University does not generally reimburse travel expenses incurred by a spouse. Any employee who travels with a spouse is expected to pay for all incremental costs associated with the spouse’s travel including transportation costs; additional lodging expenses, if any; meal expenses; and any registration fees.Instructions for setting up non-employees for travel reimbursement can be found on the Human Resource websiteThe non-employee travel request form should be used.
- All foreign travel must have a Travel Authorization established in the Travel and Expense Module.
- Travel to a terrorist state shall not be allowed on State funds. Currently, the U.S. State Department assigns that designation to five countries: Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan and Syria. Travelers should read appropriate U.S. State Department advisories before beginning travel to a foreign destination and in general exercise prudence whenever traveling to a foreign location. Travel advisories are available.
- The University may reimburse authorized travelers for foreign travel based on the current rates of per diem as specified in the federal publication “Standardized Regulations (Government Civilians, Foreign Areas)”.
- The federal Publication “Standardized Regulations, Foreign Areas” provides for foreign per diem rates made up of three components:
- A maximum lodging allowance. Exceptions can be made with appropriate justification,
- A meal allowance for each meal, and
- An allowance for incidental expenses – The university does not reimburse a traveler for incidental expenses based on a per diem basis, but only actual expenses incurred.
- Receipts must be provided to support the cost of all lodging for reimbursement up to the prescribed maximum. Lodging costs which exceed the maximum allowable are acceptable if the traveler stays at the conference hotel. Incidental expenses must be supported in accordance with University travel regulations. No receipts are required for meal reimbursements.
- Rates for foreign travel will be paid at the foreign meal allowance rate from the time the traveler leaves his or her headquarters, unless the traveler spends the night in an alternate U.S. location. Foreign travel rates would also be used upon the return trip until the traveler returns to headquarters, unless the traveler spends the night in the U.S. before returning to headquarters. Domestic travel rates would then be used. Rates for foreign travel shall not be claimed for any quarter in which domestic meal allowances or per diem is claimed. Foreign meal allowances are paid at the rate based upon the location for which lodging occurs.
- When traveling with equipment, check with the Property Office two weeks before traveling with equipment outside of US to avoid any export licensing issues. Best practice for international travel with a laptop is to not have specialized software installed and to not contain unpublished data or research.
- When preparing the Travel Expense Report, amounts will be entered in U.S. dollars. If receipts are in a foreign language and currency, each item should be identified and the rate of exchange for conversion to U.S. dollars (USD) should be noted. The applicable USD exchange rates are those rates which are in effect the day the transaction occurs, for example the day a hotel bill is paid. Primary sources for these rates are The Wall Street Journal, banks, currency exchange receipts provided by the traveler and on the OANDA website.
- Direct payment of travel expenses may be made for travel expenses by using the UF Pcard or utilizing an unencumbered voucher in the Accounts Payable module (see Disbursements Directive for Processing Unencumbered Disbursements).
- When a physically handicapped traveler incurs travel expenses in excess of those ordinarily authorized, and the excess travel expenses were incurred to permit the safe travel of that handicapped traveler, those excess expenses will be reimbursed to the extent that the expenses were reasonable and necessary to the safe travel of that individual.
- All such claims for reimbursement of excess travel expenses must be submitted with sufficient documentation.
- A physically handicapped person needing special travel considerations must submit a request for such special needs through the Americans with Disabilities Act Office, EHS Building 179, Newell Drive.
- University travelers are eligible for worker’s compensation benefits during periods of travel which are necessary to perform the official business of the University. Travelers are not eligible for worker’s compensation benefits during activities which deviate from the normal course and scope of the official business, such as vacations or personal enterprise, even though the activities may be combined with periods of travel for official business.
- Claims and inquiries regarding worker’s compensation benefits should be directed to Unemployment and Worker’s Compensation, Human Resources.
- Travel authorization requests provide substantiating documentation which may be useful in the verification of claims.
- Failure to comply with university motor vehicle regulations, such as speed limits and use of seat belts, may result in reduced workers’ compensation benefits should an accident occur while on official business.
- As of July 1, 2004, the University of Florida (UF) and the University of Florida Foundation, Inc. (UFF), a direct support organization (DSO) of UF, entered into an agreement regarding expenditures of UFF funds held for the use and benefit of UF and the processing of such funds through UF’s Travel and Expense Module.
- Departments must follow all UF business processes when expending DSO monies including all UF Travel Directives and Procedures for travel reimbursements, including pre-approval of travel. No UFF funds may be used for first class travel.
- There are four basic criteria which determine the legitimate use of UFF funds for travel:
- The use must be reasonable and benefit the University of Florida.
- The use must fall within the donor’s intent for the gift.
- The use must not jeopardize UFF’s tax-exempt status.
- The use must comply with all applicable University regulations.
- All travel-related expenditures with UFF funds should be entered through the Travel and Expense Module. UF faculty and staff who are entertaining prospective donors, job candidates or dignitaries should charge those costs to an entertainment expense account through the Accounts Payable Module. The actual costs of meals and other related entertainment expenses may be reimbursed if reasonable, properly documented and justified.
- Tax Exempt Status – The University of Florida is a tax-exempt organization. When traveling in the State of Florida, travel expenses in the name of the University (paid with UF Pcard or UF Accounts Payable check) should not be assessed taxes. Travelers will need to request that taxes be removed from the bill. Most vendors will want a copy of UF’s Certificate of Exemption.