While this document is intended to be comprehensive, it is impossible to anticipate every situation encountered by a traveler. Items of an unusual nature must be discussed with the Finance Department before the submission of expenses. Any exceptions must be approved by the President or the Vice President of Finance and Administration, in advance and in writing. This pre-approval must be included with the request for reimbursement.
Ohio Wesleyan University’s travel must meet the IRS definition of an “accountable plan.” As a result, travel reimbursements do not have to be reported as income to the traveler. Under the accountable plan, reimbursement of expenses must meet these two requirements:
1. Reimbursements must be made for business expenses only and must be related to the actual expenses the employee has incurred.
2. Travelers must provide a statement substantiating the amount, time, use, and business purpose of expenses within a reasonable time (not to exceed thirty days) after the expenses are incurred. Original receipts are required for every expenditure regardless of the amount.
In order for business travel expense reimbursements to remain tax-free to the employee, these policies must be adhered to. The University operates as a non-profit corporation. As such, it is in direct violation of the laws of the State of Ohio to permit employees to make personal purchases through the University. Ohio Wesleyan University is not obligated to reimburse for expenses that do not comply with the policy.
- Airfare, in coach class (and the lowest fare available). For travel by air, an original passenger receipt should be submitted (not a credit card slip or statement). These can be obtained at the check-in kiosk or airline gate, even for electronic-tickets. An electronic receipt may be acceptable, if it clearly states that the ticket is electronic, non-refundable and confirms the method by which it was paid. If an airline ticket is refundable, a boarding pass or original ticket receipt is required to substantiate that the trip has been taken.
- Ground Transportation. Shuttle bus, bus, taxi, other public transportation, or rental car if no other feasible form of transportation is available, is reimbursable, with the proper paid receipt.
- Mileage.For automobile travel from the University, mileage will be paid at the current reimbursement rate, but will be limited, in total, to the lowest airfare available to the same destination. Under IRS regulations, mileage should not include the normal commute to the University, as this is not a reimbursable business expense. For mileage reimbursement, a calculation of the actual miles traveled (or a log of trips, if the reimbursement is for multiple trips) and an independent calculation of mileage (i.e. such as a MapQuest or Google page) must be included.
- Lodging costs, including the cost of a room and associated taxes, plus parking expenses. The University has obtained tax-exempt status in various states and you may deduct state tax in these states. (Go to the Purchasing Office web page for the applicable states.) This does not exempt us from local and bed taxes. The actual paid hotel bill (not just the charge card slip used to pay the bill) is required for reimbursement.
- Meals, including costs for food and beverages. The attached receipt must include the name of the restaurant, the names of the individuals who ate the meal, and detail restaurant bill detailing what was purchased. The hotel bill will be sufficient for meals purchased through room service, but should include an indication of which meal was eaten in the room and the diners, if more than the University employee were fed.
- Registration fees for professional conferences. A copy of the registration form or conference agenda showing the method of payment is required to support this reimbursement.
- Tips. The University suggested tip is 15 to 20% of the total bill. Anything above this amount is not reimbursable and must be absorbed by the employee leaving the tip.
- Parking costs.
- Costs for entertaining a University guest off-campus, including expenses for the guest and up to two University employees, unless previous authorization has been given for additional University personnel. An explanation, including purpose and the names of those entertained, must be attached.
Note: Any rebates, discounts promotions, or similar benefits that result from travel expenses paid by the University should be returned to the University.
- Travel insurance » The University carries an accident policy that insures employees while on travel related to University business.
- Insurance on rental cars » The University insurance covers accidents on rental cars for all University employees and students on University business. The department responsible for the car rental will be charged the University’s insurance deductible in the case of an accident.
- In-room or in-flight movies, books, magazines, and recreation.
- Tips in excess of 15-20%.
- Gasoline costs for a personal vehicle.
- Oil, insurance premiums, maintenance, and repair to personal automobiles will not be reimbursed, as they are included in the mileage rate.
- Fines for automobile violations or personal misconduct will not be reimbursed.
- Cost of mileage beyond the amount that would be required to travel by coach-class air.
- Alcohol for personal consumption beyond one drink with dinner, while at a conference, professional meeting or other formally-scheduled University related event. (Alcohol consumed with a meal while entertaining University guests or candidates is reimbursable, within reason.)
- Child care services.
- Pet care services
- Spa or health club fees.
- Dry cleaning or laundry service.
- Costs for meals, travel, or lodging for spouses, children or other personal guests.
- Costs for meals, gifts, supplies and other expenses associated with personal celebrations or personal gifts for employees (including student workers), such as Wedding Showers, Baby Showers, Get Well Wishes, Birthdays, Graduation and all similar personal events.
- Optional conference-related side trips or sightseeing.
- Charitable Acts or Donations, including "round-up" at the cash register.
- Frequent flyer miles.
- House sitting costs.
- Refueling option on rental car. All rentals should be filled before returning.
- Loss/theft of personal property.
- Sales tax. Sales tax exemption certificates are available on the Purchasing site.
- Meals, groceries, etc. for family/friends in lieu of lodging/hotel.
- Car washes.
- Reimbursements for goods will not exceed the cost of the same item purchased through University contracts via Bishopbuy.
- Purchases made with Gift Cards.