Handbook of Business Procedures
June 29, 2005
April 28, 2015
Reimbursements for transportation expenses include personal car mileage, commercial air, rented vehicle, mass transit, and private aircraft.
With the exception of tolls and parking expenses, reimbursement of mileage is inclusive of all expenses associated with the operation of a personally owned or leased vehicle. Employees can be reimbursed for travel at the rate listed on the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts' Travel Reimbursement Rates Web page.
1. Mileage Between Cities
For official point-to-point mileage you may use odometer readings or mileage computed by an online mapping tool. For travel paid with local funds, any online mapping tool may be used while travel paid with state funds can only be calculated using Mapquest.
- The voucher must state that travel occurred using a personally owned or leased motor vehicle.
- Travel locations must be identified on the voucher, and mileage must be itemized on a point-to-point basis. In other words, mileage is calculated from a starting point to an ending point using beginning and ending odometer readings or online mapping tool calculations.
2. Mileage Within a City
An employee may be reimbursed actual mileage for travel between home and the nearest airport or from the employee's place of employment to the airport. The number of miles reimbursed from the employee’s home can be documented with either actual odometer readings or mileage computed by an online mapping tool. For travel paid with local funds, any online mapping tool may be used while travel paid with state funds can only be calculated using MapQuest.
An employee may be reimbursed for the mileage incurred by another person transporting the employee to the airport. The reimbursement may not exceed the reimbursement that would have been paid if the employee had parked at the airport.
3. Multiple Travelers
Coordination of travel must occur when two to four employees employed by the same department travel from the same headquarters to the same duty point at the same time. When coordination of travel is required, only one of the employees may be reimbursed for mileage. However, mileage incurred to travel to a pick-up point by other employees may be reimbursed. Coordination of travel is not required if it is determined infeasible for business reasons.
- When coordination of travel is determined to be infeasible, a copy of that determination must be submitted with each traveler's voucher transmittal form. The determination must specifically say that coordination of travel is infeasible and list the business reasons.
Reimbursement is limited to the lower of average coach airfare and related expenses or mileage plus allowable meals and lodging. When additional employees are transported, the average coach airfare of each employee should be used in the comparison.
All travel agency assisted business-related air travel for university employees and students must be arranged through Anthony Travel or Corporate Travel Planners, the two university-contracted travel agencies. For more information, including the exception request process, refer to the airfare purchase policy on the Travel Management Services website.
Travelers may use an online reservation tool (e.g., Expedia, Southwest.com) in addition to the university’s online tool, Concur. If an online tool other than Concur is used, the purchase invoice submitted to the Office of Accounting for reimbursement after the completion of the trip should include the traveler’s statement: Online selection is best value as consistent with institutional priorities.
The reimbursement for commercial air transportation may not exceed the cost of the lowest available airfare. First class, business class, or other premium class airfare will only be reimbursed at the coach class rate, unless Travel Management Services has issued an approved exception request.
- In order for first class or business class airfare to be claimed, the voucher notes must state the date Travel Management Services approved the exception.
- The Travel Management Services exception approval request must be attached to the voucher.
When an employee combines business and personal air travel, reimbursement may not exceed the amount airfare would have been had no personal travel been included. So long as that limit is not exceeded, all airfare may be reimbursed. Federal taxes on airfare are reimbursable.
Reimbursement for Southwest Airline's EarlyBird Check-in fee is only allowed on local funds, but the cost of the airfare and EarlyBird fee combined must be less than alternative airfares. State funds may not be used to reimburse this ancillary fee. No other ancillary fee, including Southwest Airline’s Business Select fee, is reimbursable on local or state funds.
When an employee uses a rented vehicle for both personal business and state business, only the portion attributable to state business may be reimbursed. Rental expenses may not be reimbursed if the rental was necessary only because the employee combined personal and state business.
If two or more employees share a rented vehicle, only the employee who paid the cost of renting the vehicle may be reimbursed. The other employees may not be reimbursed for any costs associated with renting the vehicle.
Charges for liability insurance supplements, personal accident insurance, safe trip insurance, and personal effects insurance are not reimbursable. The charge for an additional driver is reimbursable only if it is for another state employee. A collision damage waiver or a loss damage waiver is reimbursable unless the waiver is included in the contracted rental rate.
Frequent flyer miles that are earned as the result of a business trip should be used for business purposes.
An employee may be reimbursed for the cost of a buy one, get one free promotion. However, the amount of reimbursement is limited to the charges shown on the ticket with the employee's name.
Receipts are not required when traveling within a city by public transportation. However, if public transportation is used for travel between cities, receipts are required.
The cost of limousine transportation may be reimbursed only if it is the lowest transportation available.
Tips may not be reimbursed using state accounts. Tips may be reimbursed using local accounts up to 20 percent. If submitting receipts for public transportation, the tip or gratuity is separated from the daily transportation amount and should be itemized in the “Other Travel” section of the voucher.
Employees holding a private or commercial aircraft license may not operate leased or privately owned aircraft in conjunction with official university business unless authorized by the Chancellor or his or her designee. More information is available at the UT System Board of Regents Rule 20601.
Some transportation expense reimbursements for faculty members may be paid using the Faculty Travel Grant account. For information, see the Faculty Travel Grants website.