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The Travel Payment Voucher (VP5) is processed once the travel is complete and the traveler has turned in receipts for reimbursement. Before the travel begins, you must process a Request for Travel Authorization (RTA/VE5).
College Travel Reimbursement Policy
- Travelers may be reimbursed for actual meal expenses up to the limits shown in the Handbook of Business Procedures, Travel – Meals and Lodging section. If meal expenses exceed $41 per day, itemized meals receipts are required with a written explanation.
- Travelers may also be reimbursed for actual meal expenses for partial days of travel. Click here for a PDF showing maximum allowable reimbursement amounts based on time of departure/time of return.
- Travelers who are staying with family or friends and are not paying for lodging are still eligible for the maximum meal allowances in accordance with the CoLA policy described above.
- VP5s must be processed within 60 days of the last day of travel.
- The College meal policies listed above supercede the rules and meal allowances set in place by the Office of Accounting and Travel Management. The College follows all other UT-Austin travel policies, including those for lodging and mileage reimbursement. See The University of Texas at Austin Handbook of Business Procedures, Travel section.
- Individual departments may also set their own meal limits; however, these may not exceed the limits set by the College.
- Travelers who will be at a duty point for at least one month and lease an apartment or a house (or stay in an apartment or a house owned by the traveler) will not be reimbursed for meal expenses.
How it Works
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- Once travel is complete, and the traveler has submitted their receipts, log on to *DEFINE to create a new VP5 document within 60 days of the last day of travel. The information you will enter in the VP5 pulls from the RTA/VE5 processed before travel began. See Tips below for more notes re special circumstances.
- The GG1 command is a good resource for overnight travel as it shows the dollar limit per day for lodging as well as the combined meal and lodging amounts.
- If you are processing a VP5 for foreign travel on state funds, click here.
- Note: Receipts are not required if you are reimbursing for the maximum meal allowance.
- Routing: After entering the information related to travel, the VP5 will automatically route to your chair or director for approval. If you are using department funds, it will then route directly to OA Travel. If you are using endowment funds or a faculty travel grant account, it will then route to the Dean’s Office for approval, and then to OA Travel. If you are using funds from another college, and these are not endowment funds, the VP5 will then route to that college for approval, and then to OA Travel.
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Note: PDF files require Adobe Acrobat Reader
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Please direct comments on the Procedures Guide to firstname.lastname@example.org
Tips or FAQs
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- If you are using an endowment account and the payee is other than the holder of the endowment, please confirm in VP5 notes that the holder (include holder’s name) has given permission for or requested this use of their funds. The VP5 will not be approved without this note.
- Voucher payment documents cannot combine state and local funds; please submit two separate vouchers.
- If you are processing payment for foreign travel, please provide the source for currency conversion and the exchange rate(s) in the VP5 doc “Notes.” Preferred site: http://www.oanda.com/convert/classic. Print out the screen showing the exchange rate you have used and attach it with the voucher paperwork.
- If more than 60 days have elapsed since the last day of travel, the chair or director must send an e-mail to Senior Associate Dean Richard Flores, requesting reimbursement and explaining why the reimbursement processing has been delayed. CC Hannah McKenna, Stephanie Hollub-Fletcher and Michelle Q. Hughes. Dean Flores will respond via e-mail.
- Receipts are not required if you are reimbursing for the maximum meal allowance.
- If the amount to be reimbursed for meals and lodging exceeds the maximum amounts specified by the College, you will need to: attach a written statement explaining why the excess is being requested; attach all receipts; indicate in the VP5 document notes the reason for the request and confirm that a written explanation plus receipts is attached; in column titled “EX” in VP5 document (in meals and lodging section, after “destination”), type an “X” indicating that you are requesting an exception. Then, print out and deliver this paperwork to the Dean’s Office for approval. Alternatively, you can reduce the amount being requested.
- If you are processing a payment for a meal for traveler and guests, reimburse using a VPE instead. In this case, the maximum reimbursement for the day on which the traveler is requesting reimbursement for entertainment expenses is reduced, based on the time of day that the entertainment expense occurs. For example, if the traveler eats dinner with colleagues, and requests reimbursement for that dinner as an entertainment expense, the daily allowable reimbursement for the travel expenses will be reduced by $18/$16 (local/state). See Meal allowances while traveling overnight (PDF).
Effective Sept. 1, 2009, the General Appropriations Act, Senate Bill 1, Article IX, Section 5.06(c), 81st Legislature, Regular Session, requires agencies to use the General Services Administration (GSA)’s federal travel rates to determine the maximum meals and lodging reimbursement rates for both in-state and out-of-state travel. Agencies will continue to use the $85 maximum for lodging and $36 maximum for meals for in-state locations not specifically listed in the federal rates. The method for determining maximum out-of-state travel rates has not changed.
Additionally, a state employee may now:
- claim less than the maximum meal rate for a duty point and use the amount of the reduction to increase the maximum lodging rate for the duty point
- request a higher lodging rate for both in-state and out-of-state travel under certain conditions
- If you are processing a voucher for travel that spans fiscal years, you will need to process two separate VP5s. Create the first VP5 using the beginning dates until the end of the fiscal year (e.g., 8/1 to 8/31). Indicate the document is “P” for Partial. In the document notes state that this is the first part of reimbursement for travel spanning fiscal years. Submit this VP5. Once it has been approved, create the second VP5, using the first day of the fiscal year until the travel end date (e.g., 9/1 to 9/7). If you have all the receipts, you can designate the document “C” for Complete. In the document notes state that this is the second part of reimbursement for travel spanning the fiscal year. Refer to the document ID of the first VP5. NOTE: If you are using both state and local funds for this travel, you will need to process additional separate VP5s.
- Make sure you are using the proper codes for check distribution, as specified in the OA Handbook on Voucher Processing (PDF). Use “F” for payments sent to a foreign address, “C” for payments sent to a campus address, “U” for direct deposit & payments sent US mail, “T” for payments accompanied by attachments.
- Please change the locale codes in all sections to: “I/in-state” if destination is in Texas; “O/out-of-state” if US, outside Texas; “C” if Canada, Hawaii, or Puerto Rico, or US possessions; “M” if Mexico; and “F” if any other foreign country.
- A traveler may be reimbursed for actual mileage to and from the airport from either the traveler's resicence or place of employment, regardless of the time of day.
- Reimbursements for mileage must always include a copy of their odometer reading or a printout from mapquest, google, or some other official online mileage guide for point to point.
- Make sure to use a hotel with a pre-negotiated rate when possible.
If a department anticipates that an employee will be at a duty point for at least one month, the expense of leasing an apartment or house may be reimbursed.
Last Modified: 9 September 2014