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Finance Division

Employee Guidelines

Policy

Employees will be reimbursed for travel expenditures in compliance with the University travel guidelines which are governed by State and Federal travel regulations. Adequate documentation must exist to allow for verification of expenditures.

All travel vouchers submitted for reimbursement are required to have the signature of the traveler certifying that the amounts are true and correct and conform to State, Federal and University laws, rules and regulations. All signatures must be original or in an approved electronic format (faxed or electronic mail). No stamped signatures will be accepted. The reimbursement must be approved by the employee’s supervisor or supervisor’s designee. The designee may not be a direct subordinate of the traveler. The supervisor or designee’s approval is asserting that they are aware of the employee’s travel and that the expenditures appear reasonable.

Travel outside the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii, Canada or Puerto Rico meets the definition of foreign travel and requires approval prior to departure. Foreign travel funded from sponsored program activities must be approved in advance by Sponsored Programs Accounting. Refer to the Comptroller's Fiscal Policies and Procedures for the Foreign Travel Policy. http://www.clemson.edu/cfo/businessmanual/as23pol.html

Under the Progressive Discipline Policy of the University, any employee who falsifies records or documents or willfully violates written rules, regulations or policies can be suspended or terminated from their job.

Discussion

When individuals file for reimbursement of travel expenses they are certifying:

  1. They have followed the University's travel policies,
  2. They have not nor will not receive reimbursement for these expenses from any other entity outside the University,
  3. All expenses are business related and,
  4. That all supporting documentation is on file with their department or business office.

Reimbursement will be made upon completion of the travel. All travel reimbursement requests should be filed within the same fiscal year in which the trip occurred. Any reimbursement request that is not submitted within the 60 calendar days or quarterly deadline (see Travel Guidelines for more details) or within the fiscal year the trip occurred will require the traveler to submit a written request stating the reason for delay and obtain written approval by the Dean/Division Head or a designee. This additional approval is required to be received and filed with the travel documentation before the reimbursement is approved for payment.

Travelers are expected to exercise the same judgment when making travel arrangements and expenditures that a prudent person would exercise. As a steward of State and Federal funds and private grant funds, each employee should use the following guidance when traveling:

  • Excess costs, circuitous routes, delays or luxury accommodations unnecessary or unjustified in the performance of an assignment are not considered exercising prudence.
  • Travel by commercial airlines should be in coach or tourist class.
  • Automobile transportation may be used when common carrier transportation cannot be arranged satisfactorily, or to reduce expenses when two or more University employees are traveling together.
  • Transportation to or from points of arrival and departure should be by the most economical method.

Travel Guidelines

Account Codes

TRAVEL IN STATE Expenditures related to travel within the State of South Carolina
6001 Meals Business Related Meal at a location within the State of SC, while attending a conference, seminar, etc in an overnight status or a business meal that meets the IRS criteria. Reimbursed on travel voucher.
6002 Meals Non-Bus Non-Overnight Non-overnight meal at a location within the State of SC, that is taxable to the employee based on IRS criteria. Reimbursed through the Payroll System.
6003 Lodging Hotel, motel bills within State of SC
6004 Mileage Personal Reimbursement Mileage reimbursed for use of personal car if the trip destination is within SC
6005 Contract Rental Car Contract Rental Car charge for a travel destination within the State of SC
6006 Commercial Air Fare Airline ticket cost for a travel destination within the State of SC
6007 University Aircraft Fees for use of the University plane for a travel destination within the State of SC
6008 Other Expenditures Expenditures such as taxis, airport transportation, tolls, portage, telephone calls, etc. for a trip within the State of SC
6009 Registration Fees Fees for a conference or seminar held in the State of SC
6031 Private Aircraft Expenditures related to use of personal aircraft to travel within the State of SC
6033 Charter Flights Expenditures related to cost of a charter flight to travel within the State of SC
TRAVEL OUT OF STATE Expenditures related to travel outside of South Carolina but within the continental US, Alaska, Hawaii, Canada or Puerto Rico
6010 Meals Business Related Meal at a location outside the State of SC, while attending a conference, seminar, etc in an overnight status or a business meal that meets the IRS criteria. Reimbursed on travel voucher.
6011 Meals Non-Bus Non-Overnight Non-overnight meal at a location outside the State of SC, that is taxable to the employee based on IRS criteria. Reimbursed through the Payroll System.
6012 Lodging Hotel, motel bills outside the State of SC
6013 Mileage Personal Reimbursement Mileage reimbursed for use of personal car if the trip destination is outside of SC. Mileage to airport if the trip destination is outside of the State of SC.
6014 Contract Rental Car Contract Rental Car charge for a travel destination outside the State of SC.
6015 Commercial Air Fare Airline ticket cost for a travel destination outside the State of SC
6016 University Aircraft Fees for use of the University plane for a travel destination outside the State of SC
6017 Other Expenditures Expenditures such as taxis, airport transportation, tolls, portage, telephone calls, etc. for a trip outside the State of SC
6018 Registration Fees Fees for a conference or seminar held outside the State of SC
6032 Private Aircraft Expenditures related to use of personal aircraft to travel outside the State of SC
6034 Charter Flights Expenditures related to cost of a charter flight to travel outside the State of SC
TRAVEL FOREIGN Expenditures related to travel outside of the continental US, Alaska, Hawaii, Canada or Puerto Rico
6019 Meals Business Related Meal while attending a conference, seminar, etc in an overnight status or a business meal that meets the IRS criteria. Reimbursed on travel voucher.
6020 Lodging Hotel, motel bills outside the continental US,Alaska,Hawaii,Canada or Puerto Rico
6021 Mileage Personal Reimbursement Mileage reimbursed for use of personal car if the trip destination is outside the continental US,Alaska,Hawaii,Canada or Puerto Rico. Mileage to airport if the trip destination is foreign.
6022 Commercial Air Fare Airline ticket cost for a travel destination outside the continental US,Alaska,Hawaii,Canada or Puerto Rico
6023 University Aircraft Fees for use of the University plane for a travel destination outside the continental US,Alaska,Hawaii,Canada or Puerto Rico
6024 Other Expenditures Expenditures such as taxis, airport transportation, tolls, portage, telephone calls, etc. for a trip outside the continental US, Alaska, Hawaii, Canada or Puerto Rico
6025 Registration Fees Fees for a conference or seminar held outside the continental US,Alaska,Hawaii,Canada or Puerto Rico
STUDENT TRAVEL Expenditures related to travel where the primary purpose of the travel is to benefit students.
6030 Student Travel Expenditures for student travel
TRAVEL ATHLETIC Expenditures related to travel for the Athletic Department
6026 Recruiting General
6027 Recruiting Off Campus
6028 Officials
6029 Post Game Meals
6035
6043
In-State - Prospect Meals
Out-of-State- Prospect Meals
6036
6044
In-State - Prospect Lodging
Out-of-State- Prospect Lodging
6037
6045
In-State - Prospect MileReimb
Out-of-State - Prospect MileReimb
6038
6046
In-State - Prospect Motor Pool Vehicle
Out-of-State - Prospect Motor Pool Vehicle
6039
6047
In-State - Prospect Com Air Fare
Out-of-State - Prospect Com Air Fare
6040
6048
In-State - Prospect Univ Aircraft
Out-of-State - Prospect Univ Aircraft
6041
6049
In-State - Prospect Other Travel
Out-of-State- Prospect Other Travel
6042
6050
In-State - Prospect Regist Fee
Out-of-State - Prospect Regist Fee
6051
6052
In-State - Prospect Charter Flight
Out-of-State - Prospect Charter Flight
6053
6054
In-State - Official Party
Out-of-State - Official Party
6055
6056
In-State - Charter Bus Travel
Out-of-State - Charter Bus Travel

Airport Shuttle

The use of the airport shuttle to transport employees to the airport from Clemson and return them after their trip can be considered a part of the employee's travel expense and will be reimbursed as such. Receipts for this expense are required for reimbursement. Do not use the departmental purchasing card to pay for this expense.

Departmental Restrictions

Departments may implement guidelines that are more restrictive than those reflected in this document. Some examples of departmental restrictions are more detailed documentation or limiting the amount of reimbursement based on the departmental budget.

Foreign Travel

Foreign Travel, for reimbursement and approval purposes, is defined as travel outside the continental US, Alaska, Hawaii, Canada or Puerto Rico.  Foreign travel requires approval prior to departure using the Foreign Travel Approval Form.  Foreign travel funded from Sponsored Programs must be approved in advance by Sponsored Programs Accounting.  Refer to the Fiscal Policies and Procedures Manual for the Foreign Travel Policy on the Comptroller's web site.

While on foreign travel actual lodging expenses will be reimbursed. Fees for the purchase of traveler's checks, passports and visas will be reimbursed provided a receipt is furnished. All expenses claimed must be converted to U.S. dollars and the conversion rate be properly documented.

If receipts are not provided, only the maximum daily rate established by the Federal Government for meals and incidentals can be claimed. When claiming reimbursement for actual expenses of meals that exceeds the daily rate, receipts are required. To locate the Foreign Per Diem Rates, including a breakdown of meals and incidental expenses, follow this links below:

AUTHORITY

State of South Carolina 2006 Appropriations Act, Section 72-X90 General Provisions

72.26. (GP: Travel -Subsistence Expenses & Mileage) Travel and subsistence expenses, whether paid from State appropriated, Federal, local or other funds, shall be allowed in accordance with the following provisions:

72.26B. That employees of the State, when traveling outside the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico upon promotional business for the State of South Carolina shall be entitled to actual expenses for both food and lodging.

Lodging

Lodging arrangements and any required deposits are the responsibility of the traveler and will be reimbursed as part of the lodging expenses upon completion of the trip.

Lodging expenses will be allowed subject to the following guidelines:

  • When payment is made to the hotel/motel, documentation should include an original itemized receipt.
  • When payment is made through an internet provider (i.e. hotels.com, hotwire.com), documentation should reflect name and location of lodging and amount of payment. If payment is not indicated, another source of documentation may be used to adequately document cost.
  • Actual lodging expenses will be reimbursed, however the more moderately priced accommodations should be requested when a choice is available.
  • Employees should request a state or government rate when available.
  • No reimbursement should be made for overnight lodging within 50 miles of the employee's official headquarters or residence.
  • The expense for shared lodging may be reimbursed to one employee. All employee names must be listed.
  • If the room is shared with other than a University employee, the single room rate will apply.

AUTHORITY

State of South Carolina 2006 Appropriations Act, Section 72-X90 General Provisions

72.26 (GP: Travel - Subsistence Expenses & Mileage) Travel and subsistence expenses, whether paid from State appropriated, Federal, local or other funds shall be allowed in accordance -with the following provisions:

72.26A. All employees of the State of South Carolina or any agency thereof including employees and members of the governing bodies of each technical education center while traveling on the business of the State shall, upon presentation of a paid receipt, be allowed reimbursement for actual expenses incurred for lodging,.

Meals

While on official travel within the State of South Carolina, an employee’s actual expenses based on per meal limits up to a maximum of $25 per day will be reimbursed. While on official travel outside the State of South Carolina, an employee’s actual expenses based on per meal limits up to a maximum of $32 per day will be reimbursed.

If you depart before If you return after
In State
Out of State
Breakfast 6:30 a.m. 11:00 a.m.
$6
$7
Lunch 11:00 a.m. 1:30 p.m.
$7
$9
Dinner 5:15 p.m. 8:30 p.m.
$12
$16
Total  
$25
$32

When the daily limit for meals is exceeded due to the cost of an official banquet, the excess will be allowed provided a receipt and proper explanation for the banquet charge accompanies the travel voucher.

When an employee is in foreign travel status, they must use either the federal per diem rates or provide receipts of actual meal costs.

If an employee on non-overnight travel receives reimbursements for meals, this amount could be considered income and be reported on their W-2 tax form. For instance, meals on day trips are subject to tax withholding except when a business purpose for the meal can be documented. If you are claiming reimbursement for such business meals, documentation should include the name and affiliation of the person sharing the meal and the general nature of the business discussed. Travel Log Form for non-overnight meal reimbursements.

An employee must be in travel status as defined by State regulations (more than 10 miles from their official headquarters) to be eligible for reimbursement of meals. Meals reimbursed while in travel status should not be confused with business meal reimbursements. Refer to Business Meals section of disbursement guidelines for guidance for business meal reimbursements.

AUTHORITY

State of South Carolina 2006 Appropriations Act, Section 72-X90 General Provisions

72.26. (GP: Travel -Subsistence Expenses & Mileage) Travel and subsistence expenses, whether paid from State appropriated, Federal, local or other funds, shall be allowed in accordance with the following provisions:

72.26A. The employee shall also be reimbursed for the actual expenses incurred in the obtaining of meals except that such costs shall not exceed ($25) per day within the State of South Carolina. For travel outside of South Carolina the maximum daily reimbursement for meals shall not exceed ($32).

Miscellaneous Expenses

Movies, bar bills, laundry, room service, health or spa fees, etc. will not be subject to reimbursement on the travel expense report. These are considered personal in nature and should be paid by the traveler.

Employees may be reimbursed one personal call, of short duration, per day. Charges for long distance telephone calls, telegrams, or fax charges made on official business will be allowed. It is the responsibility of the traveler and the department to substantiate whether calls are of a business or personal nature and whether they will be reimbursed.

Receipts

You must submit receipts for expenditures of $5 or more, except for meals, taxi fare, tolls and portage. All receipts and paid bills should be originals. In rare occasions, a receipt may not have been provided to the traveler or the traveler may misplace the receipt. If originals are not available or documentation is inadequate, a detailed explanation signed by the authorized signer may be substituted.

Registration Fees

Registration fees in the amount necessary to qualify individuals to attend conventions, meetings, conferences, etc. are allowed. These fees can be prepaid using the Departmental Purchasing Card or on a buyWays Payment Request Form. If the registration is prepaid by the traveler or paid at the time of registration of the meeting, reimbursement will be made after the trip is completed.

Reimbursement Procedures

Travel vouchers are the documents used to account for reimbursable faculty and staff travel costs. There are three classifications for travel reimbursements: in-state, out-of-state and foreign.

Travel reimbursement requests should be filed:

  • as soon as the trip is completed.
  • within the same fiscal year in which the trip occurred
  • within 60 calendar days of completion of the trip or at least quarterly for local trips of a repetitive nature (such as county extension agents mileage).

Reimbursements not meeting these 60 days or within the same fiscal year criteria require additional explanation and approvals as noted in the Travel Policy. Individual budget centers may implement alternate reimbursement policies/procedures to address exceptions to this policy.

Rental Cars

Charges for automobile rental are allowed when it is more economical than alternative methods of transportation or is the only practical means of transportation. In renting a vehicle while traveling on University business, employees are required to use the State contract vendor. Refer to the Procurement Services web page ( http://www.clemson.edu/cfo/procurement) for information on the contract. University employees should be aware that the State contract provides for unlimited mileage, liability, comprehensive and collision protection.

The State contract vendors are to be used by Clemson University employees except when neither is available at the location where the employee desires to rent a vehicle. Documentation stating that neither of the contract vendors was available should be attached as supporting documentation to justify the use of another vendor. An original itemized receipt must be obtained and submitted when the travel voucher is filed.

If it is necessary to rent an automobile while in travel status outside the United States, it is recommended the collision damage waiver insurance be obtained. The charge and the applicable tax will be included on the automobile rental statement submitted with the request for reimbursement.

Use this mileage calculator to help decide the more cost effective way of traveling by automobile.

Spouse Travel

Travel expenses for spouses, friends, or other individuals not traveling on official University business are not reimbursable. Travel by spouses when accompanying the President or a Vice-President is allowed when

  • Spouse related reimbursement for the President is within normal practice used throughout higher education,
  • The President's Office has designated an individual to attend a particular athletic event or other official function,
  • Vice-Presidents or their designees have been asked to represent the President.

In these instances self-generated, discretionary or foundation funds should be used to pay these expenses. From the Procurement home page, follow this path to locate definitions of these funds: CU Department Information, Disbursement Guidelines, Types of Funds.

Travel by Automobile

University employees may use their own automobile for official travel provided the University will incur no added expenses above that of other forms of transportation available. Reimbursement for personal automobiles is as follows:

As of January 1, 2014
$.56 per mile, if proper documentation exists to reflect that a University owned vehicle was not available.
$.56 per mile for travel to and from nearby airports or train depots when official travel is by airplane or train.
$.52 per mile when an employee wishes to use their own automobile even though a University owned vehicle is available.

As of January 1, 2013
$.565 per mile, if proper documentation exists to reflect that a University owned vehicle was not available.
$.565 per mile for travel to and from nearby airports or train depots when official travel is by airplane or train.
$.525 per mile when an employee wishes to use their own automobile even though a University owned vehicle is available.

No reimbursement will be made for fines related to moving or non-moving violations.

Use this mileage calculator to help decide the more cost effective way of traveling by automobile.

AUTHORITY

State of South Carolina 2009-2010 Appropriations Act, Section 89.21

J.    When an employee of the State shall use his or her personal automobile in traveling on necessary official business, a charge to equal the standard business mileage rate as established by the Internal Revenue Service will be allowed for the use of such automobile and the employee shall bear the expense of supplies and upkeep thereof.  The standard business mileage rate used in this calculation shall be the current rate established by the Internal Revenue Service.  Whenever state provided motor pool vehicles are reasonably available and their use is practical and an employee of the State shall request for his own benefit to use his or her personal vehicle in traveling on necessary official business, a charge of 4 cents per mile less than the standard business mileage rate as established by the Internal Revenue Service will be allocated for the use of such vehicle and the employee shall bear the expense of supplies and upkeep thereof.  The standard business mileage rate used in this calculation shall be the current rate established by the Internal Revenue Service.  When such travel is by a state-owned automobile, the State shall bear the expense of supplies and upkeep thereof but no mileage will be allowed.  Agencies and employees are directed to use state fueling facilities to the maximum extent possible, when such use is cost beneficial to the State.  When using commercial fueling facilities, operators of State-owned vehicles are directed to use self-service pumps.  In traveling on the business of the State, employees are required to use the most economical mode of transportation, due consideration being given to urgency, schedules and like factors.

Mileage between an employee's home and his/her place of employment is not subject to reimbursement. However, when an employee leaves on a business trip directly from his/her home, and does not go by the employee's headquarters, the employee shall be eligible for reimbursement for actual mileage beginning at his/her residence.

Travel by Common Carrier

Transportation for individuals traveling alone should be by common carrier (air, train, bus) whenever practical. Advantage of reduced round-trip rates must be taken when available. Travel must be by the most direct route possible. Individuals traveling by an indirect route must bear any additional expenses.

EXCEPTION: When discount fares are available which result in a savings to the University by extending a trip using personal time, the reimbursement will be limited to the lesser of the actual expenses incurred (subject to the limitations contained herein, such as meal allowances, mileage rates, etc) or the amount that would be incurred for the business portion only. The calculations for the business portion of the trip must be made using the least expensive rates available.

Travel by airplane is recommended when the cost of the employee's time is an important factor or where the travel time by other methods would increase the subsistence expense. Accommodations should be limited to tourist or economy class.

  1. DIRECT PAYMENT BY THE UNIVERSITY
    Air transportation tickets may be purchased in advance from a travel agency or an air carrier directly by the University. The departmental purchasing card should be used for prepayment of airline tickets.
  2. INITIAL PAYMENT BY THE INDIVIDUAL
    Employees who choose to purchase their tickets must secure reimbursement through a travel voucher after travel is completed. No reimbursement for reduced-fare advance purchase tickets will be made to employees prior to completion of travel since direct payment by the University is available.
  3. FREQUENT FLYER PROGRAM
    State employees while in official travel status shall select air carriers based on the cost and time criteria, not on whether frequent flyer premiums are given. State employees earning frequent flyer premiums while on state business must use them to reduce the cost of subsequent business travel whenever possible.
  4. ADEQUATE DOCUMENTATION
    In order for the traveler to receive reimbursement, adequate documentation reflecting the ticket cost, dates and destination must accompany the travel voucher. This may be accomplished via one or several of the following: boarding pass, copy of a printed ticket or print-out from internet purchase.

AUTHORITY

State of South Carolina 2006 Appropriations Act, Section 72-X90 General Provisions

72.34. (GP: Frequent Flyer Premiums) State agencies and employees shall select air carriers based on cost and time criteria, not on whether frequent flyer premiums are given. State agencies should ensure that employees earning frequent flyer premiums while traveling on State business use them to reduce the cost of subsequent business travel whenever possible.

State of South Carolina 2006 Appropriations Act, Section 72-X90 General Provisions

72.26N. No state funds may be used to purchase first class airline tickets.

Travel – Personal or Rented Aircraft

Approvals

To travel by private or rental plane on official University business, an employee must have the prior written approval of the Dean or Vice Presidential level who heads his or her college or division. The approver should be made aware of the estimated comparative cost of the trip when reviewing the request. Travel by personal or rented aircraft should be limited to those situations for which air travel is justified and where commercial service is either not available between departure and destination points or cannot accommodate necessary time schedules.

Insurance Requirements

An active certificate of insurance meeting insurance requirements must be on file with the University Risk Management Office prior to the flight. This certificate should include the entire dates of the trip and should name Clemson University as additional insured. If an employee is renting the aircraft, the renter must provide insurance on the aircraft and the pilot.

The following minimum coverage should apply to all aircraft:

  • Aircraft Liability Insurance - $1,000,000 per occurrence
  • Single limit with minimum sub limit of $100,000 per passenger
  • Medical Payments Coverage - $3,000 per passenger
  • Physical Damage Insurance – Stated Value on the aircraft

Reimbursement

The reimbursement amount, for use of a private or rental aircraft, cannot exceed the total combined amount of coach or tourist class commercial airfare(s) for the passenger(s) being transported. The commercial airfare to be used for comparison purposes should be obtained and included in the request to the approver at the time the trip is being planned

If a plane is rented, the employee will be reimbursed the hourly wet rental rate for flight time, plus any other associated fees such as landing and ramp fees, up to the limit noted in the prior paragraph.

If the plane is owned by the employee, the employee must obtain three written hourly wet rental quotes for a comparable airplane. The employee will be reimbursed the average hourly rate for flight time based on these three quotes, up to the limit noted above. Other associated fees will also be reimbursed, provided the limit is not exceeded.

Documentation

The following documentation must be attached to the reimbursement document.

  • Rental invoice (if plane is rented)
  • 3 written rental quotes (if plane is owned)
  • Receipts for other trip related expenses
  • Written approval for travel by private or rental which includes cost of a commercial airline ticket with the date and airfare documented.
  • List of all passengers.

Unauthorized Costs

Employees will be responsible for unauthorized costs and any additional expenses incurred for personal preference or convenience.

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