Per Diem/Lodging and Meal Allowance
Employees who travel within the State of Alabama (outside the base area) on official University business will be paid a per diem allowance. This allowance is set by State law and is paid to the traveler in lieu of actual expenses for lodging and meals.
The per diem allowance for in-state travel that requires an overnight stay is set at $75.00 per day.
Example: An employee leaves the University at 8:00 a.m., travels to Montgomery, and returns to the University at 11:00 a.m. the next day. This person will be paid $150.00.
Travel Outside the Base Area That Does Not Require Overnight Stay
No travel allowance shall be paid for a trip of less than six hours. The traveler shall be paid a meal allowance of $11.25 for a trip of six to 12 hours. For travel in excess of 12 hours, but not overnight, the traveler shall be paid $30.00.
Example: An employee leaves the University at 7:00 a.m., travels to Montgomery and returns at 3:00 p.m. the same day. This traveler is absent for eight hours and is entitled to a meal allowance of $11.25.
Example: An employee leaves the University at 8:00 a.m., travels to Montgomery and returns to the University at 9:00 p.m. the same day. The traveler is absent for 13 hours and is entitled to an allowance of $30.00.
Federal and State tax regulations consider reimbursement for meal allowances paid to University employees for in-state travel not requiring an overnight stay to be taxable income. The University will report the meal allowance on IRS Form W-2 Wage and Tax Statement as earnings, and appropriate taxes will be deducted from the traveler's paycheck.
Non-Allowable Expenses (Not All-Inclusive)
Valet services, laundry, alcoholic beverages, recreational activities, tips, personal telephone calls, taxis to and from meals, and other personal expenses will not be reimbursed as part of in-state expenses.
Waiving Per Diem
When an employee's travel expenses are less than per diem allowance, the employee may choose to be reimbursed for the actual cost of travel. In this case, a signed statement in which the traveler voluntarily waives the per diem allowance must be included with the In-state Travel Form (see Exhibit E). The employee should still indicate the hours of departure and return even though the per diem is waived.
Employees will be reimbursed for local personal automobile mileage at the federal standard mileage rate while on official University business. Employees are entitled to a mileage allowance from their base station to their destination and return or for miles actually traveled from home to their destination and return, whichever is less. An exception is when the entire travel is performed on other than a regularly scheduled workday, in which case mileage would be counted from their home to their destination and return.
In-State Travel Form (Exhibit D)
Requests for reimbursement of authorized in-state travel expenses should be submitted on the official In-State Travel Form. It must have the traveler's signature in the certification space, be notarized, and be approved by the department head and the appropriate dean or administrator. The purpose of the trip should be indicated and applicable receipts should be attached. The dates and hours of departure and return, length of stay documentation, points of travel, mode of transportation, mileage (if by private automobile), and the per diem and transportation expense claimed should be indicated on this form. The hours of departure and return should be indicated even though the employee is waiving the per diem reimbursement.
See the General Travel Information section for additional information concerning out-of-state travel.
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