Office of Sponsored Research Services (OSRS) TRAVEL SERVICES. Class Objectives. Learn what information is needed to complete travel documents; including supporting documentation and receipt requirements. Learn where to find information regarding travel rules and regulations.
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Learn what information is needed to complete travel documents; including supporting documentation and receipt requirements.
Learn where to find information regarding travel rules and regulations.
Travelers need to know prior to making travel arrangements which of the three guidelines they are to follow for atrip.
The new Travel Policy will be effective April 1, 2013 for travel that commenced on, or after, April 1, 2013.
Also, effective June 1, 2013, all travel claims submitted for reimbursement will be processed following the new Travel Policy regardless of when the travel commenced.
This policy applies to all travel which will be paid for employees, students and others.
Any funds used for travel reimbursement must be
Travel vouchers are prepared and submitted to OSRS on a travel expense report form, unless your project requires you to use CONCUR or EPIK.
Travelers will submit one voucher per trip for the same business purpose, except when mileage is submitted on a monthly basis.
The travel period cannot exceed a 30 day period.
Travel vouchers must be signed by the traveler and Principal Investigator or approved delegate.
On all accounts, changes to the amount of the voucher must be approved by the Principal Investigator or approved delegate on the account.
Travel vouchers are automatically routed – no written signatures are required.
On all accounts, changes to the amount of the voucher must be routed back to the traveler for correction.
Travel dates on vouchers need to be accurate and reflect the entire time period the employee was away from headquarters.
If personal days are taken while in travel status, they must be noted on the voucher.
The traveler may use one of two methods for lodging and meal expenses incurred in connection with official travel of more than one day. The method selected must be used for the entire trip.
Method 1 – Actual Expenses with Receipts.
Method 2 – Actual Lodging Expenses and Actual Meals (Up to Applicable GSA Rates). Receipts are required for lodging only.
Both methods use the applicable U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) rate for the duty point.
If duty point city/county is not listed on GSA site, use the “standard rate” for that state.
Use the GSA lodging location if lodging is not at the duty point.
GSA rates can be found at:
Itemized receipts for lodging are still required. The receipt needs to include name and address of the commercial lodging establishment, name of the traveler, single room rate, daily itemization of charges, and proof of payment.
The maximum amount that may be reimbursed is limited to 150% of the applicable GSA lodging rate for the location.
Requests to exceed 150% of the maximum lodging rates listed must be supported by a written statement explaining the circumstances that caused the existing rate to be inadequate and will be subject to Fiscal Office or OSRS approval. Based on Federal Travel Regulations, requests for hotel reimbursements of more than 150% and up to 300% over the standard allowable rate are unallowable except for the following:
Lodging expenses incurred the night before state business begins and the night after state business ends are reimbursable.
Lodging expenses incurred more than one night before or after state business begins or ends are generally not reimbursable.
Each employee must claim their share of the lodging expense. If the name on the lodging receipt is different, the employee must provide proof that the expense was incurred. The proof may be in the form of:
Meal reimbursement includes the actual cost of reasonable and necessary food, beverages, gratuities, taxes, and other incidental expenses.
Charges for alcoholic beverages must be deducted before submitting a claim.
Meals are limited to ¾ of the GSA applicable rate on the first and last day of travel.
There will be no reimbursement for meals without an overnight stay.
Method 1 - Actual Expenses:
With meal receipts, travelers may be reimbursed for actual meals and gratuitiesup to 150% of the applicable GSA rate for the location. Gratuities must not exceed 20% of the cost of the meal. Meal receipts must be attached to the voucher for all days.
Method 2 - Actual Expenses up to the Applicable GSA rate:
Receipts do not have to be submitted. Reimbursements will be based on the actual cost of meals capped at the applicable GSA rate for the location. This is NOT a flat per diem. Claim must be for actual expenses and rate cap includes incidentals such as gratuities to hotel workers.
Note: first and last day of travel have a lower GSA applicable rate for both methods.
Travelers who drive their own vehicles for in-state travel may be entitled to mileage reimbursement. The reimbursement rate includes the gas price estimate and wear-and-tear on the vehicle. The number of miles traveled by an employee for state business may be determined by either:
Actual odometer readings with specific point to point itemization.
Print out from Google Maps showingmileage between the starting location and ending location.
Mileage for traveling between the place of lodging and the place of entertainment, visiting friends/family, sightseeing, or shopping is not reimbursable.
On a scheduled work day, mileage will be calculated to and from the traveler’s headquarters to the business destination.
On a scheduled day off, mileage will be calculated to and from the traveler’s residence or actual location, whichever is less.
Mileage will be reimbursed at the rate set by the IRS for business travel. Current rates can be found at http://www.gsa.gov/portal/content/100715
Charges for liability insurance supplements, personal accident insurance, safe trip insurance, and personal effects insurance are not reimbursable.
Reimbursable costs include:
Applicable taxes and similar mandatory charges.
A charge for a collision damage waiver or a loss damage waiver (the waiver is usually included in the contracted rate for the rental).
OSRS will reimburse car rental expenses up to a 4-door, full size car. Traveler must provide justification for use of larger size vehicle.
The final original itemized receipt issued by the rental company must include the following:
If the rental car is direct billed, the following needs to be remembered:
If a personal vehicle or a rental car is driven out of state (as opposed to flying), a business reason is needed to explain why a flight was not taken.
Attach advance airfare quote if reason is lower total cost.
Remember, OSRS must minimize the amount of travel expenses reimbursed by ensuring that each travel arrangement is the most cost-effective considering all relevant circumstances.
The supporting documentation must list each day the expense was incurred and the amount of the expense incurred each day, as well as the location(s) where the expense was incurred.
Receipts are required if over $75.
Original and complete airline ticket receipt/passenger receipt required - it needs to include the following level of detail:
First/business class airfare may not be purchased without additional documentation and must be charged to a proper account.
Frequent flyer milesor discounts obtained during official business may be used by the traveler for private purposes, as long as no additional expense was incurred to obtain them.
A traveler can be reimbursed for the checked baggage fee for one piece of luggage.
A second bag fee will only be reimbursed if a specific business reason is stated on the voucher.
Overweight and oversize baggage fees will also require a business reason to be reimbursable.
Receipts are required if the expense exceeds $75.
Expenses such as tolls, taxis, subways, rental car gas, first checked bag fee will not require a receipt unless a single expense exceeds $75. Like before, itemization of the expenses is still required.
Expenses incurred for laundry, cleaning and pressing of clothing are reimbursable within the United States (including Alaska, Hawaii, U.S. Territories, and Possessions). However, the employee must incur a minimum of four (4) consecutive nights at the place of lodging (on business travel) to qualify. A receipt is required when the expense exceeds $75.
A state agency may pay or reimburse a state employee for a cancellation charge if:
If a traveler combines personal travel with official state business travel, the reimbursement or payment of transportation expenses may not exceed the sum of the lowest available cost of transporting the employee from Headquarters to the duty point and back.
Printed comparisons are required.
Any meal, lodging, car rental, etc. expenses that were incurred on personal days cannot be reimbursed.
Payment of registration fees require the following:
Voucher must separately state the cost of each type of travel.
Each travel type is reimbursable only to the extent it would have been reimbursable had it not been included in a package.
Don’t forget to remove State of Texas Hotel Occupancy Tax.
Foreign travel must be for the benefit of the State of Texas and any personal benefit thereby accrued must be solely incidental to the official purpose of the travel.
In general, foreign travel is defined as travel outside the United States, U.S. territories and possessions, Canada and Mexico. Sponsors differ in defining the term “foreign” so when traveling on OSRS managed accounts, travelers should contact the OSRS Project Administrator to be sure the contemplated travel is correctly classified.
For foreign travel location applicable rates,obtain current rates from the State Department at http://aoprals.state.gov/web920/per_diem.asp
Either of the two methods allowed for domestic lodging and meal reimbursement guidelines can be used, using applicable rates as a maximum.
Receipts submitted in a foreign currency must be converted (oanda.com) and the conversion attached to the voucher. Or preferably, submit the credit card statement showing the charges instead of using Oanda.
Laundry and dry cleaning expenses are included in the incidental calculations as part of the meal maximum for travel outside the United States. Separate claims for these expenses are not allowed.
When leasing vehicles in foreign countries, it is advisable to purchase all available and reasonable levels of insurance including Personal Accident Liability Insurance (PAI). All other rental requirements are the same.
Generally, if a traveler is traveling on funds provided by the federal government, he/she must use a U.S. flag carrier (an airline owned by an American company), regardless of cost or convenience.
If you are scheduling international travel that is federally funded (check with OSRS if you are not sure if your sponsor is Federal), you must ensure that all flights, where possible, are scheduled on U.S. flag carriers or on foreign air carriers that code share with a U.S. flag carrier.
See OSRS Travel Policy for more details.
If the trip to Washington, D.C., involves activities to obtain or spend federal funds or impacts federal policies:
Advances are issued to employees in support of official business for a very limited number of business activities.
If traveler meets one of the criteria, funds may be requested for the reasonably estimated, ordinary and necessary business costs that will be incurred.
Complete and sign the OSRS Travel Advance form unless required to use CONCUR or EPIK.
Travel voucher must be prepared and submitted within 30 days of return from travel or cancellation of travel.
See OSRS Travel Policy for complete process.
Past due travel advances must be treated as additional compensation once they are 120 days past the return of the trip.
This action will likely result in additional payroll taxes and benefits being charged to both the traveler and the department.
Diane McDonald (979) 845-8703
Akanksha Goyal (979) 847-8839
Amy McMann (979)845-8731
Kelley McDermott (979) 458-2189
Rhonda Nolan (979) 845-8719
Jeannette Salazar (979) 847-5842
Visit the OSRS website for more information: