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Travel Regulations at UGA. Jennifer Collins Assistant Manager, Accounts Payable. Compliance . State of Georgia Accounting Office Board of Regents Requirements Internal Revenue Service

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travel regulations at uga

Travel Regulations at UGA

Jennifer Collins

Assistant Manager, Accounts Payable

  • State of Georgia Accounting Office
  • Board of Regents Requirements
  • Internal Revenue Service
  • UGA maintains an accountable plan for travel reimbursements which allows the reimbursements to be treated as non-taxable income. Our accountable plan requires that all travel reimbursements be filed within 60 days of the completion of the travel event.
prior approval for travel
Prior Approval for Travel
  • Instate: Department maintains approval record of who is authorized to travel. No Travel Authority is required.
  • Out-of-State: Department is required to obtain prior approval from the appropriate dean, director, or other unit head. A Travel Authority is required to be submitted to Travel & Encumbrances prior to the travel.
  • Out-of-Country: Approved by appropriate VP & by President’s Office.
travel advances
Travel Advances
  • UGA does not provide travel advances.
  • Employees should pay expenses and seek reimbursement.
  • Corporate card with Bank of America is available through the Accounts Payable Office. For more info, please visit
  • Studies Abroad Programs can seek special arrangements through the Bursar’s Office
travel authority form
Travel Authority Form
  • T&E still accepts paper form
  • New form is web-based, not electronic.
  • Employee and Non-employee form can both be located on the Accounts Payable website at
  • Always provide destination city and state
  • Provide complete social security number for non-employees or it will be returned to your department.
claiming reimbursement for subsistence meals and lodging
Claiming Reimbursement for Subsistence (meals and lodging)
  • Reported on travel expense statement by date, location, and amount
  • Individuals on annual or sick leave while away from headquarters on official business are not entitled to subsistence.
  • Under most circumstances, individuals are not eligible for reimbursement for subsistence within a 50 mile radius of their home/headquarters.
meal expenses associated with overnight travel
Meal Expenses Associated with Overnight Travel
  • Limits based on the length of day the employee is officially on travel status.
  • Employees traveling overnight are usually eligible for a daily per diem for 3 meals except on the day of departure/return.
  • Times of departure (day of departure) and return (day of return) should be noted on the travel expense statement
day of departure
Day of Departure
  • Depart for overnight trip prior to 6:30 a.m.: Eligible for breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • Depart for overnight trip prior to 11:00 a.m.: Eligible for lunch and dinner
  • Depart for overnight trip prior to 5:30 p.m.: Eligible for dinner
day of return
Day of Return
  • Returning from overnight trip after 6:30 a.m.: Eligible for breakfast
  • Returning from overnight trip after 1:30 p.m.: Eligible for breakfast and lunch
  • Returning from overnight trip after 7:30 p.m.: Eligible for breakfast, lunch, and dinner
instate meal reimbursement
Instate Meal Reimbursement
  • Do not use federal per diem limits
  • Instate Meal Per Diem is $28 ($6 for breakfast, $7 for lunch, $15 for dinner)
  • High Cost Area Per Diem is $36 ($7 for breakfast, $9 for lunch, $20 for dinner)
  • High Cost Areas: Chatham, Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton, Glynn, Gwinnett counties
  • Taxes and tips are allowable expenses-include in the total meal expense
reimbursable meal expenses not associated with overnight travel
Reimbursable Meal Expenses Not Associated with Overnight Travel
  • Employee is acting as official representative of UGA and the meal is an integral part of an official meeting. The meeting has to be outside of the employee’s department and the meeting must continue during the meal. Employees cannot be reimbursed for meals if they leave the premises of the meeting site.
Can be reimbursed for a noon meal if it is a scheduled part of an Intra-University meeting or training (employee cannot leave site.) Meeting must be previously approved by appropriate official, at least 6 hours in length, and more than 50 miles from the employee’s office. Submit for reimbursement via travel expense statement. Include formal meeting agenda.
Employees can be reimbursed for noon meals that are part of a required registration fee.
  • Employees who are more than 50 miles away from home/headquarters on work assignment and are away for more than 13 hours may be reimbursed for meals even where there is no overnight lodging. This would entitle the employee to noon meal. If departure was before 6:30 a.m. breakfast can be reimbursed. If returning later than 7:30 p.m., dinner can be claimed.
  • Meal receipts not currently required. Any expenses that exceed per diem limits will have to be justified via a memo from the traveler that has been approved by the appropriate Dean or Vice President.
meal expenses overnight travel outside of georgia
Meal Expenses-Overnight Travel Outside of Georgia
  • Employees traveling outside of GA may receive federal per diem rates LESS THE $3 FEDERAL INCIDENTALS ALLOWANCE. The federal per diem rates are located at
  • The breakdown (breakfast, lunch, dinner) for meals per diem rates can be found at
  • Foreign per diem rates can be found at
  • The meals and incidental expense breakdown for foreign travel can be found at:  
  • Please note that the Univeristy does not reimburse the incidental expense amount.
  • Any meals exceeding federal per diem rate should be explained and justified via memo and approved by the appropriate Dean or Vice President.
lodging reimbursement
Lodging Reimbursement
  • Employees must be more than 50 miles from home/headquarters
  • Reimbursement for actual lodging expenses
  • Must be documented by receipts
  • Must be business that offers lodging to the public (hotel or motel)
  • Expenses exceeding federal per diem rate in excess of twenty-five percent must be explained and justified via memo and approved by the appropriate Dean or Vice President
federal per diem rates
Federal Per Diem Rates
  • Federal Per Diem rates for locations within the continental US, including Georgia, are available at
  • Federal Per Diem rates for foreign travel are available at
  • The meals and incidental expense breakdown for foreign travel can be found at:  
  • Please note that the Univeristy does not reimburse the incidental expense amount.
  • $135 daily total no longer exists
lodging rates
Lodging Rates
  • Employees are responsible for ensuring the most reasonable lodging rates.
  • Deluxe accommodations will be avoided.
  • Corporate/government rates should be obtained when available. Many hotels and motels grant these rates upon request when state employees show identification.
eligibility to incur lodging
Eligibility to Incur Lodging
  • If travel begins after 3:00 p.m., reimbursement will not be made for day prior.
  • If travel begins prior to 3:00 p.m., reimbursement can be made if it is necessary for the traveler to be present for business.
  • If travel ends after 3:00 p.m., reimbursement can be made for lodging only if employee would not be able to return to his home by 9:00 p.m.
sponsored conferences trade shows retreats
Sponsored Conferences, Trade Shows, Retreats
  • In many cases, employees involved in these activities reside or work less than 50 miles from the site. Department heads are authorized to approve overnight travel for these persons, providing they are required to conduct business activities at the site the following day.
  • This provision applies only to conferences and sponsored events. This does not authorize employees to claim reimbursement for activities that are part of their normal responsibilities.
georgia green hotels
Georgia Green Hotels
  • When traveling on state business and hosting meetings, employees are encouraged to support the hotels in the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Green Hotels program. Green hotels meet a stringent standard for environmental stewardship and operation efficiency.
sharing lodging
Sharing Lodging
  • When a room is shared with other state employees on travel status, reimbursement will be calculated on a prorated share of the total (group travel.)
  • If a state employee on travel status is accompanied by a non-employee, the employee is only entitled to reimbursement at a single room rate.
taxes associated with lodging
Should not be charged county or municipal excise tax (only applies to hotels/motels within Georgia)

If lodging is direct-billed to UGA, the hotel/motel should not collect any taxes associated with the lodging expense.

Required to pay state/local sales and use taxes

Taxes Associated with Lodging
taxes continued
Taxes Continued
  • If hotel refuses to accept hotel/motel tax exemption form ( employee should pay the tax and explain it as an unusual expense on the travel expense statement.
  • UGA will reimburse if traveler provides: hotel/motel employee name, dates of lodging, name, address, phone number of hotel, and documentation of refusal to omit the excise tax.
vehicles and common carrier
Vehicles and Common Carrier
  • Reimbursement for the most economical mode of transportation, consistent with the purpose of the travel, will be authorized.
  • UGA faculty & staff are responsible for determining the appropriate reimbursement rate and documentation relating to the use of the appropriate rate should be retained for audit purposes.
  • Actual odometer readings must be reported on the expense statement.
  • Parking & toll expenses will be reimbursed. Receipts should be provided when possible, if not, a written explanation should be made on the expense statement.
personal motor vehicle
Personal Motor Vehicle
  • $0.485 per mile for travel on or after February 1, 2007
  • $0.445 per mile for travel between January 1, 2006 and January 31, 2007
  • If a government owned vehicle is available and determined to be the most advantageous form of travel or if a rental car is the recommended mode of travel, yet a personal vehicle is used, reimbursement should be at $0.285 per mile.
state owned vehicles
State Owned Vehicles
  • State owned vehicles may not be used to drive to and from an employee’s residence or parked overnight at an employee’s residence without prior written approval by the Dean of the college or by Director of the unit concerned.
determination of business miles traveled
Determination of Business Miles Traveled
  • If leaving from headquarters, compute mileage from headquarters to destination
  • If leaving from residence, calculate from residence to destination, with a reduction of your normal one-way commute miles
  • If returning to headquarters, compute mileage from destination to headquarters
  • If returning to residence, calculate mileage with a reduction of normal one-way commute miles
  • Examples provided at
exceptions to deducting normal commute miles
Exceptions to deducting normal commute miles
  • Depart on weekends or holidays
  • Employee does not regularly travel to an office outside of his/her residence
  • Miles to pick up additional passengers
  • Miles traveled to obtain meals for which employee is eligible
  • Miles traveled to multiple work sites
statewide contract pricing
Statewide Contract Pricing
  • DOAS has contracted with airlines for various travel destinations. Employees should refer to the statewide contract when making travel arrangements. The rates can be accessed at
  • Employees may purchase tickets through a travel agent as long as the agencies have no relation to the employee or the person responsible for making the arrangements.
travel portal
Travel Portal
  • Information on air travel, lodging, airport parking, authorized travel agencies
  • State employees traveling by commercial air must utilize the lowest possible coach fares. Employees will not be reimbursed for the portion of non-coach (first class, business class, etc.) that exceeds the cost of the lowest available fare on the same flight.
  • Exceptions: No space on the needed flight, licensed medical practitioner certifies a physical or medical condition exists, Commissioner of Public Safety certifies specific air travel arrangements are necessary for security reasons.
  • Charges resulting from the cancellation of airline or other travel reservations shall be UGA’s responsibility if the employee’s travel has been approved in advance and the cancellation is made at the direction of and for the convenience of UGA. If the cancellation is made for the employee’s benefit, it is the employee’s obligation.
  • UGA will cover in the event of an accident, serious illness, or death within the employee’s immediate family.
upgrades to non coach travel
Upgrades to Non-Coach Travel
  • State employees may use personal frequent flyer miles to upgrade to non-coach travel. Employees can also personally pay to upgrade.
  • Employees may negotiate for upgrades to non-coach travel with individual commercial carriers if: The flight is international and over five hours in duration, carrier agrees not to charge any additional cost to the state.
indemnification rec d due to travel inconveniences imposed by airlines
Indemnification Rec’d Due to Travel Inconveniences Imposed by Airlines
  • Employees are allowed to accept indemnifications if travel has been inconvenienced by overbooking, changes, or delayed or canceled flights.
  • Examples of indemnifications are: vouchers for meals or lodging, upgrades to non-coach travel, credits toward future flight costs
rental of motor vehicles
Rental of Motor Vehicles
  • Letter of approval no longer required
  • Employee will be reimbursed for actual authorized rental costs incurred.
  • Luxury automobile rental is not permitted.
  • Gasoline will be reimbursed (with receipts)
insurance for rental cars
Insurance for Rental Cars
  • Employees traveling on state business in a rental car are covered by the State’s liability policy. Liability coverage should be declined when renting.
  • Loss Damage Waiver/Collision Damage Waiver (LDW/CDW) insurance is included in the statewide contract at no additional cost.
travel by railroad
Travel by Railroad
  • Employees can be reimbursed for the actual cost of rail transportation, provided the appropriate personnel authorized the travel expense in advance. Since there is no statewide contract for transportation by rail, employees are encouraged to obtain the lowest possible fare.
mass transportation taxi airport vans
Mass Transportation, Taxi, Airport Vans
  • Employees traveling in state vehicles should purchase fuel at state owned facilities when feasible. Purchases should be made with a state credit card.
  • Airport vans or taxi service will be reimbursed
  • Airport van service should be utilized when available and when arrival/departure is during daylight hours.
  • Baggage handling services may be reimbursed when incurred (moving luggage into/out of lodging.
  • Taxi fares cannot be reimbursed for more than common carrier charge between two cities or towns.
required documentation of transportation expenses
Required Documentation of Transportation Expenses
  • Travel by rented or public transportation must be recorded on the TES and must be documented by receipts.
  • Travel by mass transportation, taxi, or airport van does not require receipts; however, they are recommended. If no receipts are provided, a point-to-point explanation is required for each item reimbursed.
registration fees
Registration Fees
  • For participation in workshops, seminars, or conferences which an employee is authorized to attend.
  • Allowed when supported by a paid receipt or a copy of a check showing payment.
  • Any part of a registration fee applicable to meals will be reported as meal expenses and not as a registration fee if the costs can be separately identified.
telephone telegraph fax
  • Employees can be reimbursed if work related.
  • Document on TES and indicate the location from which each call was made, the person contacted, and reason for communication.
  • Personal calls are not reimbursable.
internet usage
Internet Usage
  • May be reimbursed for work-related internet usage charges
  • Charges should be separately identified on the itemized hotel/motel bill
  • Listed on TES under miscellaneous section
baggage handling
Baggage Handling
  • May be reimbursed when expense is incurred in moving luggage into or out of lodging places and common carriers.
  • Tips which are reasonable and necessary will be reimbursed.
stationary supplies postage
  • May be reimbursed provided the expenses are directly associated with a work related project and the cost is reasonable.
  • Claims should be accompanied by a written explanation and receipts/invoices.
visa passport fees
Visa/Passport Fees
  • If employee is required to travel and does not possess a Visa/Passport, the fee is eligible for reimbursement when documented by receipt and approved by the department head.
unallowable expenses
Unallowable Expenses
  • Laundry (allowable when overnight travel exceeds 7 consecutive days)
  • Tipping for maid service
  • Valet services for parking (when self parking options are available)
  • Theater
  • Entertainment
  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • Bank Charges for ATM withdrawls
requests for reimbursements should include
Requests for Reimbursements Should Include…
  • Travel Expense Statement (
  • Per diem rates for meals, documentation of actual costs for lodging, mileage, transportation, and misc. expenses
  • Explanation of any expenses exceeding established limits
  • Explanation of purpose of the trip
  • Description of the type of transportation used
TES should be signed attesting info on the form is accurate.
  • TES should be approved by the appropriate person in the traveler’s unit.
  • Employees providing false info are subject to criminal penalty of a felony for false statements, which is subject to fine of not more than $1,000 or imprisonment for 1-5 years.
receipts required
Receipts Required
  • Meals purchased in lieu of those provided at conference/training
  • Lodging
  • Airline or railroad fares
  • Rental of motor vehicles
  • Gasoline purchased for vehicle rentals
  • Supplies
  • Registration Fees
  • Laundry Service (when travel exceeds 7 days)
  • Visa/Passport Fees
  • Reimbursement for non-employee travel should be submitted via check request.
  • Check request should include honoraria fee sheet, receipts for any expenses other than meals and mileage (meals and mileage do not require receipts; however, expenditures must be documented on the fee sheet.)
  • Non-employee travel can be submitted on the electronic check request system.
  • Submit travel expense amount to be reimbursed under fees portion of the honoraria.
  • Receipts for meals and mileage are not required; however, meal amounts and mileage must be documented on the honoraria for reimbursement.
  • For tax purposes, non-employee travel must adhere to the same guidelines that govern employee travel.
  • Full social security numbers are required for reimbursement of non-employees.
direct billing airfare
Direct Billing Airfare
  • If you have the airfare of a non-employee direct billed to one of our authorized agencies, you must encumber funding prior to trying to purchase the ticket.
  • Use non-employee web travel authority form
  • Submit entire social security number of the non-employee
  • When the GA Center is booked, departments often direct charge lodging to UGA through an area hotel.
  • Submit Direct Billing Approval Form to Sarah Bell in Travel & Encumbrances
  • Submit approval letter with honoraria, check request, and lodging invoice
picking up the tab
“Picking up the Tab”
  • Anyone that pays for another person’s meals, lodging, or transportation must seek reimbursement using group travel procedures.
  • Prior approval for use of group travel procedures is no longer required.
  • Employee & non-employee portions cannot be submitted on the same check request.
  • Travel distribution sheet must accompany each request. Socials must be provided for any non-employee who receives a fee for service. Note: Indicate if non-employees received a fee for service or not on CR face.
  • Master travel expense statement or master honoraria must accompany each check request.
  • If John Doe (employee) covers lodging for Jane Smith (employee) and Tina Edwards (non-employee visiting speaker) 2 check requests would need to be submitted.
  • First request would have master travel expense statement and a distribution sheet that contained charges for John and Jane.
  • Second request would have a master honoraria fee sheet for Tina Edwards and a distribution sheet listing her charges and full social security number.
for more information
For More Information
  • Complete policy, procedure, and FAQ’s online at
  • Accounts Payable Website Travel Section
  • Forms (travel distribution, honoraria)