Employee Travel Expense and Reimbursement
Procedure Number: 5.8.1-P
Current Effective Date: 07/23/2021
Original Effective Date: 01/01/2015
Revision Dates: 07/01/2016, 10/01/2017; 07/01/2019, 3/20/2020, 12/07/2020, 07/23/2021
Revision Number: 6
Revision Summary: update to new titles
Responsible Official: Vice President, Administrative Services
References: Includes Prior Business Procedure 8.4
To outline requirements for reimbursement by KCTCS for out-of-pocket expenses incurred while on official KCTCS business travel and other purchases made for approved bona fide business purposes.
This is a mandatory procedure that applies to all KCTCS employees.
3. Pre-Travel Authorization Requirements
- No authorization form is required to be attached for the System Office audit level. However, all employees traveling on KCTCS business or who expect reimbursement from KCTCS for travel expenses must have supervisory approval. Otherwise, KCTCS may deny the reimbursement request in whole or in part.
- All overnight out-of-state travel reimbursement requests must have a BA25 (Out-of-State Travel Authorization) form attached, signed and dated by the college president/System Office cabinet member and by the employee traveling.
- Both the event and the lodging must be outside of Kentucky to be considered out-of-state travel.
3.3 Out-of-country travel:
- All out-of-country travel reimbursement requests must have a BA26 (Out-of-Country Travel Authorization) form attached, signed and dated by the college president/System Office cabinet member, the KCTCS Chancellor, and by the employee traveling.
- See Administrative Procedure 5.2.1-P (Insurance), Section 8 (International), for securing international travel insurance.
- Travel dates and destination must be given to the KCTCS Office of Facilities Support Services at least 30 days prior to travel for insurance purposes.
- See section 3.5 of this procedure for additional requirements regarding student international travel.
- Out-of-country travel using federal funds must adhere to the Fly America Act in accordance with Title 49 of the US Code, Subtitle VII, Part A, subpart I, Chapter 401, 40118, Government Financed Air Transportation.
Exceptions and requirements:
- Travel arrangements should be made using the most economical and feasible means available.
- KCTCS will only reimburse for most economical forms of travel, regardless of the amount submitted for reimbursement.
- Exceptions to this or any other procedure must have written approval from the KCTCS Assistant Vice President of Business Services/COO.
- Requests should include sufficient information and justification for KCTCS Business
Services to discern the necessity and bona fide business purpose for the request.
- Example: Requests for a direct-bill to KCTCS for lodging arrangements for a group.
- See Administrative Procedure 5.1.16-P (Direct Billing or Procurement Card Purchase of Accommodations or Meals).
- Requests must go through the KCTCS Assistant Vice President of Business Services/COO.
- Example: Rental car.
- See Administrative Procedure 5.1.17-P (Rental Vehicles).
- Must attach approval from college president/KCTCS Assistant Vice President of Business Services/COO.
- Example: Moving expenses and travel related to moving.
- Refer to Administrative Procedure 5.8.2-P (Moving and Temporary Assignment Expense Reimbursement).
- KCTCS Assistant Vice President of Business Services/COO must approve.
- Example: Requests for a direct-bill to KCTCS for lodging arrangements for a group.
Additional KCTCS International travel abroad requirements:
- Travelers submitting expense reports associated with travel/study abroad programs
must have complied with the KCTCS Travel Abroad Policy and Procedure.
- KCTCS may deny any expenses submitted for reimbursement or payment in connection with travel abroad programs not in compliance with applicable policy and procedure.
- KCTCS students traveling out-of-country per a recognized approved KCTCS study abroad program must complete a KCTCS Insurance Form and Emergency Contact Information Form.
- Funds collected for student international travel/study abroad must be coordinated with and maintained by a third-party agency such as a travel agency (i.e., Education First Study Tours, Kentucky Institute for International Studies) or College Foundation.
- Faculty/staff who are coordinating international student travel may not hold travel funds collected for student travel in a personal checking account or banking account under that faculty or staff member’s name. Doing so violates Administrative Procedure 5.3.9-P (Cash Accounting & Handling) provisions regulating cash handling.
- Stipends paid to the travel coordinator: If a faculty or staff member receives a stipend beyond the cost of travel for serving as the international travel/study abroad leader, those funds are taxable under IRS code and regulation. The third-party agency must submit a 1099 for tax purposes for that individual.
- Colleges that create student organizations that maintain funds for international travel/study abroad must follow guidelines under Administrative Procedure 5.7.11-P (Student Organization Compliance and Repair).
All expense reimbursement reports should be submitted within 45 days of the travel or purchase.
- Fiscal year-end (June 30) deadlines may be shorter than 45 days.
- KCTCS year-end processing deadlines are distributed well in advance to all departments by the office of the KCTCS Assistant Vice President of Business Services/COO.
Mileage is not reimbursed for commuting between the employee’s home and primary work location.
KCTCS or state-owned vehicles with fuel credit cards should be used if available and feasible.
Personal vehicle use while on official KCTCS business is reimbursed at a rate of $0.47 per mile (2018); between the employee’s official work location and the destination, unless the employee left from home and home was closer to the destination.
Mileage to and from the airport for out-of-state trips is calculated the same as in Paragraph 5.3 above regardless of the day of the week or time of day.
- Only one round trip is reimbursable.
Mileage reimbursement can be requested for preapproved travel using a personal vehicle for KCTCS business, and covered under KCTCS’ accountable travel plan.
Employees who choose to drive a personal vehicle, when flying would have been more economical, will be reimbursed the amount of one coach airline ticket.
- No other expenses will be considered as part of the coach airline ticket quote – for example, baggage fees, parking, and mileage to the airport.
- Employee must provide all pricing details for both modes of travel for comparison.
Vicinity mileage exceeding 20 total miles must be listed separately, with originating and destination locations specified.
Mileage will be verified and calculated by the GPS Mileage Calculator in PeopleSoft by utilizing Oracle Maps when seeking reimbursement. The expense type Mileage should be selected and the Mileage Calculator fields completed. A single trip or round trip can be submitted for reimbursement. To calculate the miles, follow the process outlines below:
- Enter the starting point address in the Start Point Field. The format must be Address,
City, State. Example: 300 North Main Street, Versailles, KY or 300 North Main St,
- Mileage must be calculated from employee's workstation unless employee traveled from home, in the event that home was closer.
- Enter the ending point address in the End Point field. The format must be Address, City, State. Example: 300 North Main Street, Versailles, KY or 300 North Main St, Versailles KY. Click Calculate GPS Distance.
- When seeking reimbursement for a round trip, select the plus sign in order to select the date of the return trip and the expense type as Mileage. Follow the above format to enter starting and end point and click Calculate GPS Distance. If the address is not entered in the same manner for both (such as not spelling Street or using an abbreviation for Street "St") then the mileage calculated may be slightly different in the calculation by a few miles.
- The traveler has the option to override the number of calculated miles by deleting what populated in the Miles field and entering a value. If this option is chosen, then the traveler will be required to enter the reason that calculated mileage was overridden in the GPS Amt Override Comment field.
KCTCS encourages colleges to consider normal travel requirements of an employee’s job in compensation considerations. Colleges are encouraged to limit the utilization of KCTCS vehicles and mileage reimbursements to unusual travel needs outside of the employee’s regular day-to-day duties. When an employee must utilize KCTCS vehicles or be reimbursed mileage, the following applies:
- Travel between worksites in the course of a workday is included in the KCTCS accountable plan and may be reimbursed as a non-taxable event at the college’s discretion.
- KCTCS vehicles may also be used under the KCTCS accountable plan, at the college’s discretion, when an employee travels between worksites in the normal course of their workday.
- If commuting is reimbursed or a KCTCS vehicle is used to commute, the college will report the corresponding mileage reimbursed or vehicle usage to payroll to allow for taxable wages to be assigned.
6. Air Travel
A KCTCS procurement card (procard) should be used to purchase airline tickets.
- Refer to Administrative Procedure 5.4.2-P (Procurement Card) for additional information on airline ticket purchases.
- Employees without access to a KCTCS procard should contact their local college business office for instructions.
- If it is impossible or impractical to use a procard, approval for reimbursement from the KCTCS Assistant Vice President of Business Services/COO must be requested in advance and evidence thereof attached to the employee’s expense report.
Commercial airline travel must be at the coach/economy class (lowest) rate.
- Additional or optional expenses are not reimbursable with the exception of baggage fees for one piece of non-overweight checked luggage.
- Frequent-flyer miles and airline travel vouchers are not reimbursable to employees for travel in connection with KCTCS business.
- KCTCS does not purchase airline vouchers or frequent-flyer miles.
Airfare purchases are to be charged to the fiscal year in which the travel occurs.
- If the travel occurs in a future fiscal year, the employee should contact KCTCS Financial Services for the reclassification of the expense to a prepaid expense for the next fiscal year.
7. Other Transportation
Travelers should use their best judgment to select the most economical form of transportation possible. The KCTCS Office of Business Services will only reimburse for most economical forms of travel, regardless of the amount submitted for reimbursement.
- All ground transportation expenses must be necessary to the bona fide business purpose.
- Transportation costs for going to dinner and other personal choices is not reimbursable by KCTCS.
7.3 Rental cars:
- See Administrative Procedure 5.1.17-P (Rental Vehicles) before renting a vehicle.
- Email approval from the college president or KCTCS Assistant Vice President of Business Services/COO must be attached.
- College Presidents must obtain approval from the KCTCS Vice President of Administrative Services or the KCTCS Assistant Vice President of Business Services/COO before renting a vehicle.
Shuttle services to and from airport/hotel:
- Shuttle services are not an allowable item to be charged on the procard.
- KCTCS employee should seek reimbursement through regular KCTCS reimbursement process for shuttle charges.
A KCTCS procurement card (procard) should be used to pay necessary overnight stays for colleges participating in the procard lodging program. Colleges not participating in the procard lodging program should have employees secure and pay for approved lodging with their personal credit cards and then seek reimbursement.
- Lodging must be more than 40 miles from the closer of the employee’s work location or home.
- Employees may not use the procard or claim reimbursement for incidental hotel expenses
such as food, early check-in fee, room upgrades, etc.
- Wifi may be reimbursed or paid on procard if a necessary business purpose is documented and approved by the employee’s supervisor.
- Employees should obtain pre-approval from supervisor prior to arranging lodging.
- A fully itemized receipt must be obtained for hotel charges.
- Direct billing for multiple travelers (more than four) to the same event is the preferred method.
- Prepaid lodging must be recorded in the year-end closing process if the travel occurs in a subsequent fiscal year.
The following procedures apply to KCTCS procard use for lodging:
- Lodging on procard is available to only KCTCS employees on approved work travel status.
- College employees without access to a KCTCS procard should contact the college business office and System Office employees should contact Business Services for instructions.
- If it is impossible or impractical to use a procard, approval for reimbursement from the KCTCS Assistant Vice President of Business Services/COO must be attached.
- If a credit card authorization form is required, the cardholder must not include full credit card # (only last 4 digits) nor furnish the 3 digit security code.
- The cardholder must contact the hotel via phone after faxing the credit card authorization form and provide additional information verbally.
- Traveler should verify with the hotel that all information has been provided and the hotel has the information on file for the reservation.
- The KCTCS employee MUST present a personal form of payment (personal credit card) at the time of check-in at hotel for all incidentals.
- When required by the lodging establishment, the traveler’s lodging stay may be posted to the procard in advance, provided there is a full refund cancelation policy in place.
- Parking at the hotel is an allowable procard item if on the hotel bill.
- The employee should sign the itemized hotel receipt as proof of review and documentation.
- Employees may use the KCTCS procard for bundled air flight/hotel accommodations with proof of cost savings.
- Employees may use procard for conference registrations that include lodging and meal deposit if these items cannot be excluded from the registration.
Employees are reimbursed a per diem amount for meals that were not provided or included in conference registrations and that occurred while on official overnight business travel.
Internal Revenue Service (IRS) code limits the maximum reimbursable expenses for meals on departure and return days to 75% of the amount on other days as a fringe benefit without taxation. These rates include tax and gratuity:
- In-state overnight travel: Breakfast $9, Lunch $12, Dinner $19.
- On departure/return days, the maximum amount to be claimed is $30; on other days the max is $40.
- Out-of-state overnight travel: Breakfast $10, Lunch $13, Dinner $27.
- On departure/return days, the maximum amount to be claimed is $37; on other days the max is $50.
- Out-of-country travel: The employee may choose one of two methods of meal reimbursement,
to be used for the entire trip.
- Method 1 - Per Diem: Breakfast $10, Lunch $20, Dinner $35.
- On departure/return days, the maximum amount to be claimed is $48.75; on other days the max is $65.
- Method 2 - Actual cost: Actual cost of meals, with receipts attached, up to a maximum
of: Breakfast $16, Lunch $20, Dinner $37.
- On departure/return days, the maximum amount to be claimed is $54.75; on other days the max is $73.
- Method 1 - Per Diem: Breakfast $10, Lunch $20, Dinner $35.
10. Registration Fees
A KCTCS procurement card (procard) should be used to pay conference and professional meeting registration fees in advance of the event.
- If this is not possible, the reason for using a personal payment method must be approved in advance by the KCTCS Assistant Vice President of Business Services/COO.
Payment for registration fees must be charged to the fiscal year in which the travel occurs.
- If the travel occurs in a future fiscal year, the employee should contact KCTCS General Accounting Services staff for the reclassification of the expense to a pre-paid expense for the next fiscal year.
Registration for conferences that include memberships as part of the registration may be charged to a KCTCS procard.
- The bona fide benefit to KCTCS must be clearly stated.
11. Other Reimbursable Expenses
- Airport parking will be reimbursed at the lowest “economy” rate available at that airport.
- Hotel Parking:
- Parking will be paid by employee and submitted for reimbursement if not charged on the hotel bill.
- Hotel parking may be charged to a procard if included on the hotel invoice.
- Valet parking will only be reimbursed with accompanying circumstantial justification (e.g., availability, safety, or security), which will be reviewed by the KCTCS Assistant Vice President of Business Services/COO.
- Reimbursement for telephone, internet, and fax charges is for necessary official business only.
- Telephone calls to the employee’s operating unit should be made through a KCTCS-issued
cell phone or KCTCS 800/877/888-numbers when available.
- KCTCS 800/877/888-numbers are only valid to use when traveling within the United States. Out-of-country travelers will not be able to call the toll-free numbers.
- The employee is allowed one “safe arrival” phone call after arrival at the destination when traveling out-of-state, not to exceed five minutes, if needed.
Professional and membership dues (not bundled with registration) must be paid by the employee and reimbursed, per IRS code, to be nontaxable.
- These purchases should be approved in advance, with the bona fide benefit to KCTCS clearly stated.
- Tips for taxi and similar necessary ground transportation expenses used for official KCTCS business are reimbursable at a rate of 15-20% maximum.
- If a receipt is required to be attached (over $20), the tip must be included on the receipt.
- Tips for meals are included in the per diem and are not independently reimbursable.
- Tips for necessary baggage handling and maid service may be reimbursed at a maximum rate of $2 per occurrence.
- No other tips are reimbursable with the exception of unusual circumstances in which
a substantial tip is required or justified.
- A justification must be included for the KCTCS Assistant Vice President of Business Services/COO’s review.
- Refer to Administrative Procedure 5.1.13-P (Employee Meals and Refreshments) and Administrative Procedure 5.1.14-P (Non-employee Meals, Refreshments, and Accommodations).
- Working meals
- Special event meals
- Attach a completed BA50 (Meals, Refreshments, Accommodations) form or include all information from that form on the expense report.
Passport fees are not an allowable KCTCS expense and are not reimbursable.
Currency exchange fees:
- Employees should obtain foreign currency at a local bank without an exchange fee whenever possible.
- All reimbursements should be based on the currency exchange rate in effect on the day of return from the foreign country.
- Employees must submit reimbursement claims in US Dollars.
Other items purchased:
- Must include the bona fide business purpose and the reason for not using a procard.
12. Receipts and Other Documentation
Receipts or other credible evidence of payment for all expenses greater than $20 (other than mileage and per diem meals) must be attached and are considered the official document of record for audit purposes.
An agenda or similar document should be attached when necessary to clarify the nature of the event; dates, times, and location of the event; or to verify provided meals.
An agenda for all college presidents’ and cabinet members’ travel must be attached.
The KCTCS Assistant Vice President of Business Services/COO may approve reasonable exceptions to these procedures.
- Each request for exception should include supporting explanation/documentation and will be reviewed on an individual, stand-alone basis.
- Requests without explanation/documentation will not be considered.
The request for exception should be made prior to the travel and must be in writing (email will suffice).
- Exceptions requested after travel has occurred should contain a statement of details as to why prior approval was not feasible.
- The request must contain:
- Applicable employee’s name and worksite
- Nature of the exception being requested
- Bona fide business purpose
- Benefit to KCTCS
- If the exception is approved, it should be attached to the employee’s expense report when submitted.
Only the KCTCS Assistant Vice President of Business Services/COO may approve exceptions to the travel procedures.
Interpretations of this procedure will be made by the KCTCS Assistant Vice President of Business Services/COO with advice from the KCTCS Vice President of Administrative Services as necessary.
- These determinations will be final and conclusive.
KCTCS shall not, without advanced written approval, pay for or reimburse employees, consultants, or others acting on its behalf for expenses associated with the purchase, use, or consumption of:
- Alcoholic beverages.
- Tobacco products, medications, or controlled substances.
- Excessive or extravagant meals.
- First-class or upgraded air travel or hotel accommodations.
- Premium, luxury, or specialty automobile rentals.
- Any other cost or expense that does not reasonably promote KCTCS’ legitimate business interests.
All payable or reimbursable expenses must, in the sole judgement of KCTCS, be both reasonable and necessary to promote legitimate business interests.
- Prohibited expenses above shall not be placed on institution issued credit cards unless preapproved in writing by KCTCS Office of Business Services.
14. Reimbursement Procedure and Schedule
- Claims are entered into the Travel and Expense module in PeopleSoft by the employee or their designee.
- The request will be processed through PeopleSoft workflow approval from the employee to the employee’s supervisor, to the college or departmental auditor/reviewer, to KCTCS System Office of Procurement to Payment.
- Each approving authority is responsible for ensuring that the expense report conforms to the provisions of this procedure and that all expenses are as economical as reasonably feasible.
- Each approver should, as necessary, return the expense report to the employee for corrections or additional justification/ documentation.
- The reimbursement will be paid by ACH direct deposit in the twice-weekly payment cycle.
- The employee will receive an email notification prior to the deposit.
- The actual deposit will occur one to four days following the email notification – usually the next business day.
- Claims are submitted on the Travel Expense Voucher (BA3)
- The BA3 form must include:
- Name, current address, status or official relationship of the individual submitting the travel voucher.
- Documentation of the KCTCS business purpose for the travel.
- A Travel Voucher Continuation Form (BA3a) and Travel Voucher-Other Expenses Form (BA3b) may also be used as needed.
- The claims are uploaded to the Travel and Reimbursement Team Site on SharePoint by the college travel auditor or System Office budget owner.
- Each approving authority shall be responsible for ensuring that each expense form conforms to the provisions of this procedure and that all expenses are as economical as reasonably feasible.
- KCTCS Office of Procurement to Payment Services will make the final approval to the non-employee expense claim for reimbursement and enter it into PeopleSoft.
- For any non-employee that does not have direct deposit established with KCTCS, a check will be mailed directly to the payee’s address listed on the travel expense form in the weekly payment cycle.