Section 1: General Overview
Kenyon College will provide funds to its travelers for all reasonable and necessary expenses incurred while transacting the affairs of the College. In order to report these expenses free from income tax withholding, these expenses must adhere to the IRS definition of an "Accountable Plan." Expenses without proper documentation, or if documentation is not supplied in a reasonable amount of time (see cash advance or reimbursement for submission schedule), are reported as income and are subject to income tax withholding.
IRS Publication 463 states:
- Your expenses must have a business connection - that is, you must have paid or incurred deductible expenses while performing services as an employee of your employer.
- You must adequately account to your employer for these expenses within a reasonable period of time.
- You must return any excess reimbursement or allowance within a reasonable period of time.
There are specific types of expenses which are considered to be personal, and are therefore not to be purchased with College funds. The following list is illustrative, and does not necessarily include all items considered to be personal expenses.
a. Cleaning, pressing, laundry, and personal hygiene items.
b. Airline and other trip insurance.
c. Barber, manicurist and shoe shine.
d. Personal entertainment/recreation
e. Traveler's check fees.
f. Repairs on personal automobiles damaged while on College business.
g. Traffic violations and court costs.
h. Loss or theft of personal property.
Original receipts are required for all non-lodging expenses exceeding $25.00. Receipts for lodging expenses are required regardless of cost. All receipts should indicate a valid business purpose and persons entertained (if applicable). If original is unavailable, there should be a statement from the supervisor acknowledging and authorizing payment without the receipt. Photocopies of receipts will be accepted only with an explanation of why the original is unavailable, authorized by the supervisor.
From time to time family members may accompany employees on business trips. The College generally encourages employees to take advantage of business travel for family members. However, the additional expense incurred as a result of family members is strictly the responsibility of the employee. Whenever possible, separate receipts should be obtained for the employee's expenses.
College business travelers are expected to use the most economical and direct mode of transportation available, consistent with the authorized purpose of the travel.
A. Personal Vehicles
Reimbursement for business travel by personal automobile is at the per diem rate per mile (currently $0.585/mi) as published by the Internal Revenue Service. This per mile rate covers all expenses, except toll charges and parking fees, relating to the operation of the car. Requests for mileage reimbursement should be submitted on a Travel and Entertainment Expense Statement and should include dates traveled, mileage, destination and business purpose of travel. Mileage reimbursements should include a copy of total distance traveled, either from an online mapping website, beginning and ending odometer reading, or detailed log of daily mileage incurred.
B. Air Travel
- An employee may use the College credit card, or travel agent of his or her choice, to book the best available coach class of service. However, employees are encouraged to periodically check with more than one agent to ensure the best rates. Upgrades from coach class are permitted provided the upgrade is at no additional cost to the College. Agents may or may not be willing to bill the College directly. If not, the employee will need to pay the agent for the ticket and then request reimbursement from the College.
- If an agent is going to bill the College directly the employee must know the account number to which the flight will be charged and give that number to the agent to be included on the invoice.
- All tickets purchased must be non-refundable. If the trip is cancelled, the ticket must be used on the next available opportunity for travel on that airline.
- Extending a trip for a day or two to include a Saturday often results in significant savings on airfares. Often this savings is greater than the additional cost of meals and lodging. When this is the case and work schedules permit, employees are encouraged to extend their stay.
Note: If an employee chooses to drive rather than fly on a business trip, reimbursement for travel by personal automobile will be limited to the lesser of mileage or the most economical, direct airfare available.
The College will pay for single occupancy hotel accommodations. The College expects everyone to use moderately priced hotel accommodations. An exception will be allowed if the hotel is the location of the conference or symposium attended.
The actual cost of meals, including taxes and tips (except where limited by contract or grant), while on College business, can be paid with College funds. Travelers should select restaurants which are reasonably priced for the locality.
- Breakfast will be allowed whenever the traveler is out of town the night before or when the incurred travel begins earlier than a normal breakfast and no meal was provided by the transportation company.
- Lunch will be reimbursed provided that the trip begins before the lunch hour.
- Dinner reimbursement will be made when the traveler is away from home for the evening meal or does not return home until after the normal dinner hour, and no meal was provided by the transportation company en route.
A. Meals eaten during day trips which do not include overnight travel are permitted only if there is a business purpose directly related to the meal. Therefore, a meal eaten while traveling to or from a meeting is not reimbursable because the IRS views this as a personal expense.
B. On occasion it is necessary for an employee to entertain a campus visitor. For example, this could be someone who is interviewing for a position or a guest lecturer. When circumstances require that the employee accompany the visitor during a meal the College will pay for both the visitor's and the employee's meal since there is a business purpose directly related to the meal. Only Expenses for individuals directly involved in carrying out College business will be permitted.
C. As in all other situations, the business purpose of the meal, persons entertained, and original receipts must be included with the College credit card statement, or Travel & Entertainment Expense Statement .
A. Standard Tipping of 15% is allowed for meal service. Tips for excellent service and pre calculated tips for large parties will be permitted up to 20%. Tips in excess of twenty percent will be reimbursed at the twenty percent amount.
B. Reasonable tips, for other services such as taxi cab drivers, are also allowable.
A. While on overnight travel the College will pay for business related calls made to the College. The College will also pay for calls to talk with family members once a day (for a reasonable period of time).
B. College phone cards are available for making College-related calls when away from campus. Requests for phone cards should come from the department head and should be directed to the Telecommunications Coordinator. Requests must include the name of the person to receive the card, the name of the department, and the account number to which calls on the card should be charged. Charges for calls made using phone cards appear on the monthly telephone chargeback report for each department. If a card is ever lost or stolen, or when a cardholder leaves the employ of the College the phone card in question should be reported immediately to the Telecommunications Coordinator at PBX 5703 so that the card can be canceled.