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Policies and Procedures - Travel

Policy 5 - Subsistence

Employees receive allowances for meals and lodging for full days of travel. In addition, employees receive allowances for meals and lodging for partial days [less than twenty-four (24) hour period] if the travel involves an overnight stay and the partial day is the day of departure or the day of return.

An explanation of the allowances that can be claimed for each circumstance are detailed below:

Twenty-four (24) Hour Period - Full Day

  • Definition - A twenty-four (24) hour period is defined as the time between 12:01 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. midnight. It is synonymous with the calendar day.
  • Rate of Allowance - One hundred three dollars and twenty cents ($103.20) for a twenty-four (24) hour period when traveling in-state and one hundred seventeen dollars and seventy cents ($117.70) for a twenty-four (24) hour period when traveling out-of-state. See Table I - Rate of Allowances.
  • To obtain reimbursement for lodging, a receipt of actual expenses from a commercial lodging establishment must accompany the travel reimbursement request. Reimbursement for lodging may only be made in the amount documented by lodging receipts.


TABLE I - RATE OF ALLOWANCES

                            Out-of- 
                 In-State    State 
Meals
Breakfast         $ 8.20    $ 8.20 
Lunch              10.70     10.70 
Dinner             18.40     20.90 
Total             $37.30    $39.80 
Lodging            65.90     77.90
24-Hour Period   $103.20   $117.70

An employee may request reimbursement for actual lodging and/or meal expenses if they are less than the above subsistence rates.

Out-of-State travel status begins the day the employee leaves the State and remains in effect through the day the employee returns to the State. Accordingly, in-state allowances and reimbursement rates apply when employees and other qualified official travelers use hotel and meal facilities located in North Carolina immediately prior to leaving North Carolina and returning from out-of-state.

Less Than A Twenty-four (24) Hour Period - Partial Day

  • Time of Departure or Return - When traveling a partial day, the time of departure and/or return must be noted on the Request for Reimbursement of Travel and Other Expenses when filing for reimbursement.
  • Lodging - Allowances are sixty-five dollars and ninety cents ($65.90) when traveling in-state and seventy-seven dollars and ninety cents ($77.90) when traveling out-of-state and out-of-country. See Table I - Rate of Allowances.
    Receipts or written statements by the traveler as to the place (address) of lodging are required. Additionally, daily hotel allowances are to be reported as incurred on the date on which the nights lodging begins.
  • Meals - Allowances for meals shall not exceed thirty-seven dollars and thirty cents ($37.30) for three (3) meals when traveling in-state and thirty-nine dollars and eighty cents ($39.80) for three (3) meals when traveling out-of-state and out-of-country. Each meal reimbursement rate must be listed on the reimbursement request when travel involves less than a twenty-four (24) hour period. See Table I - Rate of Allowances for the amount allocated to each meal.

Meals Before Hours

When an overnight stay is required, reimbursement is allowed for the morning meal while an employee is in travel status, and when the employee leaves his duty station prior to 6:00 a.m. on the day of departure.

When reporting the morning meal on the day of departure, a statement that the traveler left before 6:00 a.m. must be shown on the travel reimbursement request.

An employee not involved in overnight travel can claim reimbursement for the morning meal only if all of the following circumstances are met:

  • The employee traveled thirty-five (35) miles from the duty station or home, whichever is less,
  • The employee left his duty station before 6:00 a.m.,
  • The early departure extended the employee's normal workday by two (2) hours,
  • A statement was provided on the reimbursement

Lunches

  • When an overnight stay is required, reimbursement is allowed for lunches while an employee is in travel status, and when the employee leaves his duty station prior to 12:00 noon on the day of departure or returns to his duty station after 2:00 p.m. on the day of return.
    When reporting lunches on the day of departure/return, a statement that the traveler left before 12:00 noon or returned after 2:00 p.m. must be shown on the travel reimbursement request.
  • When an overnight stay is not required, reimbursement for lunch is allowable only when the cost of the lunch is included as part of a registration fee for a formal congress, conference, assembly, or convocation. Additionally, if the conference is sponsored by the state, the conference must involve the active participation of persons other than the employees of a single state department, institution or agency; the fee must not be exclusively for the lunch; and the conference must be necessary for conducting official state business.

Meals After Hours

When an overnight stay is required, reimbursement is allowed for the evening meal while an employee is in travel status, and when the employee returns to his duty station after 8:00 p.m. on the day of return.

When reporting the evening meal on the day of return, a statement that the traveler returned after 8:00 p.m. must be shown on the travel reimbursement request.

An employee not involved in overnight travel can claim reimbursement for the evening meal only if all of the following circumstances are met:

  • The employee traveled thirty-five (35) miles from the duty station or home, whichever is less,
  • The employee returned to his duty station after 8:00 p.m.,
  • The late return extended the employee's normal workday by three (3) hours,
  • A statement was provided on the reimbursement request that the employee returned after 8:00 p.m.

Meals/Registration Fee

Registration fees may be paid by the agency or the employee. The cost of any meals included in the registration fee must not be included in the reimbursement claims for registration. Meal costs must be subtracted from the registration amount and included in the requested daily subsistence amount. When a registration fee includes the cost of one (1) or more meals, it is the responsibility of the agency to insure that reimbursements for such meals are not made to the employee in addition to the registration fee.

Reimbursement for Tips

  • Baggage - Reasonable tips for handling baggage when arriving at or departing from the place of lodging are allowed and must be itemized under "Other Expenses" on Form TRV-1, Travel Authorization/Expense Report. These tips are not counted toward the authorized subsistence allowances.
  • Meals - Tips for meals are counted toward the authorized subsistence. (Tips are considered part of the allowable meal rates, and cannot be claimed in addition to these rates).
  • Personal Expenses - Tips for room service, valet, and other hotel services are not reimbursable. The costs of laundry, alcoholic beverages, "set-ups," between-meal snacks or refreshments, and other personal expenses are not reimbursable.

Laundry Services

Laundry services are not reimbursable.

Official Phone Calls

Official phone calls are reimbursable under "Other Expenses" on the travel reimbursement request. Calls over five dollars ($5.00) must be identified as to point of origin and destination.

Stipends

Stipends may not be paid in addition to subsistence. Stipends must be paid separately as contracted services

Excess Subsistence Authorization

When the daily cost of total subsistence will exceed the maximum allowed by State law, prior approval is necessary and Travel Authorization/Expense Report, Form TRV-1, must be prepared.

Excess Subsistence - Allowable Items

Excess subsistence for lodging may be requested because the available lodging (hotel or motel bill) is more expensive than the State allowable amount. Subsistence for meals is restricted to the State allowable amount of thirty-seven dollars and thirty cents ($37.30) for in-state travel and thirty-nine dollars and eighty cents ($39.80) for out-of-state/out-of-country travel per twenty-four (24) hour period. (See special provision for out-of-country travel.) However, excess subsistence for meals may be requested for a scheduled banquet or luncheon provided that supporting documentation describing the special cost of the banquet or luncheon is available.

Excess Subsistence - Reimbursement

A receipt of lodging expenses from a commercial lodging establishment must be presented for reimbursement even though excess lodging may or may not be requested.

Out-of-Country Travel - Special Provision

Contracts and Grants

Out-of-country travel funded by contracts or grants requires prior approval of the funding agency. Federal contracts and grants require use of U.S. Flag carriers unless otherwise approved by the sponsoring agency. Travelers may elect to use the federal subsistence rates for out-of- country travel published by the Department of State.

Subsistence all Out-of-Country Travel

Either the federal or state subsistence rates may be used for out-of-country travel depending on the availability of funds and approval of the authorized account holder.

If the federal per diem is chosen, excess subsistence will not be allowed.

Out-of-country rates are available on-line
Travel and Business
Foreign Per Diem Rates

Federal and State Income Taxes

Each traveler is responsible for determining which, if any, of the travel expenses and/or reimbursements have to be reported for Federal and State income tax purposes.

 

Page updated: 12-Jul-2013

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Financial Services
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