Reporting Travel Expenses

After returning from a trip, travelers on Rutgers business who used personal funds for travel-related expenses can request reimbursement by submitting an expense report in RU Marketplace, accessible through myRutgers Portal.

Expense reports must include receipts for travel expenses and a complete explanation of the business purpose of the trip to support the use of university funds. The business purpose must clearly state the benefit to the university.

Automobile Mileage Rate | Rental Vehicles | Airline and Rail Tickets | Lodging | Meals | Meal Per Diem Options

Attach Receipts With Your Expense Report

Travelers must attach original receipts for any travel-related expense in excess of $50. All meal expenses require an original receipt regardless of the amount. Our travel policy defines a receipt as an original document itemizing the good(s) or service(s) purchased. A receipt must provide

  • a named payee and
  • date that confirms payment has been made for a stated purchase.

If travelers lose a receipt, prepare a Lost Receipt Certification Form found in RU Marketplace and attach it electronically to your expense report. This form is required for all duplicate or lost receipts and must be accompanied by proof of payment and the signatures of the requester and the person approving the expense.

If a receipt has someone else's name on it, travelers must obtain a memo from the person named on the receipt authorizing reimbursement to you. The memo must also indicate that the person named on the receipt (and writing the memo) will not seek reimbursement from the university.

Travel-Related Expenses

Automobile Mileage Rate

Effective January 1, 2017, the IRS has decreased the mileage reimbursement rate by $0.005 to $0.535 per mile. In accordance with the university travel policy 40.4.1 (PDF), all mileage reimbursement for university travel subsequent to January 1, 2017, is reimbursable at the new IRS rate of $0.535.  For 2016 travel, the mileage reimbursement rate is $0.540 per mile.  PLEASE NOTE:  The 2017 mileage rate was effective on January 13, 2017.  For mileage reimbursement for January 1-13, 2017 please use and expense date of January 14, 2017 and note the actual dates in the Description field.  

Please note grants that have a specified budget for travel cannot exceed this budgeted amount without approval from the grantor. If you cannot get this approval, you may need to adjust your travel plans or use other funds to cover the cost. Travel included in new grant proposals should be calculated using the new mileage rate.

Personal Vehicles

We will reimburse a traveler who uses a personal car for Rutgers business purposes at the current authorized mileage rate. Your expense report must include:

  • specific origination and destination locations (use Google Maps or MapQuest to track your distance), and
  • a detailed business purpose.

Tolls and parking fees are also reimbursable with original receipts. Gasoline for a personal vehicle is not reimbursable; the mileage reimbursement rate covers this cost. Gasoline expenses are only reimbursable for rental or university-owned vehicles.

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Rental Vehicles

Travelers can rent an intermediate size car and request reimbursement when it is less expensive than alternative means of transportation (e.g., taxi, car service, or train). In order to request reimbursement, travelers must include the business justification rental agreement and the original final receipt.

Travelers must purchase vehicle rental insurance.

  • U.S. and Canada: You must purchase collision insurance (often called Collision Damage Waiver Insurance on the rental contract). You must purchase the minimum liability insurance if it is not automatically included in the contract.
  • International: All insurance coverage must be purchased.

Tolls and parking fees are also reimbursable with original receipts. Gasoline expenses are only reimbursable for rental or university-owned vehicles.

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Airline and Rail Tickets

Travelers can purchase airline and rail tickets

  • through a university preferred travel agency using the direct billing option,
  • through the internet using personal funds, or
  • with the airline or rail company directly using personal funds.

Travelers must include supporting documentation to receive reimbursement for airfare and rail.

  • A receipt or detailed itinerary that includes all times of departure, flight numbers, class of service, fare basis, ticket or confirmation number, and cost of ticket
  • Proof of payment (credit card statement alone is not sufficient).
  • Boarding passes should be included when possible.

Rutgers will reimburse you for reasonable and appropriate baggage fees. Baggage fees that are personal in nature are not reimbursable. Fees and additional airfare associated with an itinerary change or cancellation require a business purpose for reimbursement.

Travelers may receive frequent flyer miles for traveling on Rutgers business and must arrange this with the travel agency, or airline and rail company directly.

If a traveler chooses to drive rather than fly to the destination, mileage reimbursement cannot exceed the lowest cost of a commercial coach airfare. Please include an airfare quote with your supporting documentation. Meals or lodging will not be reimbursed while driving to your destination.

If an airfare ticket is not used, you can use the Unused Air Ticket Affidavit found in RU Marketplace to apply for reimbursement of the ticket. You must attach this form to your expense report.

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Lodging

There are no hotel per diem rates. Lodging is reimbursed at 100 percent of the actual expense for a standard hotel room. Your expense report must include an original hotel receipt that details the

  • rate,
  • dates of stay, and
  • proof of payment.

Travelers can choose to stay at a hotel other than a conference hotel; however you will receive reimbursement for the negotiated conference hotel rate or the actual expense, whichever is lower.

If travelers don't have an itemized receipt for lodging, please contact the hotel and have them fax or email you a copy of the required itemized hotel folio. A lost receipt form found in RU Marketplace must accompany the duplicate receipt. If a duplicate receipt is unavailable, the lost receipt form may be submitted, but it must include proof of payment.

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Meals

We reimburse for your meals when you are actively in travel status. We define travel status as traveling

  • for a period of at least 12 consecutive hours, or
  • at least 100 miles from your Rutgers departure point.

When a traveler is not in travel status, meals are considered a personal expense and are not reimbursable.

Travelers have three meal reimbursement options. You must select one option for your entire trip in order to receive reimbursement.

  1. Daily maximum of $60 for actual meal expenses, supported by original receipts that include proof of payment.
  2. Rutgers per diem rate of $50 for all cities (domestic or foreign).
  3. IRS per diem rates as described below.

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Meal Per Diem Options

Meal per diem is the allowance for meal expenses as established by the federal General Services Administration for destinations within the Continental United States (CONUS).

U.S. Cities

Foreign Cities

Travelers can submit credit card receipts to show meal expenses. Meals funded by an account that restricts alcohol must include a statement that no alcohol charges are included in the receipt. If charges for alcoholic beverages were included, it must be deducted from the receipt or charged to an account that permits alcoholic beverages.

Travelers cannot request reimbursement for a meal that is included in some aspect of the travel, including a conference. Per diem must be prorated for any meal provided by any source. Breakfast or lunch reduces the per diem by 20 percent and dinner reduces it by 60 percent.

Travelers who host (pay for) a business meal can request reimbursement with supporting documentation:

  • a detailed business purpose,
  • a list of attendees including affiliations, and
  • an itemized receipt with proof of payment.

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