Reporting Expenses

PLEASE NOTE:

  • All domestic and international travel is prohibited until further notice. 
  • For faculty, staff and students, any exceptions to the above require prior approval with the appropriate DocuSign Forms for Review Submittal. As of September 12, 2021, new forms with fewer levels of review are available. Please access the new DocuSign forms through EVPAA Travel Guidance Forms
  • For local travel (NJ, NY, PA, CT or DE) and non-employee (candidates, guest speakers, consultants, etc.) travel, the Local and Non-Employee Travel Request Form must be completed
  • Any travel that receives exception approval MUST be booked through a Rutgers-approved travel agency
  • International travel that has been pre-approved MUST be registered through Risk Management

Any travel that is not pre-approved and not booked with an approved travel agency will not be considered Rutgers-related business and will not be reimbursed.

For guidance in identifying appropriate approvers for DocuSign forms, please see Travel Approver Listing.

If you have any questions, please contact RUTravel@finance.rutgers.edu.

 

Reporting Expenses 

 

After returning from a trip on Rutgers business, travelers who used personal funds for travel-related expenses can request reimbursement by submitting an expense report by clicking the Expense Management icon, accessible through myRutgers Portal. If you receive an error message, download and complete the Expense Management Access Form on the University Controllers Office Forms Repository page.

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.

 

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. The travel policy defines a receipt as "an original document itemizing the good(s) or service(s) purchased."

A receipt must provide:

  • a named payee
  • date that confirms payment has been made for a stated purchase
  • proof of payment, i.e. last 4 digits of credit card

If travelers lose a receipt, they can complete the Lost Receipt Certification Form and electronically attach it to their expense reports. Accessible via RU Marketplace, this form is required for all duplicate or lost receipts, and must be accompanied by proof of payment and the signatures of both the requester and the person approving the expense.

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

 

Expenses Incurred More Than One Year Prior

Expenses incurred more than a year before the report submission date are considered taxable income per the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Such reimbursements must be included in wage, or taxable, income.

Process - Expense reimbursements more than one year old

Do not submit through Expense Management. All submissions are subject to audit and examination once submitted.
  1. The department/unit business manager must complete the “Business Travel Reimbursement Over One Year” form (the “form”) requesting the reimbursements be processed as extra pay.
  2. The chancellor or executive/senior vice president responsible for the department/unit must sign the form to approve submission of all expenses more than one year old.
  3. All expense report documentation and receipts must accompany the form.
  4. Send the form and supporting documentation to Payroll Services at:

33 Knightsbridge Road
Room B112
Piscataway, NJ  08854

 

Non-Reimbursable Expenses

Non-Reimbursable Expenses

Although not a complete list, this list offers examples of expenses that will not be reimbursed by the University:

  • the purchase of travel, accident or life insurance for a business-related trip (when traveling on University business, New Jersey Workers' Compensation covers University employees)
  • fees incurred for changing reservations (unless there is a business justification)
  • expenses and/or fees associated with social or non-mandatory activities at conferences such as tours, sports activities, golf outings, fun runs, movies, theater tickets, in-room movies, in-flight movies etc.
  • unreasonably expensive meals and lodging
  • expenses that are not Rutgers business-related
  • meals included in the cost of conference/meeting fees
  • all expenses related to the personal negligence of the traveler (parking tickets and fines, towing, traffic violations, damage to personal vehicles, clothing, or other items).
  • repairs on personal vehicles used on University business
  • laundry and valet service for business stays less than a week in duration (five consecutive business days).
  • spouse's/family members' travel costs (including babysitting)
  • lost/stolen cash or personal property, including luggage and/or briefcases
  • personal items and services (e.g., shoe shines, haircuts, manicures, saunas, massages, pet care costs, souvenirs or personal gifts, childcare costs, and personal reading materials)
  • the purchase of hardware or software (due to licensing issues)
  • late payment penalties and interest on personal credit card
  • alcoholic beverages (the cost of alcoholic beverages cannot be reimbursed from state or federal funding sources)
  • frequent flyer or club membership (air or rail) fees
  • gifts and gift cards

 

Travel-Related Expenses

Airline and Rail Tickets

Travelers must purchase airline and rail (Amtrak) tickets through a University-preferred travel agency. Airline and train (Amtrak) reservations made through University-preferred travel agencies are pre-paid by the University and allocated to the appropriate Project or Unit. Reimbursement for these expense types is not permitted.

Tickets for local/commuter train service (NJ Transit, NYC Subway, etc.) cannot be purchased through a travel agency. Travelers can submit costs associated with these tickets for reimbursement.

Rutgers will reimburse reasonable and appropriate baggage fees and standard seat assignments. Baggage Fees that are personal in nature are not reimbursable. Fees for upgraded or extra leg room seats 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 the supporting documentation.

Automobile Mileage Rate

Effective January 1, 2021, the IRS has decreased the mileage reimbursement rate by $0.015 to $0.56 per mile. In accordance with the University travel policy 40.4.1 (PDF), all mileage reimbursement for University travel subsequent to January 1, 2021 is reimbursable at the new rate of $0.56. For 2020 travel, the mileage reimbursement rate was $0.575 per mile.

Grants that have a specified budget for travel cannot exceed this budgeted amount without approval from the grantor. If travelers are unable to get approval, they may need to adjust their 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

Travelers who use a personal car for Rutgers business purposes at the current authorized mileage rate. The expense report must include:

  • specific origination and destination location(s) (use Google Maps or MapQuest to track 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.
  • 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 the supporting documentation.

Lodging

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­All hotel reservations must be made through a University-preferred travel agency. Exceptions are made for hotel bookings associated with conference/convention room blocks and Airbnb.

There are no hotel per diem rates. Lodging is reimbursed at 100 percent of the actual expense for a standard hotel room. The expense report must include:

  • an original hotel receipt that includes the rate
  • dates of stay and proof of payment
  • a copy of the reservation confirmation provided by the travel agency

Travelers can choose to stay at a hotel other than a conference hotel. If the conference hotel is not chosen, reimbursement will not exceed the conference hotel rate without justification and approval from the unit. An explanation of the exceptions must be included in the reimbursement request and attached to the expense report.

Travelers who don't have an itemized receipt for lodging should contact the hotel and have the hotel fax or email a copy of the required itemized hotel folio. If a receipt is unavailable, the Lost Receipt Certification Form may be submitted, but it must include proof of payment.

Meals

Travelers are reimbursed for their meals when travelers are actively in travel status.

Active travel status is defined as traveling:

  • for a period of at least 12 consecutive hours; or
  • at least 100 miles from the Rutgers departure point

When a traveler is not in travel status, meals are considered a personal expense and are not reimbursable. Travelers have two meal reimbursement options. Travelers must select one option for the entire trip in order to receive reimbursement.

  • Rutgers per diem rate of $50 for all cities (domestic or foreign)
  • IRS per diem rates as referenced in Meal Per Diem Options

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

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

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

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

Rental Vehicles

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­All rental car reservations must be made through a University-preferred travel agency.

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

The University currently has a negotiated agreement with Enterprise and National Car Rental which includes insurance domestically.

U.S. and Canada: Travelers must purchase collision insurance (often called Collision Damage Waiver Insurance on the rental contract) when booking any vendor other than Enterprise and National Car Rental. Travelers must also 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.