Policy Notes: Reimbursable Business Expenses
On this page:
- General Information
- Specific Policy Pertaining to:
- All Reimbursements
- Advances, Reconciling (Clearing)
- Approving Expenses
- Lost Receipts
- When to Make Reimbursement Request
- Business Meals
- Conference Fees
- Dues and Subscriptions
- Foreign Receipts
- Foreign Visitors, Reimbursement Payments to
- Human Subjects
- Moving / House Hunting Expenses
- Air Travel
- Car Rental
- Meals During Business Travel
- Personal Auto Use
- Required Documentation
- Primary Policy Sources
- The University's policy is to reimburse employees and approved non-employees for necessary and reasonable expenses incurred for authorized University business.
- Reimbursements are to be consistent with federal regulations.
- Prices paid are to be economical; when the price paid by the individual is more than what would have been paid by the University, the lesser amount will be reimbursed.
Reimbursable expenses include:
- travel expenses, related to University business, including air fare, lodging, incidental expenses, use of personal auto, car rental, taxi fares and phone charges.
- miscellaneous purchases in support of University business, such as supplies, books and equipment costing less than $2,500 (purchases exceeding $2,500 should be ordered through University Procurement).
- payments to human subjects, made by an individual (Direct payment to human subjects from the University can be made by requesting a check through the Other Checks module in iOU.).
- cost of meals when there is a clear business purpose for the meal.
- conference registration and training course fees, when related to University business.
- dues & subscriptions for memberships to professional organizations and publications related to University business.
- moving & house hunting expenses incurred by a new employee when hired by Stanford.
- gifts (tangible personal property) related to University business.
|Advances, Reconciling (Clearing)||
|When to Make Reimbursement Request||
- Amounts paid should be “reasonable and necessary.”
- Reimbursement requests must state business purpose and reason for the meeting.
- Individual attendees must be listed on reimbursement request or backup documents unless a specific identifiable group is noted.
- Alcohol must be charged to unallowable expenditure type and unrestricted PTA including a portion of tax and tip.
- Spouses should be included only when appropriate, and always charged to unallowable expenditure type.
See also Expense Guidance for Business Meals.
- Reimbursement requests for undergraduate and graduate students should include a certification letter signed by a faculty member; for post docs, include either the certification letter or a program showing the post doc as a speaker at the conference. If no certification (or program for post docs) is submitted, the expenses will be considered tax-reportable by the IRS. See Administrative Guide Policy 5.4.2 Section 11.
- Payments cannot include expenses for spouses, such as lodging, meals, or activities at the conference.
- When meals are included in the conference registration fee or hotel rates, a deduction must be made from the applicable per diem rate. To determine the appropriate deduction amount by travel location, select Meals and Incidental Expense Breakdown from the Domestic Per Diem Rates page of the U.S. General Services Administration web site. (What are Incidental Expenses?)
- Voluntary contributions are not reimbursable.
- Foreign receipts must be converted to U.S. dollars. To convert foreign receipts, go to the Oanda web site.
In the Oanda web site, enter date of receipt, or date the plane ticket was issued (not necessarily the travel date) to get proper conversion.
- Foreign visitors must include additional documentation with reimbursement request: copies of the visitor's passport and visa, and a copy of the I-94 Arrival / Departure card that is stapled into the passport upon entering the U.S. and removed upon leaving the US.
- If the payee is a U.S. citizen but is being reimbursed for expenses paid for a foreign visitor, such as airfare or lodging, the documents listed above must be included with the backup documents.
- The Fly America Act requires that travel for Stanford that is funded by government contract or grant must be on a U.S. carrier. The Act applies to visitors traveling to Stanford from a foreign country.
- Retirement and years of service gifts that comply with University policy are not tax-reportable. (See Administrative Guide Policy 2.2.10 Section 3) Other gifts (not retirement or years of service gifts) that are valued at more than $50 are tax-reportable, and reimbursement requests must include the payee's Employee ID number and home address for tax purposes.
- If individual payments are $100 or more, or, if the recipient will receive payments totaling $600 or more in the calendar year, social security numbers and home addresses for the subjects are required when requesting reimbursement.
- Some expenses are subject to tax reporting and will be submitted to Payroll (see Administrative Guide Policy 2.1.20 for more information)
|Meals During Business Travel||
|Personal Auto Use||
|Required Documentation for Travel Reimbursement||