Missouri State University

Expense Allowances

This section outlines the items, other than primary transportation, allowed for reimbursement.  See Methods of Transportation for information regarding transportation expenses.  All employees, including the claimant and the authorizing official, must comply with the Fiscal Responsibility Policy.

The following groups of individuals are addressed in this section:

  • University employees - Reimbursement is made for lodging, meals, and incidental expenses of a reasonable nature when essential to the transaction of University business. The business purpose of all requested reimbursements must be provided.    If one employee is paying for another employee’s, guest’s, or student’s expenses, the names of all traveling employees, guests, or students should be listed on the Travel Expense Report or attachment.
  • Non-Employees - Reimbursement of expenses for non-employees is not made except when it is necessary and to the benefit of the University and is limited to actual lodging, meals, and incidental expenses of a reasonable nature.  If applicable, volunteers (i.e., Board of Governor members) will be reimbursed at the mileage rate approved for employees.  NOTE: The name, title, and represented institution or organization of any guest must be listed on the Travel Expense Report or attachment.

Expenses Charged to Sponsored Gifts, Grants, or Contracts

Reimbursement of expenses to be charged to sponsored gifts, grants, or contracts made to the University for research, instruction, or other purposes must be in full compliance with the travel regulations of the University, grant or contract, whichever is more restrictive.  NOTE: In the event a gift, grant, or contract specifically provides for special arrangements for accountability of travel expenses, this fact must be noted on the Travel Expense Report.

  • Expenses Allowed
    1. Lodging - Reasonable and necessary amounts
      1. When two or more employees share the same room, the total claimed for reimbursement must not exceed the total paid for the room.
      2. When an employee shares a room with a partner or other non-employee, the employee is responsible for documenting the single occupancy rate on the lodging receipt and will be reimbursed at this single occupancy rate.
      3. A receipted, itemized statement furnished by the hotel or motel must be provided.  Summary statements provided by credit card companies cannot be accepted as documentation for reimbursement. NOTE: Many hotels and motels offer a faculty or commercial rate that is less than the normal daily rate if advance reservations are made or if the fact that the employee represents the University is brought to the attention of the hotel or motel clerk at the time of registration.
    2. Meals
      1. When traveling away from home overnight, actual meal expense, up to a maximum of $57.00 per day, is reimbursable. The meal limits are as follows:
        MealCost
        Breakfast $12.00
        Lunch $15.00
        Dinner $30.00
      2. Receipts must be obtained for amounts of greater than $10.00 (regardless of the number in the party).  NOTE: Prescribed maximums are not to be treated collectively as per diem allowances nor are they to be used individually without regard to the actual and necessary expenses. If actual expenses are less than the prescribed maximums, reimbursement will be allowed ONLY for actual expenses.
      3. If the traveler is eligible for two meals for the day, the limit for the two meals combined is the total of the applicable meal limits listed above.
      4. If the traveler is eligible for three meals for the day, the meal limit is $57.  This amount can be allocated among the three meals without regard to the individual meal limits as long as the total does not exceed $57.
      5. When attending a conference, the portion of the agenda, registration brochure, or other document for the conference showing the dates and meals provided should be submitted with the travel expense report.  NOTE:  Any meal expenses submitted for times when a conference meal was provided at no cost will not be reimbursed.
      6. Allowable meal costs will be reimbursed when an itemized receipt showing the actual cost of the meal is included with the travel expense report.  NOTE:  An itemized receipt details the items ordered; credit card sales receipts should accompany the itemized receipt, if applicable.  Hotel bills that show charges to rooms for meals must also include the itemized receipt detailing the items ordered in order to be eligible for reimbursement.
      7. Personal meals during single day trips or within the claimant’s official domicile are not reimbursable, as they would be taxable to the employee under IRS guidelines.   See IRC §162 (a)(2) Rev. Rul. 75-170 Rev. Rul. 75-432.  Exceptions that are reimbursable must meet the following criteria:
        1. The meal is with University guests, consultants, or candidates, and University business is discussed.
        2. The meal is incurred as part of a seminar, conference, or required meeting and the conditions of the meeting meet the requirements listed in the Fiscal Responsibility Policy.  NOTE: When it is clearly to the benefit of the University for employees to pay for meals other than their own, the reasons required and names of the guests must be provided. Full reimbursement in excess of the maximum amount per meal is allowed for guests, but meal maximums still apply to University employees.  In some cases, exceptions allowing reimbursement of the maximum for the employee can be approved by the Vice President over the administrative area.  Itemized receipts must be provided.
        3. Meal reimbursements must comply with the Fiscal Responsibility Policy pertaining to Food and Refreshments, be part of a departmental meeting, and be approved by the supervisor.
        4. All meals which qualify to be reimbursed by the University should be paid for by the employees and reported on a Travel Expense Report. No meals should be charged to the University. Two exceptions would be candidate meals charged at a hotel and meals associated with banquets or meetings.
    3. Telephone: Charges while in a travel status will be reimbursed only in those instances where the Travel Expense Report indicates the name and title of the person contacted and the business purpose of the call. Personal calls are not reimbursable.
    4. Internet:  Internet charges for business use are reimbursable for employees in travel status.
    5. Miscellaneous Transportation and Related Expenses: These are allowed when necessary to carry out the purpose of the trip. These include taxi, shuttles, buses or limousines necessary for transportation to/from the airport and hotel at the trip destination or meetings that have a documented business purpose, tolls, and parking. Valet parking is reimbursable only when associated with lodging or the event that the employee is attending when no other parking option is available. Documentation or receipts must be provided for expenses over $10 with the Travel Expense Report in order to receive reimbursement.
    6. Registration or Other Meeting Expenses:
      1. These are allowed when necessary to carry out the purpose of the trip. NOTE: A receipt is required if the fee is $10 or more.
      2. Documentation concerning the purpose of travel, including the meeting agenda, conference schedule, meals provided, and the names of individuals involved, should be included with the Travel Expense Report.
    7. Reimbursement for any pre-registration of an event paid by an employee is not reimbursable until the completion of the trip or event. These expenses should be claimed with the Travel Expense Report upon completion of the event. NOTE: Since travel to conventions and similar meetings frequently results in direct benefit to the employee in addition to the benefit accruing to the University, it is appropriate in many instances for deans, directors, and department heads to authorize the travel with the understanding that the University will only reimburse part of the total cost of the trip. This type of arrangement should be clearly explained on the Travel Expense Report.  Please attach an additional sheet for explanation, if necessary.
    8. Meal Expenses for Teams or Groups:
      1. When in travel status, meal expenses for a University-sanctioned group are reimbursable when:
        1. Receipts are obtained and submitted with the Travel Expense Report.
        2. A University-Sanctioned Group Travel/Meal Money form is properly completed and submitted. This form is to be used when cash is distributed by faculty/employees to a University team or group for payment of meals.
      2. The University-Sanctioned Group Travel/Meal Money form is also to be used when cash is distributed as pre-season meal money for athletes, meal money connected with home games, and reimbursements for meals while campus cafeterias are closed. When completing the University-Sanctioned Group Travel/Meal Money form:
        1. The top portion should be completed by an employee prior to the distribution of any money. In addition to completing blanks for travel dates, the name of each student receiving funds should be provided in the appropriate blank. The amount distributed to each student on a per-day or per-meal basis should be shown along with the total amount received by each student whose name appears on the page.
        2. The lower portion of the form is to be completed by the students receiving funds. The student should print his or her own name, read the information, indicate the amount received, sign and date the form.
        3. Each form is designed to represent disbursement to no more than six students. When more than six students are to receive funds, use the appropriate number of additional forms. NOTE: The University-Sanctioned Group Travel/Meal Money form will not replace the process of obtaining receipts for meal expenses incurred. Rather, the form is to be used when the distribution of cash for meal expenses is more feasible than obtaining receipts.
  • Expenses Not Allowed
    1. Reimbursement of personal expenses such as personal travel insurance, personal telephone calls, alcoholic beverages, movies, laundry, extra meals, etc., is not allowed.
    2. As an exception, expenses for laundry service and dry cleaning shall be allowed only for extended foreign travel, or for athletic teams on extended trips. Receipts for expenses over $10 should be provided.
    3. In exceptional circumstances, legitimate and well-documented expenses that would otherwise be denied will be reimbursed when approved by the appropriate administrators.
  • Candidate Travel and Moving Expense Reimbursement
    1. Prospective University candidates can have their travel and moving expenses reimbursed at the discretion of the department seeking to hire a candidate. The terms and limits of the reimbursements for travel and moving expenses are approved by each department, but should not exceed the limits set for University employees established in this policy. In the event that moving expenses are reimbursed, the taxable amount reimbursed is reported on the employee’s W-2 form.
    2. Travel expenses for a candidate’s partner can be reimbursed using Foundation funds at the discretion of the department seeking to hire a candidate.    In the event that the candidate is hired, the amount reimbursed for the partner’s travel is reported on the employee’s W-2 form.
    3. The Travel Expense Report should clearly indicate that reimbursable expenses are for candidates by writing “Candidate Travel” on the expense report.
  • Spousal/Dependent Travel
    1. The Board of Governors annually approves non-contractual fringe benefits for employees, including spousal travel, of a limited group of employees.  Such spousal travel will be a taxable fringe benefit of the employee.
    2. The University will not pay for any spousal travel except as approved by the Board of Governors annually.  (See item 1 above.)  The University will not pay for the travel expenses of any other dependent accompanying an employee on University business.