- General Information
- Travel Authorization
- Air Travel
- Train Travel
- Bus Travel
- Taxis and Airline Limousines
- Fleet Vehicles
- Privately Owned Vehicles or Motorcycles
- Vehicle Rentals, Cars, Vans and Trucks
- Registration Fees
- Miscellaneous Expenses
- UW-Sponsored Events
- Travel Advances
- Expenses of Chancellor’s/President’s Spouse
- Field Trips
- Foreign Travel
- Applicant Interviews
- Payment of Personal Services
- Relocation (Household Moves)
- Travel for Official Business
- Expenses Not Reimbursable
- Preparation And Approval of the Travel Expense Form
I. GENERAL INFORMATION
Travelers on official university business, including approved professional meetings, shall be reimbursed for the actual, reasonable and necessary traveling expenses incurred subject to the limits stated in the authorization and these guidelines. All travel paid or reimbursed to employees from university administered funds must be done in compliance with the university travel policies, regardless of the funding source - federal grants and contracts, auxiliary operations, general operating funds, or restricted funds. If an individual, for personal convenience, does not use the most direct route and incurs additional expenses, such additional expenses shall be considered personal with reimbursement limited accordingly.
A claimant shall not seek reimbursement for goods or services provided free of charge, not personally paid for by the claimant, reimbursed from another source, or which will be paid or reimbursed from another source. Any reimbursement which is received by the employee from another source for the same costs reimbursed by the University shall be deposited back to the University funding source which was initially charged.
Only travel expenses related to the conduct of University business may be reimbursed. When an employee claims reimbursement for expenses incurred in providing services, such as a guest speaker, to a non-University entity, an explanation of the benefit to the University must be provided. Generally, the non-UW entity would be expected to reimburse the employee for such expenses. Fees, honoraria, and expenses reimbursed from non-University sources, when the employee is acting as an official representative of the University in the presentation of papers, talks, demonstrations, etc., must be used to reduce, dollar for dollar, any corresponding travel expenses paid by the University and must be deposited in University accounts.
University employees while on official travel status may be covered by various forms of insurance. For more details on existing coverage, employees should contact Risk Management. In addition, other coverage is included in connection with the contracts which the University system has with corporate travel vendors such as corporate card, car rentals, etc.
The reimbursement rates in these guidelines apply to travel within the contiguous 48 states. Travel to Hawaii, Alaska, U.S. Possessions or foreign countries will be subject to federal per diem rates as the dollar maximums for meals and lodging. If the traveler exceeds the per diem rate, a written justification is required plus receipts for both meals and lodging. Contact the Accounts Payable Office travel clerk for additional information.
Some reimbursements to employees for meals when not away from home overnight are considered taxable by the Internal Revenue Service and the Wisconsin Department of Revenue and will be reported to the State and Federal Tax Offices. Meal costs that are business-related are not considered taxable income. Meals are generally considered business-related if the primary purpose for scheduling the meeting over the meal period was to transact UW business. The business purpose as well as the names of those who attended must be documented on the reimbursement claim. Costs of travel are to be borne by the traveler, who will be reimbursed at the completion of the trip. Credit cards may be used to minimize cash outlays. Take extra time to accurately fill out Travel Expense Reports. This will help to insure that only appropriate data is reported as taxable income.
The State/UW has contracts with travel vendors, e.g., corporate card, car rental, hotel, travel agency, etc. Use of the contract vendors, which are listed in the appendices, is strongly encouraged and, in some instances, may be mandatory.
The University has an agreement with GE Capital to provide charge cards to employees with no annual fee charged to the employee or the University. Holders of these cards or employees not willing to apply for a card will not be granted travel advances except in extenuating circumstances approved by the Accounts Payable Supervisor. These individuals will also be expected to use their cards or to personally prepay lodging deposits UNLESS the card use or prepayment occurs more than 45 days prior to the travel. This exception considers that the charge card bill will be due prior to the completion of, and reimbursement for, the business trip. Employees are expected to delay any prepayments until the latest possible date to minimize the effect of the 45-day exception.
Group Travel refers only to student groups. When more than one person's expenses are included on a Travel Expense form, names of all travelers must be listed. This includes meals served in Eau Claire to visiting athletic teams and other groups when authorized. Receipts must be included for meals or each traveler must sign a statement acknowledging the meals were consumed at the cost indicated.
Travel connected with UW System Task forces will be administered on campus. Follow the normal rules for authorization and expense reporting. The expense will be charged to the account of the appropriate Vice Chancellor or Assistant Chancellor.
II. TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION
Because of potential liability implications, authorization to travel must be obtained prior to departure by use of the Travel Authorization form.
The minimum level of approval for in-state travel is the account responsible and/or supervisor. Please refer to the Travel Restrictions - Guidelines and Procedures for more specific levels of approval and routing of the travel authorization. Authorizations involving the use of a fleet vehicle should be requested at least one month in advance when time permits to facilitate ride-sharing. If a traveler is using a fleet vehicle, direct bills the University for airfare or requires the prepayment of registration fees, the travel authorization needs to be forwarded to Accounts Payable after it has been approved by the account responsible and/or supervisor. When registration fees are being prepaid, the completed registration form and that part of a brochure or announcement that indicates the amount of the registration fee and what the covers must also accompany the travel authorization.
Fleet users can obtain keys for university vehicles at the FP&M Office in the MCS Building between the hours of 7:00 AM and 4:15 PM, Monday through Friday. Travelers with early morning, evening or weekend departures should pick up keys during normal working hours prior to their trip (Example, the day before an early morning departure, during office hours the day of an evening departure, or on Friday before a weekend departure.) If unusual circumstances prevent a traveler from picking up keys during normal working hours, they should call the Fleet Office at 836-3412 in advance to make other arrangements. Fleet chargeback rates may be obtained by contacting Fleet Operations.
VII. FLEET VEHICLES
At any point in time, University of Wisconsin employees may be required to drive State-owned vehicles while conducting University business.
It is expected that upon occasion, for reasons of efficiency and security, public officers, employees or agent, will begin and/or conclude their official business from locations other than their designated headquarters and/or conclude their office business from locations other than their designated headquarters and/or permanent work site. Furthermore, while carrying out their official duties, it is expected that public officers, employees or agents will engage in actions reasonably necessary for or incidental to living. Such acts will typically involve travel not to exceed a 50 mile radius of the temporary work site where the official business is being conducted.
All University personnel are directed to comply with these expectations. Any deviations from the above mentioned expectations shall be discussed and approved in advance by appropriate management staff.
- A Travel Authorization must be prepared in advance of the trip to reserve the vehicles. Employees with a good driving record and a valid driver's license are authorized to drive University vehicles. A Driver License record review is required to operate a state vehicle. The Driver License Verification form is available at the Office of Public Safety. Faculty and staff need complete the form once, students are required to complete the form annually. Non-tendering of a state vehicle for failure to request a Driver's Record Review will limit the reimbursement to 19¢ per mile.
- Passengers will be restricted to University employees and students, or employees of other agencies/organizations on University or State business. Exceptions for medical reasons must be approved by the Director of Business Services. Fleet vehicles may not be used for personal business.
- Charge cards are provided with each vehicle and shall be used only for business-related expenses. All charge slips for fleet vehicle expenditures are to be turned into the Fleet Operations Office at the completion of the trip. Emergency expenditures related to the operation of the vehicle and gasoline purchases where the charge cards are not acceptable are reimbursable if supported by receipts.
- Charges for locksmith services (except those due to mechanical problems), parking tickets, traffic citations, etc. are the employee's responsibility and are not reimbursable.
XII. REGISTRATION FEES
Registration fees for a meeting or conference may be paid in one of two ways:
- PREPAID Fees exceeding $25 may be prepaid when supported by an applicable page from the brochure, application, or registration form that shows actual dates, location and title of the conference, convention or seminar and the amount of the fee and a breakdown of the specific costs (meals, etc.) which are included in the registration fee submitted with a travel authorization to the Accounts Payable Office.
- Fees under $25 may be prepaid if no other travel expenses will be claimed and when supported by applicable page from the brochure, application, or registration form that shows actual dates, location and title of the conference, convention or seminar and the amount of the fee and a breakdown of the specific costs (meals, etc.) which are included in the registration fee submitted with a travel authorization.
- REIMBURSED Registration fees in excess of $25 must be supported by an original paid receipt, copy of the check, copy of the credit card statement, or employee's copy of the credit card receipt and an applicable page from the brochure, application, or registration form that shows actual dates, location and title of the conference, convention or seminar and the amount of the fee and a breakdown of the specific costs (meals, etc.) which are included in the registration fee.
- Any fee which can be paid using the GE Capital Corporate card must be paid using that card or be personally prepaid.
- Expenses for spouse, other family members, and non business related activities, such as sightseeing tours, etc., included as a specific charge in the registration fees are not allowable.
XIV. UNIVERSITY SPONSORED EVENTS
When planning UW Eau Claire sponsored events, including travel, all UW System, University and State rules and regulations must be followed, regardless of the funding source for payment. To determine whether an event is allowable and which costs may be paid, a careful review should be made of the Headquarter City and UW Sponsored Events Policy.
- When catering services are needed from the campus food service vendor, a Food Service Requisition must be prepared in advance of the event and forwarded to Accounts Payable for approval. An approved copy of the requisition will be forwarded to the vendor by Accounts Payable authorizing them to provide the service requested and invoice the University.
- NOTE: Completion of the requisition does not automatically secure the arrangements. You must personally contact the food service catering manager.
- The vendor has been instructed to send all original invoices directly to Accounts Payable for payment processing. This is mandatory in order to allow the University to comply with Prompt Payment legislation that stipulates the University will pay its invoices within 30 days. Failure to do so means the University must automatically add an interest amount to its payment. The law does, however, provide the University with some flexibility in placing holds on invoice payments when there is a justification to do so, but not unless the vendor has been specifically authorized to provide a service or supply. The requisition serves this purpose.
- Account Payable will send the requisitioning department a copy of the invoice that is stamped with a statement advising them that the invoice is in the process of being paid unless we are notified with 7 calendar days of any problems concerning the invoice. Contact with Accounts Payable will constitute a good faith dispute and the payment process will be suspended until the problems are resolved.
- If services or supplies are being contracted with by an outside vendor, a Purchase Requisition must be prepared in advance and forwarded to the Purchasing Department.
XX. Payment of Personal Services
Federal and State laws require the University of Wisconsin System to report many taxable payments to the IRS, the Wisconsin Department of Revenue, and the individual receiving the payment. In some cases, the University is also required to withhold federal or state income taxes from payments. Payment is made via the "Payment to Individual Report" form. The following provides a step-by-step process to be used when securing personal services.
- UW EAU CLAIRE EMPLOYEES
- When contracting for personal services, consideration must first be given to utilizing the services of employees of the University and the University System. Employees of UW-Eau Claire must be paid on payroll. To initiate payment, contact Academic Affairs. Travel expenses will be reimbursed on a travel expense report and in compliance with State travel regulations.
- UW SYSTEM EMPLOYEES
- The services of individuals employed at other campuses within the UW System are secured via an Inter-Institutional Agreement form or a Personnel Action Request form. Contact the Academic Affairs Office for assistance. When an Inter-Institutional Agreement form is used, payment is made on his/her home payroll with reimbursement made by UW-Eau Claire to the institution upon receipt of an invoice from their Business Office. The Accounting Department in Business Services can provide assistance in completing the Inter-Institutional Agreement. If services are secured via a Personnel Action Request, payment is made via UW Eau Claire's payroll. Travel expenses will be reimbursed on a travel expense report and in compliance with State travel regulations.
- EMPLOYEES OF OTHER STATE AGENCIES
- When contracting for the services of an individual who is an employee of another State agency (e.g., Department of Public Instruction, Department of Natural Resources, Department of Transportation), an Employee Interchange Agreement must be completed only when compensation for services and/or travel expenses are involved. Payment will be made via his/her home agency's payroll with reimbursement to that agency upon receipt of an invoice. The completed agreement is to be forwarded to the employee for his/her signature. A copy of the fully signed agreement must be returned to the University and forwarded to Accounts Payable along with the invoice from the home agency and a purchase requisition authorizing payment from the proper budget. Travel expenses will be reimbursed on a travel expense report and in compliance with State travel regulations.
- Payments to other individuals for $500 or less (excluding itemized travel) shall be made on a Payment to Individual Report. If the University agrees to reimburse travel expenses, the expenses may be included on the PIR form. If they are itemized, substantiated by receipts and in compliance with existing travel regulations applicable to UW-State employees, they will not be reported to state and federal tax offices. Adequate accounting for travel expenses are as follows:
- Lodging: Must be single rate with original receipt
- Airfare: Must be other than first class with original or photocopy of the passenger coupon provided.
- Car Rental: Must be mid-size or smaller with original receipts provided.
- Meals: Must be reasonable.
- Miscellaneous: Must be UW business-related and supported by a receipt if over $25.
When contracting for personal services of other individuals or a group of individuals for more than $500, a determination must first be made as to whether or not an employee-employer relationship exists. If an employee/employer relationship does exist, the individual(s) are to be paid on payroll. Travel expenses will be reimbursed on a travel expense report and in compliance with State travel regulations.
If no employee-employer relationship exists they are considered independent contractors. A purchase requisition to contract for personal services and a Payment to Individual Report Form are to be prepared and forwarded to Accounts Payable to initiate payment. Forms may be obtained from Accounts Payable. Purchase orders can be issued for services that are NOT unique, noncompetitive activity supporting instruction, research, or public service. In these instances, payment will be made upon receipt of an invoice. An independent contractor is not eligible for fringe benefits and is not subject to State liability protection or eligible for Workers and Unemployment Compensation.
When the service IS determined to be a unique, noncompetitive activity supporting instruction, research or public service, an Academic Support Services Agreement will be executed by Accounts Payable/Purchasing and mailed to the individual(s) for fees in excess of $5000. Payments will be made upon receipt of an invoice from the individual(s) or by a Payment to Individual Report prepared by the department.
NOTE: Currently enrolled students must be paid on student payroll for their services. Students not attending summer school but continuing on in the fall must also be paid via student payrolls.
The PIR form is not to be used for payment to individuals for salaries, employee reimbursements of ny kind, applicant interview expenses, student recruitment expenses, or payments to subcontractors or architects. The form is not needed when an invoice is received against a purchase order or an academic support services agreement as long as a social security number or tax identification number and a home address is provided. Exception: A PIR must be prepared when payment is made to a nonresident alien.
The rules regarding federal tax withholding on nonresident aliens are varied and complex. In some cases, payment may be exempt or subject to a reduced withholding rate if they have filed for an exemption on IRS Form 1001, 4224, or 8233. These forms are in limited supply in Accounts Payable. It is the responsibility of the individual to determine his/her own personal tax situation and file whichever form is necessary to receive an exemption from withholding where applicable. These forms must be presented with the PIR or federal tax will be withheld.PLEASE contact Accounts Payable several days in advance of a desired payment to a nonresident alien for two very important reasons:
- For guidance to assure completion of the necessary paperwork;
- To allow for a 10-day payment waiting period required of the University by the IRS.
For the services of entertainers and public speakers, formal contracts must be prepared and signed by representatives of each party. Entertainment contracts for under $2,500 are to be signed by the Director of University Centers or designee regardless of where on campus the entertainer performs. Contracts for $2,500 and over are to be signed by the Assistant Chancellor Business Affairs. Payments are made using the signed contracts when a social security number or a federal identification number of the performer and the permanent home address of the performer are included in the contract.
The State of Wisconsin requires 6% tax withholding on all payments to entertainers and public speakers who are not Wisconsin residents and who earn $3,200 or more from a UW campus during a calendar year. Withholding is not required if the entertainer files a surety bond or a deposit with the Wisconsin Department of Revenue for at least the amount of the contract price and provides the University an original Form WT-10.
Reference UW-System Financial Policy and Procedure Paper #31 for additional information from the Internal Revenue Service regarding an employee-employer or independent contractor relationship.