Please note that the following maximum meal reimbursement rates will be effective May 1, 2014; standard business mileage reimbursement rate will be effective January 1, 2015:
|Meal Allowance Rates||Incidentals||Mileage|
|Maximum daily cap of $55.00||$7.00 for each 24-hour period||$.575 per mile|
Type of Expenditure:
Reimbursement of Travel Expenses
Travel expenses of faculty and staff working on a Sponsored Program (Note: Does not apply to Independent Contractors)
Travel Expense Claim
Responsible to Initiate:
Employee (Faculty or Staff)
Principal Investigator (or authorized signer)
Time Of Submission:
- At least 4 days before mailing of check
- At least 3 days before pick-up of check at TUC
The University Corporation
The maximum limit for lodging is $195 per night, excluding taxes.
Actual expenses if explained and supported by receipts (refer to section 8, Meals) (click here for current meal reimbursement rates)
Daily fixed amount for tips laundry, dry cleaning (click here for current incidental reimbursement rate)
Economy or coach; US carriers on all federal grants; no reimbursement of use of private frequent flyer miles;
A vehicle may be rented when renting would be more advantageous to TUC than other means of commercial transportation, such as using a taxi.
Reimbursement based on mileage rate (click here for current mileage reimbursement rate)
Reimbursable: Tolls, Parking, Conference Fees Attendance Fees, Telephone Fax or Business Center Charges
First and business class airfare, alcoholic beverages, valet service, traffic fines, personal insurance, motorcycle transportation, movies and other entertainment costs
Faculty and staff in a sponsored project can be reimbursed for travel expenses using the form 'Travel Expense Claim'. No additional Check Request is necessary.
The claimant submits a 'Travel Expense Claim' form with supporting documentation to the Principal Investigator. The document must indicate the name and address of the traveler, the date and time of the travel, the destination, the purpose of the trip and the costs relating to the travel. Any advances received for the trip must be deducted. The claimant must sign the form. The Principal Investigator reviews the claim for correctness and appropriateness, and approves the expenditure via his signature. The form is then forwarded to The University Corporation for processing and payment.
With the exception of meal rates and incidentals, original invoices and receipts must support all expenses. For air travel, please include the traveler's flight coupon or formal receipt, and the boarding passes. For a detailed listing of appropriate supporting documentation, please refer to section 1.5
Coding of the Accounting String
The 'Travel Expense Claim' form must be coded with an 'Accounting String' to ensure the proper allocation of the expenses to the correct project and the correct account.
Since the "Travel Expense Claim" form does not provide for a separate area for the coding, please enter the accounting string in section "(11) Purpose of the Trip".
|Account#||Fund#||Department ID||Project ID|
|630100 - Travel
630110 - In State Travel
630200 - Out of State Travel
630300 - Out of Country Travel
630400 - Seminar/Conference Fee
Please refer to the account number for travel in your budget
Allowable Travel Expenses/Rates
The California State Board of Control determines the allowable amounts and rates for the reimbursement of travel expenses. The rates are frequently updated in order to account for inflation and cost of living increases. Please refer to the latest 'Travel Guidelines' memo issued by The University Corporation or contact Teresa Loren at extension 2981.
The maximum limit for lodging is $195 per night, excluding taxes. Preapproval by the Executive Director must be obtained to exceed this limit for non-Sponsored Programs related travel. Justification for exceeding the $195 per night maximum must be included on the travel request form.
For Sponsored Programs related travel, employees and Principal Investigators should always attempt to comply with the $195 per night limit whenever possible. When the lodging rate exceeds the $195 maximum, a justification for the higher rate must be included on the Travel Reimbursement Form. Justification for a higher rate could be geographic region, season of travel, or the necessity to stay within certain facilities.
No preapproval is required at this time. (Subject to change based on eTravel module implementation)
Employees and Principal Investigators are expected to seek the best value whenever they obtain lodging.
Telephone charges are allowable on hotel bills. However, next to each telephone call on the hotel bill must be a clear indication of whether it was "business" or "personal". Business calls are eligible for reimbursement; personal calls are not eligible for reimbursement.
Movies cannot be reimbursed.
Meal reimbursement is no longer separated into amounts for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Effective May 1, 2014, the reimbursement of daily meal expenses will be based on actual amounts incurred subject to a $55 per day maximum meal reimbursement cap. Receipts are required for expenses of $25 or more.
For international travel, these rates may be exceeded, with prior written approval by the Chancellor's Office, only.
Reimbursement of actual expenses for meals
Actual expenses for meals that are in excess of the above rates can be reimbursed in exceptional circumstances above and beyond regular travel activities and/or beyond the control of the traveler.
Examples of exceptional circumstances can be:
- As part of the business/sponsored program activity, it is appropriate for the traveler to invite another person to a meal (interview, job-interview, etc.).
- The traveler participates in a business/sponsored program group activity, where the venue for the meal was selected by the group.
A higher price level at a U.S. destination is not a sufficient reason to claim a meal reimbursement in excess of the rates. Please note that under no circumstances alcohol can be reimbursed as part of a government funded sponsored program.
In order to request a meal reimbursement in excess of the rates the traveler needs to complete a detailed written explanation on the exceptional circumstance and submit itemized receipts.
Traveling less than 24 hours
- When the entire length of a trip is less than 24 hours, meals and incidental expenses will not be reimbursed unless the travel includes an “overnight stay” as supported by a lodging receipt.
- If the traveler is unable to provide a lodging receipt, he or she must include a statement with the Travel Expense Claim explaining why a receipt is not available (e.g. the traveler lodged with a friend or relative, stayed overnight at the airport, or took alternative transportation that required the traveler to be away overnight).
Traveling more than 24 hours
- If you are traveling for MORE THAN 24 hours, eligibility for meal reimbursement on the last day of travel will be as follows:
- Total daily meal reimbursement cannot exceed $55 maximum.
- Receipts are required for expenses of $25 or more.
- Breakfast if travel extends past 9:00 am.
- Lunch if travel extends past 2:00 pm.
- Dinner if travel extends past 7:00 pm
A $7.00 incidental allowance may be claimed for each 24-hour period. Incidental allowance includes expenses such as laundry services, dry cleaning, and tips for services such as waiters and baggage handlers. It does NOT include cab fares, telephone calls, and other business expenses.
Requests for employee travel must be preapproved prior to any travel taking place. All employees (Sponsored Programs employees are exempt) will complete a Travel Preapproval Form and forward to their respective supervisor for approval. Employees will include the Travel Preapproval Form with their travel reimbursement information.
Employees may request an advance by completing an Advance Request Form with the proper authorization. The Advance Request Form must be submitted to TUC at least 5 days before the advance is needed. The amount of the requested advance cannot exceed 75% of the expected total expenditure for employees and Principal Investigators. Students are eligible for advances up to 100% of the expected expenditure amount.
Reimbursable items costing $25 or more incurred while traveling on company business must be substantiated by attaching an itemized receipt. Receipts for reimbursable items costing less than $25 are no longer required to be submitted.
Movies are NOT reimbursable.
If employees are traveling to attend a meeting, a copy of the meeting agenda must be submitted with their travel reimbursement information.
Economy/Coach Class, Only
All air travel must be economy or coach class, and special, low-cost rates should be used when possible.
Fly American Act
Travelers on federally sponsored trips must travel on U.S. flag carriers, unless that option is not available. U.S. air carrier service is considered available even though:
- Comparable service can be provided at less cost by a foreign air carrier.
- Foreign air carrier is preferred or is more convenient
The exceptions where use of a non-US carrier is permissible in this are as follows:
- Travel to and from the US. Use of a non-US carrier is permissible if:
- The airport abroad is the origin or destination airport, and use of a US carrier would extend the total travel time 24 hours or more than would travel by non-US carrier; or
- The airport abroad is an interchange point, and use of a US Carrier would require the traveller to wait six (6) hours or more to make connection or would extend the total travel time six (6) hours or more than would travel by non-US carrier.
- Travel Between Points outside the US. Use of a non-US carrier is permissible if:
- Travel by non-US carrier would eliminate two (2) or more aircraft changes en route; or
- Travel by US carrier would extend the total travel time six (6) hours or more than would travel by non-US carrier.
- Short Distance Travel. For all short distance travel, regardless of origin and destination, use of a non-US carrier is permissible if the elapsed travel time on a scheduled flight from origin to destination airport by non-US carrier is three (3) hours or less and service by US carrier would double the travel time.
U.S. flag air carrier service available at point of origin should be used to destination or, in the absence of direct or through service, to the furthest interchange point on a usually traveled route;
This requirement is applicable to all federally funded award including flow-down subawards. A U.S. flag carrier is on holding a certificate der Section 401 of the Federal Aviation Act, 49 U.S.C. 1371 (1970).
Allowable Mileage Expense:
Mileage shall ordinarily be computed between the traveler’s normal work location and the common carrier or destination.
- The use of frequent flyer benefits (mileage) to acquire an airline tickets for business use, cannot be reimbursed with the cost of a comparable ticket.
- Effective January 1, 2015, the standard maximum mileage reimbursement rate will increase from 56 cents to 57.5 cents per mile.
- Mileage expenses may be allowed between the traveler’s residence and the common carrier or destination if University business travel occurs during the traveler’s non-working hours, or during a regularly scheduled day off.
- When a traveler is authorized to drive a private vehicle to or from a common carrier terminal, mileage may be reimbursed as follows:
- If an employee has a temporary assignment away from campus, (e.g. single day workshop, local conference, training, etc.) which does not require an overnight stay, reimbursement shall be made for mileage expenses incurred between the campus and the assignment location, or home and the assignment location, whichever is less.
- Expenses for travel between the traveler’s residence and normal work location (commuting expense) shall not be allowed.
- One round trip, including parking for the duration of the trip; or
- Two round trips, including short-term parking expenses, when an employee is driven to a common carrier.
A vehicle may be rented when renting would be more advantageous to TUC than other means of commercial transportation, such as using a taxi. Advance reservations should be made whenever possible and a compact, economy or intermediate class vehicle requested. These classes should be used unless a no-cost upgrade is provided or if the recommended sizes are not adequate to meet the business purposes of the trip.
The rental car agency’s TUC identification number should be given to the agency at the time of rental in order to secure the contract rate and ensure that the vehicle is covered by physical damage insurance.
As member of the CSU Auxiliary Organizations Risk Management Alliance, The University Corporation participates in a preferred customer program with Enterprise-Rent-A-Car. When reserving or booking a vehicle, please specify our corporate account number NACA053 and the company name is CSU.
The negotiated rates are available nationwide at any Enterprise location, with the exception of New York. A valid credit card and driver's license must be presented at the time of rental.
- Enterprise Rent-A-Car online reservations instructions (word)
- Enterprise Rent-A-Car Negotiated Rated NACA053 (word)
Use of Private Car
The use of a private car for traveling on a sponsored project will be reimbursed with the current mileage rate. (click here for current mileage reimbursement rate)
All other expenses incurred while traveling on a sponsored project are reimbursed based on their relevance to the project, reasonableness, allowability, and available budget. Proper supporting documentation is required. Other expenses may include:
- Parking Fees
- Conference Fees
- Attendance Fees
- Telephone, Fax or Business Center Charges
The following costs cannot be reimbursed:
- First and business class airfare
- Alcoholic beverages
- Valet services
- Traffic fines
- Personal insurance charges
- Motorcycle transportation costs
- Tips (covered under the Incidental expense allowance)
- Movies and other entertainment costs
- Personal phone calls
Foreign The University Corporation follows the CSUN policy regarding international and high risk travel. The policy can be found at http://www.csun.edu/travel/risktravel. All forms and procedures noted at this link apply to international and/or high risk travel being reimbursed through funds held at TUC whether related to a grant or contract or TUC company business.
International Travel Expenses
For international travels, the “Travel Procedures and Regulations” from CSU Office of Chancellor, Business and Finance states, " Travelers to foreign destinations will receive a fixed amount per diem for lodging, meals and incidentals in accordance with the Federal Maximum Travel Per Diem Allowances for Foreign Areas published monthly by the U.S. Department of State Office of Allowances. These rates may be found at http://aoprals.state.gov/content.asp?content_id=184&menu_id=78. Receipts will not be required for reimbursement."
Foreign Travel Insurance
(From the Office of the Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs)
All persons traveling INTERNATIONALLY, regardless of who is covering the travel expenses, must:
1) Obtain Foreign Travel Insurance
2) Prepare an Approval of Travel and obtain all necessary signatures (Traveler, Department Chair, College Dean, and Provost).
Faculty whose international travel expenses are paid for in part or entirely by the university:
1)Failure to obtain Foreign Travel Insurance and an Approval of Travel prior to the trip will result in denial of the Travel Expense Claim by the Provost's Office.
Foreign Travel Insurance Program Process
1. Chancellor's Office memo (RM 2011-03) dated 3/7/11 requires all CSU employees traveling internationally on university business to obtain Foreign Travel Insurance through CSU's recognized carrier. The insurance is obtained through CSUN's Risk Management office.
2. Provosts Office emailed Deans defining requirement and process on 11/3/11.
3. In order to reduce some of the process, Admin and Finance made a decision to pick up the insurance cost for international travel insurance premiums.
a. Most destination premium costs are:
i. $60 for travel up to 15 days
ii. $75 for travel from 16 – 30 days
iii. Costs subject to change every July.
b. Note – there are very limited exceptions where a PI may need to pick their own cost for insurance and fund for that.
4. Traveler should understand risks of destination and have an early awareness as to the destinations status – is it a high hazard destination or not. The following resources can aid in such awareness.
a. US State Department's website for the high hazard warning list at www.travel.state.gov
b. Website for system wide risk management and public safety has resource links available at www.calstate.edu/risk_management/rm
c. Contact university Risk Management, Cyndi Paull x6830, to assist.
5. For basic travel, the process is as follows:
a. Complete Foreign Travel Insurance Request Form located at: http://www.csun.edu/sites/default/files/foreign-travel-insurance-request-form.pdf
b. Email or fax completed form and travel itinerary to Cyndi Paull at firstname.lastname@example.org or fax to x5853
c. Allow for at least 10 business days to process insurance request.
d. The traveler will receive an email that coverage is bound, please attach the confirmation that coverage is bound to Request for Approval of Travel Form.
e. Begin your College/Departments approval/signature process for travel, which should end with the form and confirmation of insurance coverage being sent to Provost's office for review.
f. If travel is cancelled, the traveler must notify Cyndi Paull at x6830 or email@example.com as soon as possible to cancel coverage and avoid unnecessary premium costs.
6. Plan for extra time when traveling to a high hazard destination – a minimum of 30 days should be expected to process the approvals and premium quote.
a. President's approval is required prior to a request for insurance.
b. Chancellor's Office approval is also required
i. Once President's office has approved travel, forward approval to Risk Management to assist in obtaining Chancellor's Office approval
ii. Request made to the Chancellor's Office with less than five business days notice will not be considered.
Please direct all insurance questions to Cyndi Paull in Risk Management at x6830 or firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to contact the Provost's Office, please direct questions to Marlene Gale at x2957 or email@example.com.
Health Care Cost
The University Corporation does not provide for any additional coverage of health care costs during international travel. Before going on an international trip, please check with your health care provider if you will be covered in the country(ies) of your destination.
The University Corporation requires faculty and staff conducting international travel under a sponsored program to purchase additional coverage!
Additional coverage can be purchased through CSUN Risk Management at (818) 677-2079 from AIG/Driver Alliant.
- Workers Compensation for Non-TUC Staff (e.g. Students, Volunteers)
- General Liability
- Accidental Death or Dismemberment (ADD)
- Automobile Liability in excess of the coverage of the local carrier
In addition you will be entitled to receive concierge services abroad, such as help with lost and stolen passports and luggage, as well as legal support. Coverage will not include travel via air and other carriers and will start at the moment of arrival in the foreign country. The average cost for a 10 day trip will be about $30-$60. You will need to have to purchase of coverage completed before you start travelling. Please contact The University Corporation to receive a quote.
International Travel Guidelines
(California State University - Executive Order 715)
- Every trip should require attendance at one orientation meeting (minimum) where the following information should be covered:
- Arrangements for any out-of-country visas, immunizations, etc.
- Discuss travel and packing tips, medical and health concerns, modes of transportation, hours of departure and return.
- Review background information pertaining to upcoming cultural differences that a student may experience while visiting foreign countries.
- Obtain waivers and health forms. Participants should file a waiver for?medical treatment and a health questionnaire explaining any special medical problems or needs to the trip leader.
- Remind participants to carry sufficient personal medication supplies and physician documentation for medication to last the length of travel or to replace medication lost during the trip.
- Review emergency preparedness processes and the crisis response plan.
- Provide current health and safety information to participants (i.e. prophylactic precautions, viral infections carried by insects and how to protect themselves against known infectious disease breakouts - check with the World Health Organization). Provide information about emergency medical assistance, emergency evacuation, and repatriation procedures. Review options for medical insurance coverage for foreign travel.
- Identify health and safety products or services that may not be available at overseas locations.
- Conduct orientation briefings once the destination is reached which include information on health and safety, legal, environmental, political, cultural and religious conditions in the host country.
- Communicate codes of conduct for staff and students, addressing such issues as fraternizing, consuming alcohol, controlling activities, and conduct during "free time". Advise partmipants of the consequences of non-compliance and take appropriate action when aware that participants are in violation.
- Review International Programs Policies and Procedures.
Travel to High Hazard Countries on the U.S. Department of State Warning Sites
All international travel to high hazard countries listed on the US State Department travel warning sites must be approved by the Chancellor's Office and by the President of CSUN.
- Make every effort to give the Chancellor's Office and the CSUN President 30-days' notice (prior to travel) with the travel request – for any trip to high hazard or State Department travel warning sites.
- Requests made to the Chancellor's Office with less than five business days' notice will not be considered
- Look at U.S. State Departments website for the high hazard / warning list: http://www.travel.state.gov/
- The web-site for Systemwide Risk Management & Public Safety has resource links available: http://www.calstate.edu/risk_management/rm/
- Send the request via email with all documentation to Charlene Minnick, AVC Risk Mgt. & Public Safety, firstname.lastname@example.org and copy Sandra George, Chief of Staff, email@example.com and Tony Mesa, Executive Secretary, firstname.lastname@example.org
Also, enclosed is a memorandum from Vice Chancellor Quillian to the presidents dated March 7, 2011 regarding foreign travel insurance program – here is link as well:
Executive Order 1041 – Student Travel
Should you have questions regarding the travel / insurance, please email Charlene Minnick, Assistant Vice Chancellor, Risk Management – email@example.com or by call at (562) 951-4580.