Reimbursable Travel for Non-State Employees

Version 2 (Current Version)
All Versions:
PolicyREG07.80.01
TitleReimbursable Travel for Non-State Employees
CategoryFinance, Operations and Auxiliary Services
Sub-categoryTravel
AuthorityChancellor
History

First enacted May 3, 1999; revised November 30, 2011. Revised on January 30, 2017.

Contact

Disbursements Manager (252-737-1084; traveloffice@ecu.edu)

Related Policies

Internal Revenue Service

Additional References

North Carolina Budget Manual, OSBM

ECU Travel Procedures Manual

Scholarship Information Form and Instructions


1. Non-State Employees [As modified from Section 5.7.1: NC Budget Manual, OSBM].

1.1. The purpose of this regulation is to establish the criteria under which ECU may reimburse or bear all or some of the travel expenses of persons who are not ECU employees.

1.2. Non-State employees who travel on official ECU business are eligible to have their expenses paid by the State, subject to and in compliance with State and University regulations and the ECU Travel Procedures Manual, as well as any additional, more restrictive rules, operating procedures and guidelines that ECU unit heads may impose for travel on behalf or for the benefit of specific units of ECU. These Non-State employees include, but are not limited to, members of the Board of Trustees, research collaborators, prospective professional employees, students on official ECU business including students traveling to fulfill a course requirement for academic credit, and attendants of handicapped ECU employees traveling on official ECU business (provided advance approval is obtained from unit head or designee). Persons who are not ECU employees who are traveling on official ECU business whose expenses are paid or reimbursed by ECU are subject to these regulations, including statutory subsistence allowances, to the same extent as are other ECU employees. No travel advances will be made to persons who are not ECU employees, regardless of funding source (see student exception below).

1.2.1. Student exception: In rare instances, a travel advance may be given to a student from non-state funds only with the approval of the appropriate Vice Chancellor and the Associate Vice Chancellor for Financial Services.

2. Prospective Professional Employees [As modified from Section 5.7.2: NC Budget Manual, OSBM].

2.1. A department head or his or her designee is authorized to approve reimbursement of transportation expenses of prospective professional employees visiting ECU units for employment interviews. These expenses are limited to transportation and subsistence for three days (five days if one is a Saturday) at the In-State rate plus any required taxes. The department head or his or her designee may approve excess lodging expenses.

3. Post-Secondary Students [Modified from Section 5.7.3: NC Budget Manual, OSBM].

3.1. Students who travel on official ECU business, including students traveling to fulfill a course requirement for academic credit, are eligible to have their expenses paid or reimbursed by ECU in compliance with and subject to these regulations, including statutory subsistence allowances, to the same extent as are ECU employees. Student travel expenses incurred while a student is working as an employee of ECU, including but not limited to graduate assistants receiving stipends, are considered expenses for official ECU business when traveling on behalf of the student’s position and may be reimbursed pursuant to the regulations regarding employee travel.

3.2. ECU students who travel on official ECU business may be reimbursed from State funds consistent with payments for ECU employees if the travel is approved in advance and meets all requirements of this regulation. Student travel for the purpose of presenting at a conference or a meeting and officially representing ECU during the travel is considered official State business.

3.3. Student travel to fulfill course requirements for academic credit (required projects, papers, theses, or dissertations) to be charged to State funds must have written approval in advance of the travel by the dean of the respective college and by the Associate Vice Chancellor for Financial Services who are the official designees of the Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance.

3.4. All other student related travel must be paid from Non-State funds supporting that particular organization or activity. Specifically, travel by students for the purpose of participating in athletic contests and activities of student organizations must be paid from funds supporting the particular activity, not State funds. The request for reimbursement must be recommended by a department with authority for administering the budget that will be used to pay the expenses. Furthermore, approval for reimbursement of such expenses must be signed by the head of the department or his or her designee in advance of the travel date.

4. Personal Care Attendants [Modified from Section 5.7.4: NC Budget Manual, OSBM].

4.1. Payment of travel and subsistence expenses (motel and meal costs) for attendants for handicapped employees while traveling on official ECU business may be reimbursed to the same extent as are state employees if advance approval is obtained from the department head or his or her designee.

5. Spouses/Partner/Dependent [Modified from ECU Travel Procedures Manual].

5.1. Travel expenses for a prospective employee's spouse/partner/dependent can be paid if funding is available from Non-State funds. If an employee traveling on official ECU business is accompanied by a spouse/partner/dependent who is not an employee but is traveling on official ECU business, his/her expenses may be paid or reimbursed in accordance with the provisions in Section 7 below.

6. Spouse/Partner of the Chancellor and/or Member of the Board of Trustees.

6.1. The Chancellor/BOT Members are often required to have extensive and unique contact with the public on behalf of the University. When the Chancellor/BOT Member travels to perform official duties, including attending events in such areas as development, alumni, and governmental relations (and because the spouse makes an important contribution to the success of these events), the University will pay the spouse’s travel expenses if both the following conditions are met.

6.1.1 The spouse/partner travels for the benefit of ECU. This condition will be considered met if the spouse/partner attends and participates in the official function(s) as a service to ECU. This includes, but is not limited to, events at which the spouses/partners of the event participants are expected to be present.

6.1.2 The purpose of the travel and the expenses incurred are fully documented, including receipts for expenses incurred and an outline of the activities of the spouse/partner relating to ECU business

6.2. These expenses related to the spouse/partner of the Chancellor/BOT Member must be paid by Non-State funds that are allowed under all applicable regulations to be used to pay the type of expenditure involved.

6.3. Reimbursement for travel expenditures incurred for the spouse/partner of the Chancellor/BOT Member must be approved by the Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance.

7. All Other Non-State Employees - Volunteers.

7.1. When any other Non-State employee not previously addressed herein (“Volunteer”), travels on official University business, the University will pay the Volunteer’s travel expenses incurred and documented in compliance with all applicable policies, regulations, rules and operating procedures if all four of the following conditions are met:

7.1.1. The Volunteer travels for the benefit of ECU. This condition will be considered met if the Volunteer attends and participates in the official function(s) as a service to ECU. This includes, but is not limited to, events at which such Volunteer is expected to be present.

7.1.2. The purpose of the travel and the expenses incurred are fully documented, including receipts for expenses incurred and an outline of the activities of the Volunteer relating to ECU business.

7.1.3. These expenses related to the Volunteer must be paid by Non-State funds that are allowed, under all applicable regulations, to be used to pay the type of expenditure involved.

7.1.4. In advance of the expenditure, the Volunteer's travel must be approved in writing or electronically by the ECU administrator (or his or her designee) who has responsibility for oversight of the budget from which the travel expenses is to be reimbursed.

8. Internal Revenue Service Requirements.

8.1. In order for travel advances and reimbursements of travel expenses to be excluded from a traveler’s taxable income, travel expenses must meet the IRS requirements for an Accountable Plan (Employee Reimbursement Plans). As such, travel expenses must be: in line with the University’s regulation as indicated above; reasonable in amount; and accompanied by reasonable accounting procedures.

8.1.1. Travelers must submit the required substantiation for travel expenses (including the amount, date, use, business purpose, and names of individuals in attendance), and must return any unused portion of an advance within 30 days after trip completion.

8.1.2. If reimbursements are deemed taxable because they do not meet the IRS requirements for exclusion, the reimbursed amount will be included in the employee’s W-2 or traveler's 1099 as taxable income.

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