This information outlines the general guidelines regarding travel expense reimbursement.
Minnesota State Board policy/procedure 5.19.3 states: All in-state travel and the incurrence of related expenses must receive oral prior approval and all out-of-state travel requires written prior approval by an employee who has delegated authority to approve out-of-state travel. Written authorizations are retained locally for audit purposes. See Minnesota State Board Policy 5.19.
Although in-state travel only requires verbal approval of immediate supervisor, a Work Revision Request is also necessary for academic administration and instructional faculty when academic duties and responsibilities need to be adjusted or covered during work-related travel away from campus. The Work Revision Request form is now a section of this new Travel Authorization form.The Travel Authorization Form (PDF) combines the following into one:
Submit the Travel Authorization form to your supervisor at least 10 business days prior to departure date in order to be routed for approval signatures before travel commences. Out-of-state travel requests require signature of supervisor and Dean or appropriate Vice President. International travel requires Supervisor, Dean, Vice President/Provost and President signatures.
After appropriate signatures are obtained, the Travel Authorization form will be returned to the individual requestor. The signed and dated Travel Authorization form documenting prior approval should be attached to expense reimbursement paperwork. Out-of-state and international travel expenses will not be reimbursed without written approval prior to travel.
If you are traveling for a University Study Abroad Program and you plan to have a non-employee(s) accompany you, an agreement and release must be signed and filed with the Center for International Studies (CIS). Adult non-employees shall complete the Companion form. If the non-employee is a dependent under the age of 18, the faculty/staff shall complete the Minor Child form. These release forms do not need to be routed with the Travel Authorization Form but must be submitted to CIS at any point prior to departure.
Per the State of Minnesota Policy on Drivers' License and Record Checks and Minnesota State Board Policy 184.108.40.206 all faculty, staff or students, driving any vehicle for university-related activities, should take care to comply with applicable laws by: not driving with an inactive, cancelled, suspended or revoked license; maintaining appropriate liability insurance; refraining from driving while distracted or under the influence of alcohol or drugs; abiding by any applicable license restrictions; and driving lawfully and courteously.
All faculty, staff and students must receive Minnesota State authorization before driving for any university-related activities. Additional information regarding the process of requesting this authorization can be found on Public Safety Parking and Transportation web page. All faculty, staff or students driving on state business are required to complete the online Vehicle User Agreement.
Employees are to claim actual expenses for meals, but reimbursement, including tips, may not exceed the maximums. Meals exceeding these maximums require the filing of a Special Expense Form in advance of the event. See the Special Expenses section.
The following meal allowance rates are current for all bargaining units.
|Standard Cost Areas
|MMA, MNA, MSUAASF non-PDF, Commissioners Plan, Managerial Plan, Administrators
|MSUAASF PDF, IFO
|High Cost Metro Areas
|MMA, MNA, MSUAASF non-PDF, Commissioners Plan, Managerial Plan, Administrators
|MSUAASF PDF, IFO
The high cost areas also include any location outside the 48 contiguous United States.
Meal reimbursement is allowed when the employee is in travel status 35 or more miles from his/her workstation.
When the University is paying the cost of commercial transportation or conference registration fee and a meal is included as a part of the travel or conference, employees are not eligible to be reimbursed for the same meal.
There are special rates exclusive to PDF funds for MSUAASF. Per MSUAASF contract Article 15, Section A, Subd. 3; "reimbursement rates for meals and incidentals and lodging under this section shall be determined by the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) for continental U.S. travel and by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) for travel outside of the continental U.S., including Alaska and Hawaii." Reimbursement rates for meals and incidentals and lodging not covered by professional study and travel funds will be reimbursed as provided in MSUAASF contract Article 14, Section A.
Please utilize the links to GSA and DoD for the rates applicable to the location and month of travel. Due to the difference in reimbursement rates between PDF monies and Department monies, no subsequent correction of expenditures between costs centers is permitted.
Original itemized lodging receipt showing room rate and tax is required to claim lodging reimbursement.
There is no rate schedule for non-PDF funds, but reimbursement is limited to the single room rate. Inquire about government rates when making reservations.
Each employee may claim one-half of the lodging expenses. You will not be reimbursed for expenses incurred by another employee even if you did in fact pay for his/her share. Each employee is required to submit his/her own expenses on his/her own expense report with receipts as evidence of payment.
The State of Minnesota allows reimbursement at the single rate when a spouse is accompanying an employee on an overnight trip. The employee should have the establishment certify the single rate on the receipt.
St. Cloud State partners with Enterprise-Rent-A-Car for its vehicle travel needs. The agreement provides vehicles for both authorized university employees and authorized student employees for field trips, meetings, and other official state business.
St. Cloud State Public Safety manages the travel/vehicle rental process. Information on how to reserve a vehicle can be found on the Parking and Transportation Travel/Vehicle Rental Procedures web page.
If you choose to utilize your personal vehicle for state business the rate of reimbursement per the state bargaining agreements and compensation plans is as follows. Trips crossing calendar years will require the use of two rates to determine the reimbursement amount.
Mileage shall be paid based on the most direct route. This amount should be listed under "Trip Miles" on the Employee Expense Report. Vicinity driving should be listed under the "Local Miles" column. For trips that cross the mileage rate change, two rates must be used.
Enterprise Rent-A-Car has indicated that they should always have vehicles available. In the unlikely event that an Enterprise Rent-A-Car was requested but was not available the mileage reimbursement rate for a personal vehicle will be the standard IRS rate, which is 7¢ greater than the rate listed above. To obtain the higher reimbursement rate please attach to your travel reimbursement request a written statement from Enterprise Rent-A-Car indicating that a car was requested but was unavailable. The higher reimbursement rate is only applicable for in-state travel. All out-state travel will use the lesser rate listed above.
Out-of-state travel by personal vehicle may be authorized. Employees utilizing this option must include with their expense report an airfare quote dated at least two weeks prior to the trip. Your expenses by personal vehicle cannot exceed this quote and you will be reimbursed the lesser of the two amounts. All out-of-state mileage calculations are based on the lesser mileage rate as noted above.
Reimbursement for a rental car while on a trip can be claimed, but a "justification statement" must be attached to your expense report. You must demonstrate that public transportation was more expensive or unavailable.
Reimbursement for airfare is limited to the lowest round-trip airfare available on the day the trip request was approved.
Employees may charge their airfare to the university at Bursch Travel. As soon as arrangements have been made at the travel agency, the employee should have his/her department submit an Internal Requisition (Form I.R. 1400) to Business Services for payment.
Receipts are required for the same expenses as domestic travel. Claims should be converted to U.S. Dollars at the exchange rate in effect at the time the travel occurred.
Employees must not travel to countries for which a travel advisory has been issued by the United States Department of State.
Special expenses include, but are not limited to:
Employees requesting reimbursement of special expenses must request approval IN ADVANCE on a Request to Incur Special Expenses Form (docx). Submit the form to the Director of Business Services.
Receipts are required for all special expenses.
The Minnesota State Employee Expense Report and the Internal Travel Requisition Form have been consolidated into one form, the Travel Expense Report (docx).
This form is designed to be completed by the person making the claim for reimbursement. It is to be authorized by the employee, the Supervisor, and the Responsible Person for the identified cost center. Students who travel should use this same form.
At the close of the fiscal year all travel expense reports must be received in Business Services according to established due dates (usually July 10) or they will be charged to the next fiscal year.
Reimbursements/advances are included in the employee's paycheck. Because they follow the payroll cycle, please allow three to four weeks for processing.
Each employee will be reimbursed only for his/her own expenses.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires employee business expenses to be submitted for reimbursement within 60 days after the expense is incurred. If not submitted within 60 days, the reimbursement becomes taxable for federal, state, FICA and Medicare; and withholding tax must be taken.
If your anticipated reimbursable expenses exceed $50.00, you may request a short-term travel advance. The amount of the advance should not include any expense that will be billed directly. An employee may have only one outstanding advance at any time.
To request a travel advance, submit a completed an Travel Expense Report (docx) with an estimate of expenses to Business Services at least three to four weeks prior to departure.
After your trip is completed, and within five days of your return, submit a second Travel Expense Report (docx) indicating the actual expenses, with appropriate receipts, for the actual cost. Any excess advance funds will be taken out of the employee's paycheck. A Travel Advance not settled within 28 days of the return date will be deducted from the employee's paycheck.
A St. Cloud State credit card with travel capabilities is available to employees who demonstrate a continuing need to travel on University business. It provides a convenient and secure way to pay for business expenses such as airfare, hotels, car rental, or conference registrations without needing to request a cash advance or use personal funds.
The Cardholder is the state employee in whose name the card has been issued. The Program Administrator is the employee in the Business Services office responsible for issuing cards, auditing statements, and responding to cardholder inquiries.
Per Minnesota State Board policy 7.3, procedure 7.3.3, part 6, subpart B; prior approval must be obtained through the use of a special expense form in order to charge any travel related purchases to a state credit card. A blanket approval for an extended time range is allowable, not to exceed one fiscal year. The blanket approval would only cover purchases specifically listed in subpart B. The properly approved special expense form must be on file with Business Services prior to the occurrence of any travel related credit card charges. Approval to charge travel related purchases to a state credit card does not satisfy the written approval requirement for out-of-state travel.
* Not applicable to athletic team or other student group activity when specifically authorized.
It is the Cardholder’s responsibility to safeguard the travel credit card and account number.
Failure to comply with policies and procedures will result in deactivation of the credit card.
St. Cloud State University employees may apply for a travel credit card by contacting the Program Administrator in 124 Administrative Services. The applicant will be required to attend a training session before the card is issued. A signature is required acknowledging that the applicant has read and understands the travel card policies and procedures. A delegation of authority form is required delegating the cardholder with authority to obligate the university.
When a credit card transaction is made, it is the Cardholder’s responsibility to obtain an itemized receipt.
A statement will be available to the Cardholder on the US Bank website by the 6th of each month. The statement will show all transactions posted to the account. It is the responsibility of the Cardholder to verify the correctness of the statement.
If a Cardholder is leaving the University, he/she must surrender their travel credit card to the Program Administrator. Any outstanding charge receipts should be submitted to his/her approving supervisor to review, approve, and submit with the next statement.
To report a lost or stolen card, or to dispute charges call US Bank (800) 344-5696 (24 hours).
To report any changes in Cardholder information, ask questions regarding policies, procedures, or to inquire about statements call the Program Administrator during business hours at (320) 308-4005.
Purchases made by an employee on behalf of the University can be eligible for reimbursement if approved in advance by the responsible person on the account which the reimbursement will come from. Purchases under $5000 are eligible for reimbursement to an employee with the approval of the reimbursing accounts responsible person. Sales tax is not reimbursable from any account other than an agency account.
For reimbursement of a business expense submit a completed Payment Request Form (PR1400) along with the original receipt to Business Services in AS122.
Please keep in mind that most regulations are the result of legislative action, and changes to those regulations are through labor negotiations and legislative process. Maximum rates are set by collective bargaining agreements and the Department of Employee Relations, and may change for any or all of the various bargaining units each time the contracts are renegotiated.