Finance Division

Employee Travel Policy

Effective 1/1/2015

Employees will be reimbursed for travel expenditures in compliance with the University travel guidelines as governed by State and Federal travel regulations. Adequate documentation must exist to allow for verification of expenditures. This policy is applicable to all travel, regardless of the source of funds used for reimbursement.

All travel vouchers submitted for reimbursement are required to have the signature of the traveler certifying the amounts are true and correct and conform to State, Federal and University laws, rules and regulations. All signatures must be original or in an approved electronic format (faxed or electronic mail). No stamped signatures will be accepted. The reimbursement must be approved by the employee’s supervisor or supervisor’s designee. The designee cannot be a direct subordinate of the traveler. The supervisor or designee’s approval is asserting that they are aware of the employee’s travel and the expenditures appear reasonable.

Travel outside the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii, Canada or Puerto Rico meets the definition of International travel and requires approval prior to departure. International travel funded from sponsored program activities must be approved in advance by Sponsored Programs Accounting.

Under Clemson’s Human Resources Discipline Policy, any employee who falsifies records or documents or willfully violates written rules, regulations or policies can be suspended or terminated from their employment with Clemson University.

All Policies and Procedures are in compliance with the State of South Carolina Appropriations Act, Section 117 General Provisions.

This policy does not apply to reimbursement of travel for non-Clemson employees. Those payments are to be treated as procurement of services according to Procurement policies.

Definitions

Electronic Approval – approval of a voucher/reimbursement request or of other documentation may be done electronically with a fax/scanned copy of a signed document or via an email from the approver directly from their Clemson email address.

Travel – as described in this policy, is travel more than 10 miles from an employee’s primary office at the University for the purpose of conducting business of the University, attending professional meetings, special demonstration meetings and other related meetings. Expenses related to the cost of relocating/moving are not classified as travel per this policy.

Primary Office – the location of an employee’s office. In the case where an employee works out of more than one office on different campuses/University locations, the employee and their supervisor will agree in writing on a primary office from which travel reimbursement may be allowed if pre-approved by supervisor. Based on work schedule, the Primary Office may change day-to-day or week-to-week, again, as agreed upon in writing with the supervisor.

Reasonable Expense – An expense that is ordinary and reflects a prudent decision to incur the expense on behalf of University business. Not extreme or excessive.

Travel Guidelines

Employee travel expenditures must be paid by the traveler from personal funds and reimbursed using a Travel Voucher upon return. Travel vouchers are the documents used to account for reimbursable faculty and staff travel costs. Travelers are expected to exercise discretion when making travel arrangements and expenditures. As an agent of State and Federal funds and private grant funds, each employee should use the following guidance when traveling:

  • Avoid excess costs, circuitous routes, delays or luxury accommodations unnecessary or unjustified in the performance of an assignment.
  • Travel by commercial airlines must be in coach or economy class.
  • Automobile transportation may be used when air and ground transportation cannot be arranged satisfactorily, or to reduce expenses when two or more University employees are traveling together.
  • Transportation to or from points of arrival and departure should be by the most economical method.

Travel Status Reimbursement versus Business Meal Reimbursement

Business Meal reimbursement procedures will be followed when an employee is traveling within 10 miles of their headquarters or overnight travel is not required.

An employee must be in travel status to be eligible for reimbursement of meals. Meals reimbursed while in travel status should not be confused with business meal reimbursements. Refer to Business Meals section of disbursement guidelines for guidance for more information. If an employee on non-overnight travel receives reimbursements for meals, this amount could be considered income and be reported on their W-2 tax form. For instance, meals on day trips are subject to tax withholding except when a business purpose for the meal can be documented. If you are claiming reimbursement for such business meals, documentation should include the name and affiliation of the person sharing the meal and the general nature of the business discussed. The Travel Log Form should be used for non-overnight meal reimbursements.

Local Travel or Travel to Other Clemson Locations

Travel may be authorized and mileage reimbursement or a rental car expense may be allowed between an employee’s primary office location and another Clemson location (i.e. Clemson campus and CU-ICAR) when pre-approved or authorized by the employee’s supervisor, in a manner of approval determined by the supervisor. If not pre-approved, mileage or other travel expenses may not be reimbursed. (see Means of Travel for specifics on reimbursements/allowable expenses)

Meals

While on official travel within the State of South Carolina, an employee’s actual expenses, based on per meal limits up to a maximum of $25 per day, will be reimbursed. While on official travel outside the State of South Carolina, an employee’s actual expenses based on per meal limits up to a maximum of $32 per day will be reimbursed. Meal per diem is only reimbursable when travel includes an overnight stay. Out of State Travel is defined as travel outside of South Carolina but within the continental US, Alaska, Hawaii, Canada or Puerto Rico.

If you depart before If you return after
In State
Out of State

Breakfast 6:30 a.m. 11:00 a.m.
$6
$7
Lunch 11:00 a.m. 1:30 p.m.
$7
$9
Dinner 5:15 p.m. 8:30 p.m.
$12
$16
Total  
$25
$32

When the daily limit for meals is exceeded due to the cost of an official banquet, the excess will be allowed provided a receipt and proper explanation for the banquet charge accompanies the travel voucher.

If an employee on non-overnight travel receives reimbursements for meals, this amount could be considered income and be reported on their W-2 tax form. For instance, meals on day trips are subject to tax withholding except when a business purpose for the meal can be documented. If you are claiming reimbursement for such business meals, documentation should include the name and affiliation of the person sharing the meal and the general nature of the business discussed. Travel Log Form for non-overnight meal reimbursements.

An employee must be in travel status as defined by State regulations (more than 10 miles from their official headquarters) to be eligible for reimbursement of meals. Meals reimbursed while in travel status should not be confused with business meal reimbursements. Refer to Business Meals section of disbursement guidelines for guidance for business meal reimbursements.

When an employee is in International travel status, they will adhere to federal per diem rates or provide receipts of actual meal costs.

Lodging

Lodging arrangements and deposits are the responsibility of the traveler and will be reimbursed as part of the lodging expenses upon completion of the trip. Actual lodging expenses as reflected on the receipt will be reimbursed, however moderately priced accommodations should be selected when a choice is available.

No reimbursement will be made for overnight lodging within 50 miles of the employee's official headquarters or residence. Expenses for shared lodging will only be reimbursed to one employee. If the room is shared with someone other than a University employee, only the single room rate will be reimbursable.

All necessary and reasonable tips for baggage handling are reimbursable.

Parking Fees related to parking at a hotel, NOT valet parking, are reimbursable with receipt. Other parking fees for parking meters and non-hotel related are reimbursable per Reimbursement Procedures and Receipt sections below.

Means of Travel

Rental Cars

Charges for automobile rental are allowed when it is more economical than alternative methods of transportation or is the only practical means of transportation. While traveling on University business originating from South Carolina, employees are required to use the University contract vendor for vehicle rentals unless the contract vendor is not available at the location where the employee desires to rent a vehicle. Documentation stating that neither of the contract vendors was available should be attached as supporting documentation to justify the use of another vendor.

Refer to the Procurement Services web page for information on the rental car contract. University employees should be aware that the State contract provides for unlimited mileage, liability, and comprehensive and collision protection.

If it is necessary to rent an automobile while in travel status outside the United States, it is recommended the collision damage waiver insurance be obtained. The charge and the applicable tax will be included on the automobile rental statement submitted with the request for reimbursement.

Personal Cars

University employees may use their own automobile for official travel provided the University will not incur added expenses above that of other forms of transportation available. Reimbursement for personal automobiles will be $.575 per mile (was $.56 per mile prior to 1/1/15).

Mileage between an employee's home and his/her place of employment is not subject to reimbursement. However, when an employee leaves on a business trip directly from his/her home, and does not go by the employee's headquarters, the employee shall be eligible for reimbursement for actual mileage beginning at his/her residence.

No reimbursement will be made for fines related to moving or non-moving violations.

Air and Ground Transportation

Transportation for individuals traveling alone should be by (air, rail, bus) whenever practical. Advantage of reduced round-trip rates must be taken when available. Travel must be by the most direct route possible. Individuals traveling by an indirect route must bear any additional expenses.

EXCEPTION: When discount fares are available which result in a savings to the University by extending a trip using personal time, the reimbursement will be limited to the lesser of the actual expenses incurred (subject to the limitations contained herein, such as meal allowances, mileage rates, etc.) or the amount that would be incurred for the business portion only. The calculations for the business portion of the trip must be made using the least expensive rates available.

Travel by Airplane

This is recommended when the cost of the employee's time is an important factor or where the travel time by other methods would increase the subsistence expense. Accommodations must be limited to tourist or economy class.

  • Direct Payment by the University

Air transportation tickets may be purchased in advance from a travel agency or an air carrier directly by the University. The departmental purchasing card should be used for prepayment of airline tickets.

  • Initial Payment by the Individual

Employees who choose to purchase their tickets must secure reimbursement through a travel voucher after travel is completed. No reimbursement for reduced-fare advance purchase tickets will be made to employees prior to completion of travel since direct payment by the University is available.

  • Frequent Flyer Program

State employees while in official travel status shall select air carriers based on the cost and time criteria, not on whether frequent flyer premiums are given. State employees earning frequent flyer premiums while on state business must use them to reduce the cost of subsequent Clemson University business travel whenever possible.

  • Adequate Documentation

In order for the traveler to receive reimbursement, adequate documentation reflecting the ticket cost, dates and destination must accompany the travel voucher. This may be accomplished via one or several of the following: boarding pass, copy of a printed ticket or print-out from internet purchase.

Airport Shuttle

The use of the airport shuttle to transport employees to the airport from Clemson and return them after their trip can be considered a part of the employee's travel expense and will be reimbursed as such. The departmental purchasing card may not be used for this expense.

International Travel

International Travel, for reimbursement and approval purposes, is defined by State of South Carolina law as travel outside the continental US, Alaska, Hawaii, Canada or Puerto Rico. International travel requires approval prior to departure using the International Travel Approval Form.

International travel funded from Sponsor Approvals must be approved in advance by the Grants and Contracts Administration Office. Refer to the Grants and Contracts Administration website for details.

While on International travel actual lodging expenses will be reimbursed. Fees for the purchase of traveler's checks, passports and visas will be reimbursed provided a receipt is furnished. All expenses claimed must be converted to U.S. dollars and the conversion rate be properly documented.

If receipts are not provided, only the maximum daily rate established by the Federal Government for meals and incidentals can be claimed. When claiming reimbursement for actual expenses of meals that exceeds the daily rate, receipts are required. Click here to locate the International Per Diem Rates, including a breakdown of meals and incidental expenses.

If it is necessary to rent an automobile while in travel status outside the United States, it is recommended the collision damage waiver insurance be obtained. The charge and the applicable tax will be included on the automobile rental statement submitted with the request for reimbursement.

University Purchasing Card Usage

Personal charges made on a University Purchasing Card are NOT reimbursable to the individual. All employee travel expenditures must be paid by the traveler from personal funds and reimbursed on a Travel Voucher upon return with the exception of:

Allowable P-card Charges for Travel

  • airline & train tickets (including baggage fees IF purchased with ticket)
  • baggage fees when purchased with ticket
  • conference/registration fees (not including hotels)
  • student travel (includes hotels, ground transportation, airline/flights)
  • food expenses incurred during travel (for students only)
  • rental cars

For additional information, see the Policies and Procedures on the Purchasing Card Program website.

Reimbursement Procedure

When individuals file for reimbursement of travel expenses they are certifying:

  • they have followed the University's travel policies,
  • they have not nor will not receive reimbursement for these expenses from any other entity outside the University,
  • all expenses are business related and, that all supporting documentation is on file with their department or business office.

There are three main classifications for travel reimbursements: in-state, out-of-state and International. Each form has unique features based on type of travel and policies thereof. A link to the form can be found on Procurement’s Travel Webpage or Clemson.edu\travel

Travel reimbursement requests should be filed:

  • as soon as the trip is completed (which adheres to good business practice)
  • within the same fiscal year in which the trip occurred

Reimbursement will be made upon completion of the travel. Any reimbursements not filed within the same fiscal year require additional explanation and approval by the appropriate Dean or VP or designee thereof.

Employee reimbursements will be posted in CUBS once processed. Click here to view your reimbursement voucher details and advice.

Receipts

You must submit receipts for expenditures of $25 or more. All receipts and paid bills must be submitted with your reimbursement form. In rare occasions, a receipt may not have been provided to the traveler or the traveler may misplace the receipt. In which case, a detailed explanation signed by the traveler may be substituted and included with an acceptable proof of payment such as a canceled check or a scanned copy of a credit card statement.

Registration Fees

Registration fees in the amount necessary to qualify individuals to attend conventions, meetings, conferences, etc. are allowed. These fees can be prepaid using the Departmental Purchasing Card or on a Direct Purchase Voucher. If the registration is prepaid by the traveler or paid at the time of registration of the meeting, reimbursement will be made after the trip is completed.

Miscellaneous Expenses

Receipts are required if each expense (or total of expenses in reasonable categories, such as parking, taxis, etc) is $25 or greater.

Allowable

Expense must be required for University business trip.

  • Baggage charges:

A. Transportation charges for authorized excess baggage when carrying equipment necessary to complete official business
B. Necessary charges for storage when such are a result official business - including tips
C. Charges for checking baggage
D. Charges or tips at transportation terminals or lodging for handling luggage and items necessary to complete business mission
E. Tips for handling luggage, such as taxi, shuttle or courtesy transportation drivers or hotel staff
F. Sending baggage, samples, display materials, and/or supplies to official business location and back to official station

  • Services of guides, interpreters, or drivers
  • Services of typists, data processors, or stenographers
  • Use of computers, printers, fax machines, and scanners when necessary to complete official business mission
  • Fees for conference/meeting rooms and equipment when necessary to complete official business mission
  • Official telephone calls/service, such as faxes, internet access, etc…
  • Emergency purchases of materials or services (i.e., film, batteries, photocopying, etc.) when necessary to complete official business mission
  • Airport shuttles, taxis, ground transportation
  • Other reasonable expenses if justified and approved by supervisor as required for travel.

Non-Allowable

Movies, bar bills, laundry, room service, health or spa fees, etc. will not be subject to reimbursement on the travel expense report. These are considered personal in nature and should be paid by the traveler. Employees will be responsible for unauthorized costs and any additional expenses incurred for personal preference or convenience. If certain non-allowable
expenses are deemed business essential and justified as such, they may be reimbursed with approved written consent of the supervisor.


Account Codes

TRAVEL IN STATE Expenditures related to travel within the State of South Carolina
6001 Meals Business Related Meal at a location within the State of SC, while attending a conference, seminar, etc in an overnight status or a business meal that meets the IRS criteria. Reimbursed on travel voucher.
6002 Meals Non-Bus Non-Overnight Non-overnight meal at a location within the State of SC, that is taxable to the employee based on IRS criteria. Reimbursed through the Payroll System.
6003 Lodging Hotel, motel bills within State of SC
6004 Mileage Personal Reimbursement Mileage reimbursed for use of personal car if the trip destination is within SC
6005 Contract Rental Car Contract Rental Car charge for a travel destination within the State of SC
6006 Commercial Air Fare Airline ticket cost for a travel destination within the State of SC
6007 University Aircraft Fees for use of the University plane for a travel destination within the State of SC
6008 Other Expenditures Expenditures such as taxis, airport transportation, tolls, portage, telephone calls, etc. for a trip within the State of SC
6009 Registration Fees Fees for a conference or seminar held in the State of SC
6031 Private Aircraft Expenditures related to use of personal aircraft to travel within the State of SC
6033 Charter Flights Expenditures related to cost of a charter flight to travel within the State of SC

TRAVEL OUT OF STATE Expenditures related to travel outside of South Carolina but within the continental US, Alaska, Hawaii, Canada or Puerto Rico
6010 Meals Business Related Meal at a location outside the State of SC, while attending a conference, seminar, etc in an overnight status or a business meal that meets the IRS criteria. Reimbursed on travel voucher.
6011 Meals Non-Bus Non-Overnight Non-overnight meal at a location outside the State of SC, that is taxable to the employee based on IRS criteria. Reimbursed through the Payroll System.
6012 Lodging Hotel, motel bills outside the State of SC
6013 Mileage Personal Reimbursement Mileage reimbursed for use of personal car if the trip destination is outside of SC. Mileage to airport if the trip destination is outside of the State of SC.
6014 Contract Rental Car Contract Rental Car charge for a travel destination outside the State of SC.
6015 Commercial Air Fare Airline ticket cost for a travel destination outside the State of SC
6016 University Aircraft Fees for use of the University plane for a travel destination outside the State of SC
6017 Other Expenditures Expenditures such as taxis, airport transportation, tolls, portage, telephone calls, etc. for a trip outside the State of SC
6018 Registration Fees Fees for a conference or seminar held outside the State of SC
6032 Private Aircraft Expenditures related to use of personal aircraft to travel outside the State of SC
6034 Charter Flights Expenditures related to cost of a charter flight to travel outside the State of SC

TRAVEL FOREIGN Expenditures related to travel outside of the continental US, Alaska, Hawaii, Canada or Puerto Rico
6019 Meals Business Related Meal while attending a conference, seminar, etc in an overnight status or a business meal that meets the IRS criteria. Reimbursed on travel voucher.
6020 Lodging Hotel, motel bills outside the continental US,Alaska,Hawaii,Canada or Puerto Rico
6021 Mileage Personal Reimbursement Mileage reimbursed for use of personal car if the trip destination is outside the continental US,Alaska,Hawaii,Canada or Puerto Rico. Mileage to airport if the trip destination is international.
6022 Commercial Air Fare Airline ticket cost for a travel destination outside the continental US,Alaska,Hawaii,Canada or Puerto Rico
6023 University Aircraft Fees for use of the University plane for a travel destination outside the continental US,Alaska,Hawaii,Canada or Puerto Rico
6024 Other Expenditures Expenditures such as taxis, airport transportation, tolls, portage, telephone calls, etc. for a trip outside the continental US, Alaska, Hawaii, Canada or Puerto Rico
6025 Registration Fees Fees for a conference or seminar held outside the continental US,Alaska,Hawaii,Canada or Puerto Rico

STUDENT TRAVEL Expenditures related to travel where the primary purpose of the travel is to benefit students.
6030 Student Travel Expenditures for student travel

TRAVEL ATHLETIC Expenditures related to travel for the Athletic Department
6026 Recruiting General
6027 Recruiting Off Campus
6028 Officials
6029 Post Game Meals
6035
6043
In-State - Prospect Meals
Out-of-State- Prospect Meals
6036
6044
In-State - Prospect Lodging
Out-of-State- Prospect Lodging
6037
6045
In-State - Prospect MileReimb
Out-of-State - Prospect MileReimb
6038
6046
In-State - Prospect Motor Pool Vehicle
Out-of-State - Prospect Motor Pool Vehicle
6039
6047
In-State - Prospect Com Air Fare
Out-of-State - Prospect Com Air Fare
6040
6048
In-State - Prospect Univ Aircraft
Out-of-State - Prospect Univ Aircraft
6041
6049
In-State - Prospect Other Travel
Out-of-State- Prospect Other Travel
6042
6050
In-State - Prospect Regist Fee
Out-of-State - Prospect Regist Fee
6051
6052
In-State - Prospect Charter Flight
Out-of-State - Prospect Charter Flight
6053
6054
In-State - Official Party
Out-of-State - Official Party
6055
6056
In-State - Charter Bus Travel
Out-of-State - Charter Bus Travel