Travel and Meetings
Reimbursement Instructions for JRSO Staff
Contact: Theressa Jones at (979) 845-8746 or email@example.com
IODP policy requires that the travel expense voucher be submitted within 30 days after returning from a trip. If there are extenuating circumstances that prevent the voucher from being submitted within 30 days, travelers should be aware that the Internal Revenue Service has established a deadline for reconciling travel advances and expenses as follows.
- If a travel advance has been issued, substantiation of expenses must be submitted within 60 days of trip completion or the entire advance amount will be reported as taxable income.
- Advanced funds that are not expended during the trip must be returned no later than 120 days after completion of trip or the refund amount due will be reported as taxable income.
- All unexpended funds must be returned, but expense vouchers submitted after the IRS time limitations cannot act retroactively to avoid the tax liability.
Expense Account Forms
Expense Account Form Instructions
The following information is presented in the same format as the expense account and details the requirements of each item. For additional information, see the TAMRF/IODP Travel Policy.
- Alcoholic beverages;
- Entertainment or social activity expenses;
- Parking or traffic violation fines;
- Gasoline purchases for personal automobile when claiming mileage;
- Personal items purchased as a result of lost or stolen baggage.
- Name and address of claimant and social security number: An address is required whether or not a reimbursement is due.
- Period of Travel: Provide the exact hours and dates of departure and arrival. Subsistence is determined from this information. If personal leave days are involved, list the specific dates separately for business and personal.
- Trip to: List the cities in which business was conducted or where the ship was boarded or disembarked.
- Purpose: Provide a brief explanation of the purpose of the trip, e.g., name of expedition in which you were a participant, postcruise conference, etc.
- Accompanied by: List those persons, if any, who traveled with you.
- Cost Center: To be completed by IODP/TAMRF.
- Transportation: Do not include direct-billed items on "Total Transportation" line.
- Personal automobile: Personal automobile mileage is reimbursed at the current IRS-approved mileage rate. This rate covers expenses for vehicle maintenance, gas, and oil. Note where and why the automobile was used (e.g., home-airport-home, etc.). When mileage cannot easily be verified using highway maps, a log should be kept on the various places visited and the mileage between points. Reimbursement for mileage cannot exceed the equivalent of economy air fare, except under circumstances when a personal vehicle has been previously authorized for transportation of materials or equipment. Please contact the Travel Department for the current mileage rate (also provided in the Expense Account Form).
- Airplane: All government-financed travel must be booked on a U.S. flag air carrier except under certain conditions. If you make your own travel arrangements, it is essential that you not book any reservations on a non-U.S. flag air-carrier before contacting the IODP Travel Office (979) 845-3205. Failure to do so could result in non-reimbursement for airfare. Airline ticket receipts (passenger coupons) must be attached to the expense account regardless of method of payment.
- Rental vehicle (mid-size rate only): Should be used only when necessary to obtain economical or practical transportation, i.e., when it would cost more to travel via taxi, bus, etc. Rental agreements/receipts must be attached to the expense account regardless of method of payment. Charges for personal liability insurance (PAI) are not reimbursable and will be deducted from the expense account except when the car is rented in a foreign country. See the exchange rate instructions for foreign travel reimbursement at the bottom.
- Other transportation costs: Other transportation expenses include, but may not be limited to, the following:
- Airport departure taxes
- Gasoline for rental cars
- Parking and toll fees
- Receipts for any single item of $75 or more must be attached to the expense account. See the exchange rate instructions at the bottom.
- Taxis, limo, bus, train: itemize each fare. Receipts for any single fare of $75 or more must be attached to the expense account. Taxi expenses for travel to/from restaurants, etc. are only allowed if there is no eating establishment at the place of lodging or within a short, safe, walking distance. See the exchange rate instructions at the bottom.
- Lodging: Itemized hotel receipts must be submitted. Costs for lodging shall not exceed the maximum rate (excluding taxes) of $175/night or the published federal rate, whichever is higher. See the exchange rate instructions at the bottom.
- Meals: Meal expenses will be reimbursed with the Per Diem method:
- Meal per diem rates established by the federal government are used for reimbursement of meals under this method. The meal per diem rate includes tips and taxes and is payable to the traveler without receipts. Reimbursement for meals provided by IODP (on board ship, at postcruise meetings, etc.) may not be claimed on the travel expense voucher. Breakfast will be reimbursed if the traveler leaves before 7:00 a.m. or returns after 9:00 a.m.
- Domestic Travel: Meal allocations are based on the IRS approved rates and reimbursed according to the geographical location where business was conducted. See the per diem rates or contact the IODP Travel Office for the rate applicable to your point of travel.
- The breakdown for each of the meal rates is as follows:
- $71/day: Breakfast = $14; Lunch = $22; Dinner = $36
- $64/day: Breakfast = $16; Lunch = $17; Dinner = $31
- $59/day: Breakfast = $15; Lunch = $16; Dinner = $28
- $54/day: Breakfast = $13; Lunch = $15; Dinner = $26
- $49/day: Breakfast = $10; Lunch = $14; Dinner = $25
- $44/day: Breakfast = $9; Lunch = $13; Dinner = $22
- $39/day: Breakfast = $8; Lunch = $11; Dinner = $20
- Foreign Travel: Specific meal allowances for international destinations have been established by the U.S. Department of State and are updated monthly. See the per diem rates or contact the IODP Travel Office for the rate applicable to your point of travel. See the exchange rate instructions at the bottom.
- En-route (in air): Reimbursement for meals while on en-route status will be at the rate of the destination city. See the per diem rates or contact the IODP Travel Office for the rate applicable to your point of travel. 75% for international travel until traveler reaches destination.
- Communications (telephone, internet, fax): Receipts are required for any single expense of $50 or more. For official business, the person(s) contacted and date must be documented for individual charges of $10.00 or more. Personal cummunications are allowable with supporting documentation but limited to the following:
- Domestic travel: one personal call per day up to a maximum of $5 per day.
- International travel: one personal call per day up to a maximum of $15 per day. See the exchange rate instructions at the bottom.
- Miscellaneous expenses: Other miscellaneous expenses are to be entered here. Examples are travelers' checks fee, registration fee, postage, supplies, etc. Incidental expenses should also be entered here. Incidentals are laundry/dry cleaning (for trips of 4 days duration or more), mandatory service charges, taxes, baggage handling, and tips to porters, maids, etc. Receipts are required for any single expense of $75 or more, or as noted otherwise. See the exchange rate instructions at the bottom.
Totaling the expense account: After completing the reverse side of the form, transfer total expenses to front of form and deduct the amount of the advance issued (when applicable). If the advance exceeds the expenses, attach a personal check for the amount due, payable to the Texas A&M Research Foundation (TAMRF). Sign the form and give the telephone number where you may be reached during normal working hours. Mail the completed expense account form and receipts to the following address:Theressa Jones
International Ocean Discovery Program
1000 Discovery Drive
College Station, Texas 77845-9547
Exchange rate for cash transactions in foreign currency
When receipts for cash transactions in foreign currency are listed on the travel voucher, they must be converted to U. S. dollars using an exchange rate that was in effect at the time of travel. The most precise documentation of this exchange rate would be the receipt provided to the traveler at the time of currency conversion. Absent this documentation, the Travel section will apply the appropriate rate by referring to the website, www.oanda.com, notify the traveler of the rate to be used, and apply this rate to cash transactions.
Exchange rate for credit card transactions
When submitting a travel voucher that includes credit card transactions in foreign currency, the traveler will normally have 30 days following the conclusion of the travel period to submit an expense account. If after 30 days, the traveler still does not have access to the final documentation of the exchange rate and fees used by the traveler's credit card company, he/she may process the initial voucher using the exchange rate for cash transactions. Upon receipt of the documentation from the credit card company, the traveler may submit a supplemental claim for any fees and for additional costs resulting from a differential in rates.
Exchange rate losses
In the event that a traveler suffers a loss from the buying and selling of foreign currency, the traveler will be reimbursed for that loss upon the presentation of the supporting documentation for both the purchase and the sale of foreign currency.
IODP Travel Form 100