Use of Travel-On for Transportation Purposes
Travel arrangements can be made through the Travel-On travel agency. Airline, Amtrak, car rental, and hotel reservations can be booked through the agency. Charges for any reservations booked through Travel-On will be charged to a USM Foundation Diner’s Card account.
- Before using Travel-On for travel that will be paid by the USM Foundation, the Travel Request Approval Form must be completed, approved, and e-mailed to Accounts Payable at the USMF Business Office.
- Before reservations are confirmed, Travel-On will contact Accounts Payable and verify that the travel has been approved. Accounts Payable will verify that there are sufficient available spendable dollars in the USMF account to be charged to cover the expenses.
- Travel-On will book the reservations and send a copy of the itinerary to Accounts Payable.
- Accounts Payable matches the itinerary to the Travel Request Approval Form and files
- When the Diner’s card bill is received, the itineraries and approval forms are matched to the charges and the Diner’s bill is processed for payment
Travel Guidelines and Documentation Requirements
The reimbursement of travel and entertainment (T&E) expenses must comply with IRS rules and regulations. Non-compliance may subject the USM Foundation and the individual to significant financial risks including tax assessments, penalties, and interest.
While the rules are too voluminous and complex to detail, the IRS requires an employer to establish and consistently administer an "accountable plan." Under an accountable plan, individuals can be reimbursed for expenses incurred, without negative tax consequences, when the following conditions are satisfied:
- Advances and/or reimbursements are made for business expenses only
- Advances and reimbursements are made within a reasonable period of time before or after the expenses have been incurred
- Documentation, including original receipts, is obtained prior to reimbursement and retained for potential IRS review substantiating:
- the reimbursed amounts and reasonableness thereof
- the timing of the reimbursement and the incurrence of the expense
- the business purpose of the expenses
- the timely return of any advances in excess of incurred reimbursable expense
The USM Foundation, as a charitable organization, also has a fiduciary responsibility to ensure its resources are used prudently and that individuals do not incur inappropriate or excessive expenses, or gain financially.
Collectively the objectives of these policies, guidelines and procedures are to:
- Ensure that reimbursable expenses are paid to individuals in a timely manner,
- Ensure a clear and consistent understanding of the policies and procedures for the reimbursement of reasonable T&E expenses,
- Ensure compliance with applicable external rules and regulations including those promulgated by the IRS,
- Ensure that those who travel and entertain on behalf of the USM Foundation understand that the Foundation is not obligated to reimburse them for expenses that are not in compliance with these guidelines,
- Ensure that those who incur expenses on behalf of the USM Foundation understand that reimbursements that may be considered taxable are generally not permitted. Any exceptions must be properly identified, authorized and reported to appropriate taxing authorities.
These policies apply to all individuals who are reimbursed for travel expenses by the USM Foundation.