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Expense Reports

Employee Expense Report Form
Employees can view and print a pdf version of the employee expense report form here. The form can also be found near the employee mailbox area outside of the business office.

The employee expense form is also located online at
http://www.finance.mnscu.edu/accounting/businessoffice/forms/index.html

The expense reimbursement allowances by bargaining agreements is located at  http://www.finance.mnscu.edu/contracts-purchasing/contracts/reference/index.html

 

Employee Expense Report Guidelines

Please note: While the Business Office has made every attempt to address all issues or questions that may arise, there may still be special circumstances not detailed in these procedures. Please contact Paula in the Business Office at 879-0809 with any questions you may have.

In compliance with state policy and board policy (http://www.mnscu.edu/board/procedure/519p3.html) the following procedures are to be used for employee reimbursement.

  1.  Employee Meals when in Travel Status (more than 35 miles or more from permanent work location).
    1. Actual costs may be claimed up to the stated limits as allowed by the collective bargaining agreements (link noted above).
      1. Breakfast – must leave home before 6:00 a.m. or have overnight stay
      2. Lunch – may be claimed if employee is more than 35 miles from permanent work station and/or an overnight stay is required.
      3. Dinner – must return home after 7:00 p.m. or have an overnight stay.
      4. Cost of meal includes tax and a reasonable gratuity, but must be within meal allowances to be reimbursed.
    2. Times for all travel must be included on the expense form.
    3. Original receipts are not required but recommend as meals should not be treated as “per diem” amounts.
    4. Alcoholic beverages may never be reimbursed.
    5. According to IRS Regulations, reimbursements of meals for travel, not involving overnight lodging, is table income. Therefore, when the expenses are paid, federal, state, FICA, and Medicare taxes will be withheld from the employee’s pay. The amount for the expense will be added to wages on the employee’s W-2 form at the end of the year.
    6. Employees who meet the eligibility requirements for two or more consecutive meals shall be reimbursed for the actual costs of the meals up to the combined maximum reimbursement amount for the eligible meals. Combined reimbursement allows an employee to group the allowable limits for several meals and claim reimbursement on the amount actually spent on all meals up the combined total allowed. For example, the current rates for MN travel are breakfast - $7.00, lunch $9.00, and dinner - $15.00. If the employee’s trip covers three meals, the employee could claim actual meal expenses up to $31.00 for this trip. The $31 total allowed may be divided among the three meals in any way the employee chooses.

  2. Employee Meals When Not in Travel Status
    1. The criteria that must be met in order to be considered as Special Expenses are contained in System Procedure 5.20.1, at:  http://www.mnscu.edu/board/procedre/520p1.html
    2. Meals may be claimed if you are NOT more than 35 miles from permanent work station with an approved Special Expense Form. A Special Expense form can be found at:  http://www.finance.mnscu.edu/accounting/businessoffice/forms/index.html
    3. If an employee pays for meeting related meals or refreshments, the employee may be reimbursed through the Special Expense process as well.
    4. Meal reimbursement allowances are permissible as defined by collective bargaining agreements (on-line cite noted earlier).
    5. Original receipts are required for any meals being purchases as a Special Expense. Credit card receipts, copies of checks, or copies of credit card statements are not acceptable receipts. If a receipt was not obtained or it was lost, an employee may complete an affidavit for the expense. (See part G.)
    6. Prior approval from the President is required to incur Special Expenses.

  3. Mileage
    1. Current mileage rates can be found at http://www.finance.mnscu.edu/contracts-purchasing/contracts/reference/index.html
    2. The mileage reimbursement rate is the current IRS mileage rate. If an employee declines the use of the college vehicle, the reimbursement rate will be $.07 less than the IRS rate.
    3. Allowable mileage is the shortest distance (most direct route) from either the employee’s home or permanent work location. 
    4. Exceptions to the most direct route may exist and to the extent possible, should be discussed with supervisor prior to trip. All exceptions should be documented on the expense report and initialed by supervisor.

  4. Out of State Travel
    1. The IRS rate will apply for travel to/from the airport for mileage from original departure point to airport using most direct route. Employees are encouraged to use the most cost-effective mode of transportation to and from the airport.

  5. In State Travel (non-work days)
    1. If an employee travels outside of normal working hours or on a non-work day and departs from home, the employee is entitled to mileage from their home location to the destination with miles figured using the most direct route. Return mileage on non-work days will be reimbursed to home location.

  6. Signatures
    1. All expense reimbursement requests must have original signatures from both the employee and supervisor. The person authorizing the reimbursement must have the appropriate delegation of authority for approving the expense. 

  7. Receipts
    1. Original itemized receipts are required to be attached for all expenditure reimbursements with the exception of mileage, metered parking or meals. Any reimbursement request which requires a receipt that is turned in without a receipt will require an affidavit to be attached. Affidavits can be found at:  http://www.finance.mnscu.edu/accounting/businessoffice/forms/index.html
    2. Affidavits are to be used on rare occasions and should be the exception rather than the rule.

  8. Advances
    1. Travel advances are used to provide an employee with funds, in advance of a work assignment, requiring travel while performing official state duties. A travel advance is available for necessary reimbursable expenses that will be paid in cash and must total at least $50 or the amount specified in the applicable bargaining agreement or compensation plan. The advance must be requested in a reasonable period of time before the date of travel occurs.  An advance is requested on an Employee Expense Report.

  9. Timely Submission of Expense Reports
    1. The IRS requires employee business expenses to be submitted for reimbursement within 60 days after the expenses were incurred. If not submitted within the 60 day time frame, the expenses become taxable to both the employee and employer. Because of this additional expense, monthly submission of expenses reports is expected for all reimbursement requests.
    2. All travel reimbursement requests, should include:
      1. Out of state travel approval (if applicable)
      2. Meeting agenda or itinerary
      3. Map quest or odometer readings if mileage is claimed
      4. Employee ID number

  10. Employee Travel Procedures
    1. All travel at state expense must be incurred for the primary benefit of the college.
    2. All travel must be authorized and approved prior to creating any travel arrangements.
    3. All supervisors must verify adequate budget is available to pay travel expense prior to authorizing travel for an employee. Supervisors should request cost estimates to ensure funds are available, employees should provide an agenda if available, and also complete the “Absent on Campus Business Form.”
    4. Out of state travel must be approved in writing by the President or designee.  Forms are available by the Business Office. A signed copy of the approval form must accompany any reimbursement request. 
    5. Travel arrangements should be made with the goal of maximizing the use of campus financial resources. Purchase orders are required for all airfare, lodging, and conference registration costs. Arrangements should be made early enough to take advantage of purchase discounts when possible. Travel insurance coverage is not a reimbursable expense. Upgrades are not permitted or reimbursable, and lost baggage or excess baggage fees are not allowed as well.

 2101 14th Street       Cloquet, Minnesota 55720       1.800.657.3712       218.879.0800       Minnesota Relay Service at 711 or 1.800.627.3529
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