07 - 004 Travel Expense Reimbursement

Please review Policy 07-001 Introduction to Travel for an overview of USNH travel policies. The procedures below provide more specific requirements related to Travel Reimbursement.


A Traveler should submit a Travel Reimbursement Request Form within 45 days of completing a business trip. A business trip starts when a traveler on USNH business leaves their normal place of employment or their home for another destination and ends when the traveler is back at home or normal place of employment. Note that reimbursement is not guaranteed if a request is submitted after 60 days of completing a business trip. Such late requests require approval from the campus CFO or designee. The Travel Reimbursement Request Form must:

1.   Detail all travel to/from the location, meals, lodging, meeting(s)/conference(s) attended, etc., and must include all requested reimbursement for the entirety of the trip. If other USNH travelers were included or paid for, e.g., shared a ride, the name of the other traveler(s) should be noted on the form.

2.   Clearly indicate the business purpose of the travel. A business purpose must be descriptive enough to clearly answer any questions regarding who traveled, the necessity of their travel, and the benefit to USNH. Below are some examples of appropriate business purposes:

Do not use Instead, use
Attended conference Attended American Bottle Cappers conference in Boulder, Colorado from April 1-7, 2018 to present a paper on the loss of carbonation from loose caps. The presentation is directly related to my research funded under NSF Grant XXXXXX. If expense is charged to a sponsored program, indicate how the travel directly benefits/relates to the project. 
Research Traveled to South America to research rural irrigation systems to provide data for journal publication titled “Improving Rural Irrigation Systems.” This research is funded by the EPA Grant XXXXXX.
Research Presented a research paper entitled “Bringing Academic Research to the Public Stage” at the International Pragmatics Association conference. This research was funded by a gift from the Pew Charitable Trusts.
Meet with Colleagues Meeting with Business faculty (8 in attendance, list those in attendance) to discuss marketing student project.
Meet with Colleagues Met with John Smith, Associate Professor of accounting and Jane Turner, Department Head of Accounting, to finalize Accounting Department budget proposal.
Meet donor Donor meeting in Dallas, TX to discuss potential gifts for undergraduate scholarships.

Including the itinerary for the trip and the agenda of meeting(s)/conference(s) attended is recommended to substantiate the business purpose and the various expenses included as part of the registration fee.

3.   Include receipts for all expenses claimed except those related to daily per-diem or mileage reimbursement (see Section B below for exceptions to receipt requirements). Any differences between the receipt and reimbursement report amounts must be explained. Scanned copies of receipts may be submitted to the FOC along with the approved reimbursement request. The traveler must keep original receipts until after the travel request form is processed and paid. The paper receipt may be destroyed once the traveler receives payment.

4.   Include rates used in converting foreign currency to U.S. funds at the time of the transaction.

5.   Use meal per diem and mileage rates in effect at the time of the travel according to Procedures 07-007 Travel Meals and 07-009 Personal Automobile Expenses. Per Diem request reimbursement must be supported by evidence of the location the traveler visited such as conference agenda, or hotel or airline ticket receipts showing destination.

6.   All reimbursement requests must be approved as described in Policy 07-001 Introduction to Travel, Section D.2.


1.   Original receipts for any claimed expense are required for USNH to reimburse the travel for any travel expense incurred – See exception in Section B.2 below. The receipt must be provided by the vendor and contain the following five IRS-required elements:

a. Name of the vendor (person or company you paid)
b. Transaction date (when you paid)
c. A detailed description of what was purchased
d. Amount paid
e. Form of payment (how you paid – cash, check, or credit card)

2.   Legible scanned document of receipt may be acceptable provided they include all the above elements and a dated and signed note from the traveler certifying the scanned document is a true copy of the original.

3.   Travel costs of $25 or less per transaction do not require receipts for reimbursement. For example, receipts are required for reimbursement of the cost of taxis, parking, and other travel costs that total more than $25 per fare.

4.   When a traveler loses or misplaces receipts needed to obtain reimbursement, the traveler must first attempt to obtain a duplicate receipt from the vendor where feasible. If a traveler is unsuccessful in getting a duplicate receipt, they may complete a Lost Receipt Form. A Lost Receipt Form should not be completed on a routine basis (generally no more than three per fiscal year will be accepted), and overuse may result in revocation of the privilege of providing a Lost Receipt Form in lieu of an original receipt.

5.   Lost Receipt Forms are not acceptable for hotel and airfare charges. The Traveler must contact the hotel or the airline and obtain a duplicate receipt in these cases.


1.   Per IRS requirements, reimbursement requests received later than 60 calendar days after completion of the trip must be treated as taxable to the traveler. Expense reimbursement requests are treated as taking place within a reasonable period if the traveler submits a request for reimbursement that is adequately supported within 60 calendar days of completing a trip, or before the end date of the grant closeout period if travel is being charged to a Sponsored Program, whichever is sooner. A request is considered submitted on time when the date the traveler signed the form is within 60 calendar days of the completion of the trip, and the total cost of the trip is fully substantiated. Note that in cases where USNH is a sub-recipient of grant funds, the closeout period may be less than 60 days to allow our sponsor to bill for the reimbursements. With the exception of the 60 calendar day tax rule, the campus CFO or designee, may authorize individual exceptions to this policy upon written justification showing cause for noncompliance. For information regarding processing the earnings related to late submission of reimbursement requests, please see the Travel & Expense Administration section of the USNH Finance Hub (log in required; see instructions on the Employees section of the USNH website).

2.   For travelers who received an advance before traveling, unused USNH cash advances and/or proper substantiation of all costs must be returned within 10 business days of completing the trip. See Procedure 04-008 Cash Advances for more information.


Unallowable, unsubstantiated or unauthorized expenses will not be reimbursed. Please refer to Travel Cheat Sheet and Procedure 07-014 Non-Reimbursable Travel Expenses. If it is determined after reimbursement or use of USNH Purchasing card that a traveler violated any provision of USNH’s travel procedures, USNH will recoup such expenses from the traveler by seeking direct reimbursement. If full repayment is not received from a USNH employee, the Travel Expense Assistant will notify the employee and their supervisor, and the funds will be collected through a payroll deduction. USNH retains the right to collect any remaining funds by other means necessary (e.g., a civil suit or criminal prosecution as appropriate under the circumstances). In addition, disciplinary action may be taken under campus Human Resources policies or other appropriate internal policies.

In general, goods or services should, when practical, be procured through purchasing methods facilitated and approved by USNH Procurement (i.e., Contract, Purchase Order, or Pcard). The following categories are exempt from this limitation and may be reimbursed (1) reimbursements required via a collective bargaining agreement, (2) employee professional development, and (3) publishing fees for articles and other publications.

In cases when a Traveler disagrees with the decision of the Travel Expense Assistant, the traveler may refer the case to the campus CFO or designee which has the final decision on travel matters.


USNH recognizes the unique nature of travel expenses incurred for fundraising, recruiting, team sports, and other specialized activities. If these activities necessitate a deviation from the stated travel policy, reimbursement may be allowed, provided written pre-approval is obtained from the campus VPFA or designee. Campuses should have campus-specific policy and procedures related to these activities. 


Per USNH Procedure 07-014 Non-Reimbursable Travel Expenses, personal expenses are not reimbursable. This includes any personal portion of airfare, hotel accommodation, or car rental while on USNH business, as well as any additional cost that results from a traveler choosing a non-direct route or extending the stay for personal convenience or vacation. The traveler should include a statement and documentation that supports the cost of the business portion of the trip each time vacation or any other personal conveniences are included.


All costs charged to a sponsored program must comply with the sponsor’s terms and conditions, USNH’s policies and procedures, Federal regulations including OMB’s Uniform Guidance, and the regulations of the Internal Revenue Service. If travel expenses are charged to a sponsored award, the documentation for such charges must justify that travel taken by the individual is necessary to the sponsored award. Per OMB’s Uniform Guidance section: 200.474, “Travel costs are the expenses for transportation, lodging, subsistence, and related items incurred by employees who are in travel status on official business of the non-Federal entity [USNH]. Such costs may be charged on an actual cost basis, on a per diem or mileage basis in lieu of actual costs incurred, or on a combination of the two (e.g. per diem for meals and actual costs for lodging), provided the method used is applied to an entire trip and not to selected days of the trip, and results in charges consistent with those normally allowed in like circumstances in the non-Federal entity’s [USNH’s] non-federally funded activities and in accordance with non-Federal entity’s [USNH’s] written travel reimbursement policies.” Costs incurred by employees for travel, including costs of lodging, other subsistence, and incidental expenses, must be considered reasonable and otherwise allowable to the extent such costs do not exceed charges normally allowed by this Travel Expense Reimbursement Policy. Travel costs charged to sponsored awards must be allowable, allocable, and reasonable. For Federally funded sponsored programs, they must be in accordance with Federal regulations including OMB’s Uniform Guidance. Charges split between two or more sponsored programs must demonstrate how the trip specifically benefited each project respectively.


Example 1: An employee lives in NH is traveling to San Francisco, CA for an approved business meeting that is scheduled to take place Monday through Friday. The employee extends the trip and decides to take a personal vacation after the meeting ends and returns home the following Monday. Before booking the airline ticket for the mixed business and personal travel, the employee should document the cost of the lowest-priced airfare for a round trip airline ticket for the business portion only for a flight as if the employee were just traveling for the business meeting and save the documented flight price. A USNH Pcard must not be used to purchase the airline ticket as the trip contains personal travel. The employee is eligible for reimbursement of the lowest-priced airline ticket which could either be the round trip comparison flight or the actual round trip ticket that included personal vacation time. Documentation (including the saved flight comparison prices) and a statement must be included when the employee submits a travel reimbursement form clearly identifying that they are seeking reimbursement for the lowest-priced airline ticket. In addition, the employee is not eligible for reimbursement for per diem meals, hotel fees, transportation fees, or any personal travel expenses while on personal vacation and must not include those expenses on a reimbursement form.

Example 2: An employee is working with a supplier where a service is required on a vehicle, the employee must work with USNH Procurement to determine the most appropriate mechanism to pay for the service. The employee should not pay for the auto repair out of pocket and seek reimbursement.


The official version of this information will only be maintained in an on-line web format. Any and all printed copies of this material are dated as of the print date. Please make certain to review the material on-line prior to placing reliance on a dated printed version.

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