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Johnson County Community College
Series: 200 Administrative Services
Section: Travel and Reimbursement of Expenses

Cross-Reference: Reimbursement of Travel Expenses Policy 216.01

Applicability: This Operating Procedure applies to approval and reimbursement of Overnight Travel, which is College related travel that includes an overnight stay.

I. Expenses Covered:

A.    Transportation.

1. Airfare and Airline Fees: Expenses for coach airfare using routes, schedules and airlines that provide the most reasonable and efficient rates will be reimbursable. Travelers have the option to book airfare through the College’s approved travel agency. The College will reimburse reasonable additional baggage fees for the traveler. Flight, travel or other insurance purchased by the traveler is not reimbursable.

2. Mileage: Expenses for private auto mileage to and from the airport or otherwise incurred by the driver in conjunction with the Overnight Travel will be computed at the IRS standard mileage reimbursement rate in use by the College on the date of travel and will be reimbursable as follows:  

  • The mileage from the traveler’s JCCC work location to the travel destination if traveling from JCCC work location; or
  • The mileage from the traveler’s home and the travel destination if traveling from home.

Mileage to and from the traveler’s home to the traveler’s JCCC work location is not reimbursable.

For travelers electing to travel via alternate means of travel (i.e. private auto, train, rental car) when air travel is available, the Alternate Travel Reimbursement Worksheet must be completed. The traveler must calculate the costs associated with the alternate travel and reimbursement will be limited to the costs associated with traveling via the lowest priced comparable coach airfare.  

3. Ground Transportation: Reasonable ground transportation (i.e. airport shuttle, public transit or taxi fares) will be reimbursed providing each trip is reported separately on the Travel Expense Report. Rental car expenses may be reimbursable; however, insurance or other additional charges will not be reimbursed.

4. College Vehicles: Use of JCCC autos and vans for field trips and other College business may be an option. For information, see Vehicle Reservation Procedures on the Campus Services Transportation home page. Gasoline procurement cards are available for use with College-owned vehicles only. For information, see Gasoline Procurement Card procedures.

5. Traffic Violations: The cost of traffic violations incurred through use of private vehicles, College vehicles, or rented vehicles is the responsibility of the traveler, and is not reimbursable by the College.

B.  Lodging. Expenses for reasonable hotel or other lodging arrangements will be prepaid by the College or reimbursable after the trip if personal funds are used. When traveler is accompanied by a companion, the lodging reimbursement will be at the single rate or actual expense incurred, whichever is less. In such cases, documentation must be submitted to verify the single rate. Reimbursement for lodging within Johnson County or the greater Kansas City Metropolitan area will be allowed only when approved as a necessary part of an ongoing conference or meeting.

C.  Meals and Incidental Expenses. The College will reimburse meals and incidental expenses on a per diem basis using the high-low substantiation method according to rates published by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and the per diem will be prorated on the first and last day of College-related travel based on time of departure and return. Expenses for meals, meal gratuities, snacks, hot and cold beverages, candy, gum, and fees and tips given to porters, baggage carriers, and hotel staff are part of the per diem and thus are not separately reimbursable. Itemized receipts are not required for meals and incidental expenses during Overnight Travel. Note: Itemized receipts are still required for meal expenses incurred during travel which is classified as Same Day Travel.

If the cost of meals is included within the cost of registration fees or otherwise provided at no charge to the traveler, the per diem must be reduced by the corresponding amount.

D.  Registration Fees. Fees for attendance at a conference, meeting or event may be prepaid by the College or reimbursable to the traveler after the trip if personal funds are used.

E.  Miscellaneous Expenses.

1. Thruway and Bridge Tolls: Expenditures for thruway and bridge tolls will be reimbursable.

2. Airport and Other Parking: Airport parking will be reimbursed at reasonable long term parking or shuttle lot rates unless circumstances justify more expensive alternate parking as authorized by the traveler's budget administrator.

3. Taxes: Sales taxes paid on travel related expenses will be reimbursed. The College is exempt from sales tax within Kansas and only when payment is made directly by the College. For example, if a Kansas lodging bill is fully paid directly by the College, the sales tax exemption should apply.

4. Internet and Telephone Charges: Internet and telephone service expenses related to and reasonably required to conduct College business will be reimbursable. Travelers are not allowed to claim reimbursement for local or long distance phone calls of a personal nature.

5. Personal Items: Magazines, newspapers, laundry, dry cleaning, movies, or any other personal services or items are not reimbursable and, therefore, must be paid directly by the traveler. The costs of conference excursions/events (tours, golf, etc.) outside the normal registration fee are considered personal items and will not be prepaid or reimbursable by the College.

6. Gratuities: Gratuities for meals and incidental expenses such as fees and tips given to porters, baggage carriers, and hotel staff are part of the per diem and thus are not separately reimbursable. Gratuities related to other types of reimbursable expenses (such as taxis or shuttles) that are actually incurred and are reasonable (i.e. no more than 20% of the price or fee) may be reimbursable.

II. Travel Authorization and Approval:

In order for the College to approve travel and/or to prepay or reimburse Overnight Travel expenses, a Travel Authorization request must be completed and submitted to the Office of Procurement Services prior to the departure date. The Travel Authorization request must include estimated costs, purpose of travel and a copy of the official conference or meeting materials documenting scheduled dates of the event. The sufficiency of detail and supporting documentation in the Travel Authorization request must be approved by Procurement Services, and the business justification and amount for each of the proposed travel expenses must be approved by the appropriate supervisor(s) and budget administrator(s). Travel outside the 48 contiguous Unites States requires approval of the President or his/her designee.

Upon confirmation of availability of funds, the total estimated expense will be encumbered and a Travel Authorization number will be assigned to that particular travel request. Any subsequent changes and/or additions to an already approved travel request may require the traveler to repeat the approval process. The traveler will receive confirmation of the approved Travel Authorization number, which should be retained for reference when completing the Travel Expense Report.

In the event a trip must be canceled, the following procedures must be followed, as applicable:

  • If the Travel Authorization request is pending approval or a Travel Authorization number has not been assigned, the traveler must notify the Office of Procurement Services immediately of the cancellation.
  • If the Travel Authorization request has been approved and a Travel Authorization number is assigned, but no expenses have been incurred by the traveler, the traveler or budget administrator must provide the Office of Procurement Services with written or electronic notification to cancel the request. The traveler is responsible for obtaining all available refunds for expenses prepaid by the College. 
  • If any expenses have been paid by the traveler, a Travel Expense Report must be submitted to receive reimbursement. The traveler is responsible for obtaining all available refunds prior to requesting reimbursement.

III. Travel Expense Payment Options:

The traveler is generally responsible for making all necessary reservations related to the trip after receiving a Travel Authorization number.

A.    Prepayment by the College. The College will, upon the traveler’s submission of an appropriately completed and documented Lodging Prepayment Form, issue a prepayment to the hotel in an amount ranging from the first night’s deposit up to the total lodging expense (excluding incidental charges).

For other expenses, the traveler may work with the Office of Procurement Services or Accounts Payable to arrange direct prepayment by the College, such as conference registration fees and airfare booked through the College’s approved travel agency. The traveler must make the request for prepayment in the Travel Authorization request and attach any required information or documentation, such as a completed conference registration form.  

B.     JCCC Travel Credit Card. The College may issue a JCCC Travel Card in the traveler’s name which allows approved expenses to be charged to the Travel Card and billed directly to the College. Any unapproved or undocumented expenses charged to a Travel Card are the personal responsibility of the traveler and must be repaid to the College.

C.    Prepayment by the Traveler. All expenses not prepaid by or billed to the College must be paid by the individual traveler. Expenses paid for by the traveler will not be subject to reimbursement until after the trip is completed and the Travel Expense Report with all required receipts and documentation are submitted to the College.

D.    Personal Travel Credit Card. Employees are eligible to apply for a Visa Corporate – Business Travel Account card to cover travel expenses without the need to use personal funds. The card is issued in the employee’s name and account payments are the responsibility of the cardholder. Upon completion of travel, the employee must submit the Travel Expense Report and will be reimbursed for approved expenses. The reimbursement funds can be used by the traveler to make the account payment on the Business Travel Account card. Applications for Business Travel Account cards may be obtained and submitted to the Finance Office (GEB 152). The application is subject to a credit check and approval by UMB Bank, which normally occurs within five to ten business days.

IV. Travel Expense Report and Reimbursement:

Within 21 days following the return from a trip, the traveler must submit a detailed Travel Expense Report to the Accounts Payable Office (CSB 165). The amount and justification for each expense must be approved by the appropriate supervisor(s) and budget administrator(s).

Whether or not prepaid by the College, the traveler must submit itemized receipts with the Travel Expense Report for all reimbursable expenses, other than meals and incidental expenses. This includes the airfare passenger itemized receipt, car rental itemized receipt, hotel bill/itemized receipt, mileage map printout and any other items listed on the expense reimbursement form. Expenses claimed on the reimbursement report that are not accompanied by the proper itemized receipt(s) may be eliminated from the reimbursed amount. A credit card statement or slip is not acceptable in lieu of an itemized receipt.  

If you have lost or did not receive an itemized receipt, you must attach a properly completed Lost/Missing Receipt Form to your reimbursement request or your request may be reduced by an amount equal to the value of any missing itemized receipt(s).  The College reserves the right to refuse reimbursement in the event of excessive submissions of this form, either in the amount of times used or the dollar amount.

Submission of an incomplete Travel Expense Report will delay final reimbursement. Failure to complete and submit a proper Travel Expense Report could jeopardize future College related travel.

V.  Other Factors Affecting Reimbursement:

A.  Personal Travel. If a portion of the travel is classified as personal at the beginning and/or end of the trip, the day of departure is defined as the period of time not to exceed 24 hours prior to the official start of a conference or meeting. The day of return is defined as the period of time not to exceed 24 hours after the official end of a conference or meeting.

B.  Grants and Contracts. Travelers whose travel expenses are to be charged to a grant or contract must follow College Procedures unless specific terms of the sponsored agreement further limit expenditures.

C.  Year-End Overnight Travel Guidelines. When Overnight Travel will occur during the month of July, travel authorizations may be encumbered in the following ways:

  • The entire amount may be encumbered in the current fiscal year if arrangements must be made prior to July 1; or
  • If there are insufficient funds in the budget for the current fiscal year to encumber the entire trip or if the College would save money by paying registration fees or airfare prior to July 1, the registration and/or airfare only may be encumbered in the current year and the remaining costs can be encumbered in the following fiscal year; or
  • The entire amount may be encumbered in the new fiscal year.

VI. Exceptions: Exceptions to this Operating Procedure may be approved by the President or his/her designee.

Signature on File in Policy Office

Date of Adoption:
Revised: 05/24/2011, 08/14/2014, 09/25/2014