All requests for reimbursement must be submitted using the Travel Reimbursement form and be accompanied by required documentation, including legible receipts and a justification for reimbursement.
Reimbursement for travel costs will be based on the most reasonable method of travel to the location, generally coach airfare.
If the traveler chooses to take an indirect route, interrupt the business travel or utilize a mode of travel that requires additional accommodations en route, any resulting expense will be borne by the traveler.
Use of a personal car is allowable to the extent that it does not exceed the coach airfare to the same destination. The standard mileage rates are established by the IRS, and are indicated on the Travel Reimbursement form. When private cars are used, the traveler must carry the minimum prescribed insurance established by the State of Washington.
If the traveler chooses to add personal travel to a business trip, the cost to SIBCR cannot be increased. The traveler should obtain contemporaneous costs especially for air travel to show SIBCR costs as compared to personal travel costs.
The cost of a rental automobile may be allowable under certain circumstances. For example, if rooms are unavailable at the conference hotel, a shuttle service is not available, or cab fare is prohibitively expensive. However, car rental is allowable only as an exception. Specialty vehicles such as convertibles and SUVs are not allowable.
Points to note:
- Reimbursement for ground transport is limited to travel between the home or place of business and the airport; the airport and meeting site and return.
- Coach airfare will be reimbursed. Any exceptions require prior approval from the Executive Director or designee.
- SIBCR recognizes the particular requirements of persons with disabilities and will make every effort to accommodate those needs. Please contact the SIBCR administrative office for further information.
Travelers should purchase their own tickets, pay for their costs and apply for reimbursement after the travel is completed.
Cash Advances and Prepaid Airfare
Cash advances and prepaid airfare are not provided to members or other non-SIBCR employees. Cash advances and prepaid airfare may be available to SIBCR employees
Meeting registration can be prepaid through SIBCR directly to the meeting organizer. Alternatively, the registration cost will be reimbursed after the meeting along with other travel expenses.
Lodging is payable at actual cost for reasonable and necessary accommodations. Depending on the circumstances, additional justification may be required. Conferences frequently offer special room rates and stay at the conference site is encouraged because it often reduces cost of local transportation. Original itemized receipts are required.
The Domestic Per Diem reimbursement (meal and incidental expenses) will be at the federal Per Diem rate.
The Foreign Per Diem Rates are based on the GSA city rates and may not exceed the maximum daily allowance.
The full Per Diem amount may be claimed without receipts.
The first and last days (travel days) of a trip involving overnight stay are calculated at 75% of the M&IE Per Diem allowance.
Day trips that do not involve an overnight stay are typically not granted Per Diem or meal allowances, as the IRS generally considers payments to be taxable income.
Documentation of the meeting dates, location and topic or theme must be provided. A program guide or brochure (a copy of the cover is sufficient if all the information is stated on it); an invitation letter; or other written documentation that includes the dates, location and purpose must be submitted with the reimbursement request.
Individual items $30 or greater in cost must be accompanied by receipts. Items costing less than $30 need only be itemized on the Travel Reimbursement form.
Business phone calls and services (copy, fax, and internet) are reimbursable, at cost, with receipt.
Incidental expenses such as hotel tips and sundry items are included in the established Per Diem rates. Ground transportation tips included on your receipts are acceptable.
Business Meals and Networking Events
Business meals and networking events are reimbursable to the extent that they are justifiable. If a member plans to host a special meeting with external research collaborators, these costs must comply with the policy on Meeting and Conference Support. Such events should be preapproved with the Executive Director or designee to ensure that reimbursement will be allowable. Restrictions will apply if attendees include VA employees on travel status.
Justification entails a dated original itemized receipt documenting the purpose of the business meal or networking event and who was in attendance (must be more than one person). The expenses must be submitted on the Travel Reimbursement form.
If the traveler is a member who has delegated signature authority, that traveler may sign and certify the above by sending an email to the SIBCR accounting department. Separately, the SIBCR accounting department will receive the full reimbursement package from the designee.
The responsible member or authorized designee reviews and approves the Travel Reimbursement form before forwarding to the SIBCR accounting department for payment.