It is the policy of the Seattle Institute for Biomedical and Clinical Research (SIBCR) to reimburse for all appropriate and allowable travel expenses in support of official SIBCR business, research and education.

Travel related to educational or training activities will be approved by the designated VAPSHCS or MGVAMC committee as part of the activity. If the travel reimbursement is for a visiting fellow or scholar, the visa status of the individual must allow such reimbursement. SIBCR must pre-approve travel for foreign fellows or scientists.

SIBCR has established an IRS Accountable Plan for reimbursement of travel expenses to PIs, staff and employees. Travel expenses paid under an accountable plan are not treated as taxable income on an IRS Form 1099 or W-2 form (employees). In order to comply with the IRS Accountable Plan rules, claims for reimbursement should be submitted within 60 days of completion of travel

The claim must be submitted using the Travel Reimbursement form and be accompanied by required documentation, including legible receipts and justification of the expense.

IRS regulations require that travelers adequately account for expenses within 60 days after they were paid or incurred.  Claims submitted more than 60 days after travel require a justification for the delay in submitting the claim and may be denied.

If SIBCR accepts the traveler’s justification for late submission and does not deny reimbursement, SIBCR must report the reimbursement as taxable income to the traveler. Therefore, it is critical that requests for travel reimbursement are submitted as expeditiously as possible.

If you are a VA employee seeking reimbursement from SIBCR for travel related to your research or education programs, there are additional procedures you must follow. As a government employee going on domestic or foreign travel, you are responsible for complying with the requirements of your employer.

If another organization is providing partial reimbursement, sufficient information must be provided to SIBCR to show that the reimbursement is appropriate. For example, the VA travel documents showing which items have been reimbursed and the amount.

Original receipts are required for reimbursement.


Domestic Travel

Pre-approval, in written format, is not required for domestic travel which includes the territories and possessions of the United States. However, if the traveler is not the principal investigator of the grant or the responsible member of the designated fund, it is the traveler’s responsibility to review travel plans and assure travel is approved prior to scheduling.

If prior approval is required by a sponsor for domestic travel, this approval must be obtained before making any travel arrangements.

Domestic travel reimbursements should be submitted within 60 days from return of travel. The traveler must submit original receipts with a Travel Reimbursement form certifying the travel purpose, accuracy and appropriateness of expenditures.

The traveler must sign and certify that the expenses were incurred for official business of SIBCR or VA research or education activities, and that such expenses were not reimbursed by another organization. If the traveler is not the member, the member or designee must approve the travel package before sending to SIBCR accounting.


See Related: Guidelines for Travel Reimbursement