TMCC

Budget and Planning

Travel Procedures

See Also: Travel Request form | Travel Expense Claim form | Travel Expense Claim (Mileage Only)

All Travel Policy and Procedures as outlined on this page have been reviewed and approved for FY2014

An overview of the key steps in the travel request and claim processes are summarized below, with each step linked to detailed explanations of required procedures. Each traveler is accountable for understanding and following these procedures. If you have questions, please contact us.

Travel Process StepsProcedure Section
Submit a Travel Request Form. Travel Request Procedures
Visit GSA's website to locate appropriate lodging and per diem rates. Lodging and Per Diem
Choose the least expensive method of travel. Use the Mileage Only Expense Claim form if "Private Automobile Usage Reimbursement" is only expense. Method of Travel
Submit Travel Expense Claim form within 15 days of completion of trip. Travel Expense Reimbursement Procedure
Follow same procedures for research or public service personnel travel. Research or Public Service Personnel Travel
Follow TMCC Human Resources procedures for travel expenses for applicants for professional positions. Travel Expenses for Applicants for Professional Positions
Follow the same procedures for team or group travel, whether expensed individually for each member of group, or by one employee for whole group (when used for travel with students). Team or Group Travel
Combine guest speaker and accreditation travel costs into the overall contract or honorarium whenever possible, rather than a travel-specific reimbursement. Guest Speaker and Accreditaton Travel
Document that no personal expense is charged to the college when combining College business and personal travel. Combining College Business and Personal Travel

Travel Request Procedures

TMCC travel procedures apply to all TMCC-related travel, regardless of the funding source.

Exceptions:

  • if the funding source requires claim submission directly to them;
  • if the funding source has more restrictive guidelines.

Any funds received from other agencies or organizations for travel reimbursement of a TMCC employee must be turned over to the Travel Accounting staff to the extent expenses relating to the reimbursement have been paid by TMCC. This can be done by either endorsing the reimbursement check over to the Board of Regents, writing a personal check made payable to the Board of Regents, or by paying cash.

TMCC's Travel Accounting office processes all travel requests and travel expense claims after approvals are secured.

To streamline the travel reimbursement process:

  • TMCC encourages all travelers that have a TMCC purchase card to use it for all reimbursable travel expenses except per diem meals and incidentals and mileage claims. If you don't have a TMCC purchase card, coordinate your alternatives with the TMCC Travel Accounting office.
  • TMCC encourages all travelers to initiate direct deposit/electronic fund transfers for travel expense reimbursements using the Direct Deposit for Traveling and Operating Expense Reimbursement form.

Employee Travel Request

For in-state travel: prior to any travel, the appropriate dean/director (or above) must approve the Employee Travel Request form.

For out-of-state travel: prior to any travel, the appropriate cabinet representative must also approve the Employee Travel Request form.

In the event it is not possible to submit a travel request prior to the trip, a written explanation must be attached to the request.

For all travel, lodging, and per diem claim items: the traveler must attach a copy of the federal (U.S. travel) or State Department (foreign travel) web page denoting the lodging and per diem rates used for the request.

If an exception to the lodging rate is requested: complete the portion of the Travel Request form providing an explanation for the exception and the exception calculation (see the information regarding exception to the lodging rate under Section b: Lodging and Per Diem on this page). Note that any exception to lodging rate is capped at a maximum allowable per Nevada’s State Administrative Manual, regardless of justification. Upon approval of the travel and any exceptions, the employee's travel request will be sent to the Travel Accounting staff.

For travel to be processed and expensed in the accounting system, a travel expense object of expenditure ("20") must be established in the account to be charged. The requesting department must determine whether the object "20" budget is sufficient to pay for the planned travel; if not, a budget transfer must be implemented to increase the travel budget.

The travel object/subject codes are:

  • 20 01 - In-State Travel
  • 20 02 - Out of State Travel
  • 20 03 - Foreign Travel
  • 20 05 - Conference Registration
  • 20 06 - Mileage

Travel Advances

Travel advances will not be issued. All employees who travel may obtain a college issued credit card that may be used in lieu of a cash advance. Under no circumstances will an advance be issued for airfare, lodging, or registration fees. A college-issued credit card may be used for reimbursable items for which receipts are required; however, they may not be used for per diem meals or incidentals.


Lodging and Per Diem Back to Top

Lodging and Per Diem rates adopted by the State of Nevada are the same rate for employees of the federal government established by the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA). These "federal" rates are updated every October 1 of each year and can be found on the GSA website. The State of Nevada has adopted these federal lodging and per diem rates but has not adopted the federal regulations outlined at the GSA site.

U.S. Travel

General

Federal lodging and per diem rates are established by location and season. If the travel destination (city or county) is not specifically identified (i.e., "non-surveyed"), a standard U.S. Continental (CONUS) lodging rate must be used. All lodging rates exclude taxes and special fees assessed by the location, thus the combined lodging reimbursable amount includes the room rate plus local taxes and special fees assessed all customers regardless of the room rate (example: utility surcharges). Lodging taxes and fees are limited to the taxes/fees on reimbursable lodging costs. For example, if the maximum lodging rate is $50.00 per night, and you elect to stay at a hotel that costs $100.00 per night, you can only claim the amount of taxes/fees on $50.00 which is the maximum authorized lodging amount.

Receipts are required for lodging. If a lodging receipt is unavailable from the hotel because of use of an online booking service (e.g., Expedia), a reservation receipt will be accepted if it shows payment has been made in full, gives detail on the days and hotel covered by the receipt, and is supported by other receipts of associated travel (e.g., airfare receipt, airport parking, proof of attendance, etc.).

Exceptions to the Federal Lodging Rates

Exceptions to the federal lodging rates must be approved in advance by the individual authorized to approve the employee's travel request. Exceptions to the rate of reimbursement for lodging include the following:

  1. lodging is procured at a prearranged place such as a hotel when a meeting, conference or training session is held or;
  2. costs have escalated because of special events; lodging within prescribed allowances cannot be obtained nearby; cost to commute to/from the nearby location exceed the cost savings from occupying less expensive lodging.

Exceptions are capped at a maximum amount; the maximum allowable is based on rates published on the GSA website. Whether the travel destination is not specifically listed on the GSA website (i.e., it is "non-surveyed"; less frequently traveled and uses a "standard" U.S. Continental [CONUS] rate) or it is a surveyed site specifically listed on the GSA website, the cap is calculated by the Travel Request form. The State Administrative Manual (Section 0200, Travel) defines the cap (maximum allowed over per diem).

All these calculated amounts are before applicable taxes and fees.

In-State Exception (object code 20 01)

If there is a justifiable exception for in-state lodging, 150% of the federal per diem rate for non-surveyed in-state sites may be used to calculate the lodging reimbursement. There is no exception to in-state lodging rates for surveyed sites (e.g., Las Vegas).

Out-of-State Exception (object code 20 02)

If there is a justifiable exception for out-of-state lodging, 175% of the federal rate for surveyed out-of-state sites or 300% of the standard federal rate for non-surveyed out-of-state sites may be used to calculate the lodging reimbursement.

Travel Less than 75 Miles One Way from Duty Station

Reimbursement for overnight lodging in areas less than 75 miles from a principal station must be justified in writing, approved by the appropriate cabinet representative and included with the Travel Expense Claim form. Examples of reasons for overnight stays include:

  • Inclement weather conditions make travel difficult.
  • Late official meetings are required.
  • Early start time of meeting makes same-day travel to meeting site difficult.
  • Individuals involved are conference hosts responsible for meeting arrangements.
Per Diem

Meals will be reimbursed in accordance with the Meals and Incidental Expenses (M&IE) allowance. Receipts are not required for the M&IE allowance. TMCC's purchase card may not be used for per diem meals or incidental expenses.

The Travel Claim form should list each meal per diem requested for reimbursement separately. The M&IE rates vary by location and season; for guidance on deducting these amounts, employees should refer to the "Meals and Incidental Expense Breakdown" link on the GSA website.

Employees may receive reimbursement for breakfasts even though continental breakfasts are provided. Employees are to deduct meals furnished to them during a conference or meeting from their reimbursement request in accordance with the rates within the GSA breakdown for the breakfast, lunch and dinner components. Meals exceeding the state reimbursement rates will not be allowed as part of the registration fee when listed as a optional item on registration form.

Meal time frames are:

  • Breakfast: 12:01 a.m. - 10 a.m.
  • Lunch: 10:01 a.m. - 3 p.m.
  • Dinner: 3:01 p.m. - 12 a.m.

Reimbursement for per diem meals on multi-day college business trips to areas less than 75 miles from a principal station must be justified in writing (based on same reasons as detailed for lodging exceptions for trips under 75 miles), approved by the appropriate cabinet representative and included with the Travel Expense Claim form.

When an employee travels less than 75 miles (one way) and for a period less than 24 hours, the employee is entitled to transportation reimbursement but is not entitled to receive reimbursement for meals for the day unless an exception is made by the appropriate cabinet representative.

Incidental Per Diem covers tips, luggage carts, metered parking, subway/bus use, toll charges; receipts are not required. If these charges exceed the incidental rate, you may expense that amount if receipts are attached.

Foreign Travel (object code 20 03)

Foreign travel lodging and per diem rates are the same as provided by the United States Department of State (DOS) at the State Department's website.

Reimbursable expenses need to be converted to U.S. dollars on the Travel Expense Claim form.

When traveling on federal funds (grant funds 7332, 7333, 7334, 7335, 7336, 7338) to foreign countries, travelers must comply with the Fly America Act, which requires the use of U.S. flag carrier regardless of any cost savings that may be obtained by using a foreign air carrier.

Employees renting cars in foreign countries (including Canada and Mexico) must elect to purchase the CDW/LDW insurance coverage offered by the rental car vendor as the insurance coverage included in the State of Nevada rental car vendor contracts are valid only in the United States.

Employees are encouraged to obtain recommended immunizations prior to traveling overseas.


Method of Travel Back to Top

Travel should be by the least expensive method available when total travel time, salary of traveler, and cost of transportation are considered. Air coach is recommended to all areas serviced. Use of other than a rental vehicle for trips over 50 miles requires justification.

Remember: When traveling on college business, use seat belts.

Airline Upgrade Charges

When flying, the additional fees to upgrade services (e.g., early boarding pass, Business Select, priority seating, etc.) will not be reimbursed to the traveler unless there is an exception such as there are no other seats available and no alternative flight. Fees for up to two checked baggage will be reimbursed, with receipts attached.

Bonus Flight Points

Some commercial airlines allow the accumulation of free bonus flight points to travelers based on miles flown or as an inducement to travel with that airline. Any flight bonus points received by the college or college employees as a result of college-paid air travel shall, whenever possible, be used to meet college travel needs.

Traveler can not claim reimbursement for personal flight bonus miles used for college business travel.

Canceled Trips

Advance planning for travel will allow for purchase of airline tickets at discount prices. Such rates usually involve a penalty in the event the trip is not taken or a flight segment is changed. An employee may be held responsible for a penalty incurred if a trip is not taken or is changed as a result of his/her own actions or for his/her personal convenience.   An explanation of the circumstances and justification for the cancellation or change fee is to be included with the travel claim if the traveler requests reimbursement for such a penalty or change fee. The explanation can be included in the "Detail" column of the Travel Information Section of the Travel Claim form (or included as separate attachment).

Any airline tickets that are not used and cannot be refunded becomes a credit that can be used on future travel. The credit must be used for future college business travel.

To ensure that the Travel Request form is removed from processing, contact the Travel Accounting staff as soon as the trip has been canceled.

Rental Car Companies

Certain rental car agencies have agreed to provide what the Risk Management Division has determined to be minimum acceptable insurance coverage, and State and Business Center Purchasing has developed agreements with each of them.

The preferred college primary vendor is Enterprise Car Rental. Reservations may be made online or by calling 1-800-736-8222. The code number is XZ54080 and PIN number is NSH.

Use of any company not authorized by Purchasing may expose the college to increased liability in the event of an accident and is prohibited. Vehicles must be rented in the name of the individual, and the code and pin should be referenced. Do not obtain insurance coverage. Reservations may be made direct or through your travel agent.

If you have questions, please contact the Travel Accounting staff. Other rental car companies should be used only if the traveler's destination city is not serviced by Enterprise Car Rental and justification must be provided on the Travel Expense Claim form.

Collision Deductible Insurance On Rental Cars

It is not necessary to purchase collision damage waivers from state-contracted car rental companies, as these protections are already included in the negotiated agreements. Should it be required to rent a vehicle outside of these agreements, employees should rent the vehicle using the college-provided credit card, which provides coverage for physical damage to the rented vehicle. If a rental vehicle cannot be rented from a contracted company or by using the college-provided credit card, the damage coverage should be accepted and paid for at the time of the rental and submitted for reimbursement.

In the event an employee driving a rental car on college business is involved in a collision, the individual is to submit a Vehicle Accident Report of the accident through the supervisor authorizing the travel. The report is to be sent to the rental car agency and BCN's Risk Management. Any related correspondence is to be attached to the report and a copy sent to TMCC's Vice President of Finance and Administrative Services. Individuals are not to make direct payment and seek reimbursement. Such action may result in the individual absorbing the charge.

Use of State Motor Pools

The state motor pool may be used for Carson City, Reno, and Las Vegas. Reservations for state motor pool cars require a Nevada State Motor Pool Daily Vehicle Approval form, signed by the employee's appointing authority. A copy of the signed form should be faxed to the appropriate motor pool site to reserve a vehicle. The traveler must present the originally signed form at the time of vehicle pickup.

See: State of Nevada Motor Pool for rates and forms.

Private Automobile Usage

The supervisor must determine whether the use of a private automobile is for the College's Convenience or for the Employee's Convenience as outlined below.

  • For College's Convenience: An employee using their own personal vehicle at the convenience of the college will be allowed reimbursement at the standard mileage reimbursement rate for which a deduction is allowed for travel under federal income tax laws. Nevada state mileage reimbursement rates are provided by the Nevada State Department of Administration, Budget Division, which periodically announces the current rates to be in effect throughout the year.
  • For Employee's Convenience: If a private car is used for the convenience of the employee, the reimbursement rate is one-half the standard mileage rate. If the city is not serviced by an airline, the employee is entitled to reimbursement of meals en route.

If an accident occurs while using a personal vehicle for college business, the employee’s personal insurance coverage will have primary responsibility for damages/liabilities.

Private Automobile Usage Reimbursement

Travel Expense claims that only include mileage reimbursement must be filed within fifteen (15) days after the end of the month. List trip miles by trip, specifying location-to-location miles, times, and dates on the claim form, or on the log attached to the claim form. An accurate way to determine mileage is online documentation by MapQuest, Google Maps, etc. The Travel Expense Claim form must be approved by the supervisor. If filed later than fifteen (15) days, attach an explanation

The college uses a "duty station standard" in determining allowable reimbursable miles. An individual is normally assigned a basic duty station (office, first classroom assignment, etc.). The mileage from home to the duty station during a normal workweek schedule is assumed to be a normal commute to the work place and not allowable as mileage reimbursement. Subsequent mileage from the duty station (office or first classroom assignment) is allowable mileage reimbursement.

Performing business during the initial commute from home to the duty station is considered a part of the normal commute travel and not allowable for mileage reimbursement. If in the extraordinary circumstance that attending a business function during the normal commute travel causes the individual to incur additional miles over the normal home-to-duty station mileage, then the difference in mileage is reimbursable.

If an individual is called out on special assignment or emergency beyond the normal work schedule, mileage from home-to-duty station is reimbursable.

If two employees travel in a private vehicle on college business, only one employee is entitled to mileage reimbursement.

Mileage for transportation to and from the airport will be reimbursed at the lesser of the mileage from home or from the office to the airport.

Private Aircraft Usage

Use of private aircraft for both travel in-state and out-of-state is discouraged. Before an employee's private aircraft may be used, prior approval must be obtained from the appropriate cabinet representative. Justification should include factors such as total travel time and cost of alternate transportation. Passengers are to be limited to employees only. In these cases, the employee-owner of a private aircraft must show evidence of public liability insurance as required by BCN Risk Management. The approved reimbursement rate for the use of private aircraft is in accordance with the federal GSA rates per air mile traveled


Travel Expense Reimbursement Procedure Back to Top

Within fifteen (15) days after completion of a trip, a Travel Expense Claim form must be filed with the Travel Accounting office. If filed later than fifteen (15) days, attach an explanation. The account to be charged must be specified. Receipts should be attached to the Travel Expense Claim form, which must be routed for approval by the traveler's supervisor.

If travelers use their personal funds for the purchase of airline tickets or the payment of conference/workshop registration fees, reimbursement cannot be made until completion of the travel.

An Employee Travel Request form should be prepared and submitted before airline tickets are ordered from travel agencies. Special arrangements can be made to pay for tickets in advance of the trip; using the p-card is the preferred option. The Travel Accounting office must be notified of any cancelations or changes in flight plans.

Conference registration fees

  • For conferences held locally (Reno, Sparks, Carson City area), conference registration fees must be charged as an operating expense, not travel expense.
  • Local registration fees should be coded as object code 3026 (Conference/Registration).
  • Conferences held outside of the local area are considered travel expenses and should be coded as object code 2005 (Conference/Registration).
  • Registration fees may be paid in advance directly to the conference.
  • Registration fees may be charged to a college credit card or a DPO.
  • Include registration fee expense on the Travel Claim form.

Receipts must be attached to the Travel Expense Claim form. If documentation is not available, a letter of explanation signed by the employee's supervisor must be attached to the claim form.

If a purchasing card was used to pay for any portion of the trip, the claimant must attach a copy of the purchasing card statement of account denoting payment. The p-card statement does not need to be the signed report; just run a report for the days that include the trip charges. If a personal MasterCard is used to pay for any portion of the trip, coordinate with the Travel Accounting staff to differentiate purchasing card charges from personal MasterCard charges.

Duplication Of Per Diem Items

Claims for per diem allowance must take into consideration meals or lodging included in conference registration fees and for meals served on public transportation without additional cost to the traveler.

Non Per Diem Items

Parking or storage fees will be allowed when considered necessary for college or private cars. Charges should be itemized in the detail column of the Travel Expense Claim form and the amount entered in the transportation cost column. Receipts are required.

Other non per diem items that are reimbursed if receipts are attached include: taxi, airport shuttle, and internet services.

Tips on transportation are per diem incidentals, and are not reimbursed separately. For a list of expenses considered per diem incidentals, refer to the Incidental Per Diem section (under Section b) of this web page.

Non-Travel Items

Travel claims filed in conformity with these regulations shall be considered full compensation for all meals and lodging, including tips, and for minor miscellaneous expenses such as local telephone calls. Toll calls may be itemized to claim reimbursement, if college related. The person and place called must be identified and a receipt is required.


Research or Public Service Personnel Travel Back to Top

Personnel on research or public service assignments may be reimbursed for travel if TMCC Travel Request and Claim procedures are followed.


Travel Expenses for Applicants For Professional Positions Back to Top

Please refer to procedures as provided by TMCC Human Resources.


Team Or Group Travel Back to Top

College employees on trips accompanying a team or group follow the same procedures outlined in TMCC's travel request and claim procedures, including Lodging and Per Diem, as appropriate.

If a TMCC employee is paying for all reimbursable expenses for the group's travel, attach a list of trip participants to the Travel Expense Claim form. Reimbursement will be for actual expenses. Employee may use a purchasing card, since reimbursement is based on actual expense, not per diem; however, reimbursement may not exceed per diem and lodging rates. Tips on group food purchases may not exceed 20%, and may not exceed per diem meal rates.

Individual students traveling on TMCC-related activities should use the Travel Request and Travel Expense Claim procedures. Additional procedures for college-sponsored field trips are referenced by TMCC’s Risk Management.


Guest Speaker and Accreditation Travel Back to Top

If reimbursing for travel expenses, TMCC is limited by state policy to reimbursing at the same rates as employees for transportation, lodging, meals, and other per diem and the same procedures for required receipts and claim forms must be followed.

For this reason, it is recommended that an honorarium be paid, or a contract or agreement be negotiated that is inclusive of all costs to the speaker/performer/accreditation team whenever possible. 


Combining College Business and Personal Travel Back to Top

Employees who incorporate private and college travel must demonstrate the costs borne by the college are not increased by the personal travel. The employee must clearly delineate the private and college charges when submitting a Travel Expense Claim form.

When college and private travel is not clearly delineated, the travel processor will determine the reimbursement due to the employee. For questions about this calculation, contact the Travel Accounting staff.