Author: hhubbard

In-State Per Diems are Increased!

The State of Alabama has increased the per diems for in-state travel!  As you remember, the overnight per diem was $75 for each travel day, and the partial day per diem was $11.25 for travel of 6-12 hours and $30.00 for travel of 12 or more hours. The following rates will be effective for in-state travel occurring on or after July 1, 2018.

  • The allowance for overnight travel will be $85.00 or $100.00 per day, depending on the length of the trip. For travel requiring one overnight stay, the traveler will be paid $85.00 per day.  For travel requiring stays of two or more nights, the traveler will be paid $100.00 per day.
    • One overnight stay at $85 per travel day.
      Example:  Leave Monday & return to base Tuesday = $170
      This traveler will see a $20 increase in his or her per diem allowance for a one night/two day trip.
    • Two or more night stay at $100 per day
      Example:  Leave Monday & return to base Wednesday = $300
      This traveler will see a $75 increase in his or her per diem allowance for a two night/three day trip.
  •  For travel that does not require an overnight stay, the traveler shall be paid a meal allowance of $12.75 (15% of the regular per diem rate of $85.00) for a trip of six to twelve hours’ duration.
  • For travel in excess of twelve hours’ duration, the traveler shall be paid $34.00, which represents one meal allowance and one-fourth of the per diem allowance.

The exception is still in place that allows employees traveling within the State of Alabama to attend a convention, conference, seminar or other meeting of a state, regional, or national organization of which the state or individual is a dues-paying member to be reimbursed according to the UA out-of-state policy.

You will enter your reports in Concur using the same methods and processes as in the past.  We will modify the current In-State Overnight report options and provide both a One Night Stay and a Two or More Night Stay in order to help you more easily calculate the appropriate per diems.

International Travel Requests

In accordance with Board Rule 413, prior approval must be obtained from the President or his designee for international travel.  As such, all UA related international travel for faculty and staff must be submitted using the Concur Request Module as an International Travel Request.  The International Travel Request should be submitted prior to booking travel in order to provide notification to applicable departments on campus. With Concur Request, the University can consistently and thoroughly assess the risk and benefit of international trips in order to enhance the safety of University travelers.  Effective May 1, 2018, all Travel, Entertainment and Reimbursements Expense Reports for international travel must have an approved International Travel Request assigned in Concur. There are multiple ways to assign your International Travel Request to your Expense Report.  Please see the International Travel Request page on the UA Concur Website for instructions.

Vendor Invoice Numbers

We are pleased to announce that your vendor invoice numbers are now printing on the check/direct deposit advice for your vendors for payments from Concur Invoice.  This will allow your vendors to more easily apply your payments to your accounts.  Banner will populate with the final 15 characters from the Invoice Number field in Concur.  Please note that there is no character limit for this field in Concur at this time, so please be mindful that only the final 15 characters will be transmitted to Banner and then to the vendor. 

Invoice Field

Reminder of 60-Day Rule for Expense Reimbursements

All University employees who submit Expense Reports for reimbursement should remember the following:

  • Expense Reports for out-of-pocket expenses must be submitted within 60 days from the date the expense was incurred. Travel Expense Reports must be submitted after completion of the trip but within 60 days of the traveler’s return.
  • Per federal tax regulations, Expense Reports submitted after 60 days will be considered taxable income to the employee, and the appropriate taxes will be withheld from a subsequent salary check.
  • When combining smaller instances into one Expense Report, employees are encouraged to submit at least once a month. (For example, mileage logs or multiple small out-of-pocket expenses)

The 60-day rule is stated in the University’s spending and travel policies and is necessary to comply with the IRS safe-harbor guidelines for expense reimbursements. For more information, refer to the Tax Office website.

How do I input travel meals when I am electing to take less than the allowable Per Diem?

When travelling on University business, often faculty and staff will elect to receive less than the allowable per diem amount for meal and incidentals that applies to their travel destination in order to conserve department funds for other uses. This is an acceptable practice. In order to input this into Concur, you have two options. You can build an itinerary to prepopulate the allowable per diems and then select all meals that were provided in order to reduce the per diem allowance that will be received. The other option is to input an amount below the allowable per diem directly into the Expense Report under the account code titled “Meals reimbursed below Allowable Per Diem – 72613.” This will indicate to all individuals in the approval flow that the meals you have entered are less than the allowable per diem for the travel destination.

Interim Processing of Relocation Expenses

Moving expenses that were incurred in 2017 can be reimbursed through February 28, 2018.  These reimbursements may be taxable or nontaxable, depending on the type of expenses (qualified or non-qualified) per the previous tax law.  For details, see IRS 2017 Publication 521 Moving Expenses.

Moving expenses incurred in 2018 should be covered via a moving allowance.  If you have any questions regarding expenses incurred in 2018 prior to this announcement, please contact Accounts Payable at acctspay@fa.ua.edu.

If you have any questions about the taxability of moving expenses, please contact the Tax Office at payrolltax@fa.ua.edu.

New Mileage Rates for 2018

Effective January 1, 2018, the mileage rate paid to persons traveling in privately owned vehicles on official business for the state will be 54.5 cents per mile (up from 53.5 cents in 2017). The mileage rate for moving will be 18 cents per mile (up from 17 cents in 2017). These mileage rates are available in Concur and on the Accounts Payable website Mileage Rates page. When entering mileage in your Concur Expense Report, please ensure that you are including the correct Transaction Date in the Mileage Form. For example, if travel occurred in 2017, please ensure you have entered the correct transaction date in 2017 in order to properly calculate the mileage.

Transaction date text field

PO Invoices

If your department receives a Purchase Order invoice, either email the invoice to acctspay@fa.ua.edu. or send via intercampus mail to Box 870137. PO invoices are not processed through Concur, so please do not create a Concur invoice for a PO payment.

In-State Per Diem Follow-up

Last month, we informed you of a change in the State of Alabama law regarding In-State Per Diem. This change expanded the exception noted under Section 2.10.5 of the UA Travel Policy to include both state or national organizations of which the state or the individual is a dues paying member. As a result, UA personnel traveling to attend a conference, seminar, or other meeting of a state or national organization of which the state or the individual is a dues paying member can receive reimbursement for lodging and meals based on the guidance in Section 2.11 and 2.12 of the UA Travel Policy. As this exception is new, please contact Accounts Payable if you have any questions about whether a conference or event you are attending is truly exempt from In-State Per Diem. If your event is determined to be exempt, you may charge your lodging to a UA P-Card. Personal meals would continue to be paid out-of-pocket but would be reimbursed at the GSA rate rather than the In-State Per Diem Rate.