5.0 Post Trip: Expense Reporting


5.01 General Requirements

  • Travelers are required to submit an expense report via the MIT Online Expense Reporting System within 30 days after the completion of a trip.

    • The expense report is necessary not only to request reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses but also to reconcile charges made on the MIT Travel Card.
    • Travelers must provide itemized receipts for expenses over $75.
    • In the case of meals in which alcohol was purchased, Travelers must provide itemized receipts, no matter what the cost, so that appropriate alcohol charges may be segregated and charged to a non-sponsored discretionary cost object.
    • In order for reports to be processed and for reimbursement to be issued, the Authorized Approver, as designated in the Roles Database, must approve the expense report.
    • Direct deposit: If a Traveler is set up for direct deposit through HR/Payroll, reimbursement for travel expenses submitted via the MIT Online Expense Reporting System will be paid via direct deposit to the same bank account on record with HR/Payroll.

    5.02 Business Meetings

    • All food and beverage expenses for business meetings must be charged to General Ledger Account 421000 (Meetings – Food and Beverages). Expenses categorized in this account are not reimbursable from the federal government unless allowed by the terms of sponsorship. To substantiate the business purpose of the meeting expenditures, Travelers must provide the following:
      • The purpose of the meeting or topic of discussion
      • A list of attendees (names and group association) present at the meeting
      • Itemized receipts
        • If no itemized receipt is available for a business meeting/meal (and an attempt has been made to obtain one), the expense type in the Concur reporting system should be changed to "non recoverable expense"’ and allocated to a non-sponsored cost object.
        • To charge a business meeting/meal with no itemized receipt to a sponsored cost object, approval must be obtained from the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) or the sponsor.
    • As with non-meeting-related meals, alcoholic beverages must be segregated and charged to a non-sponsored discretionary cost object.
    • As detailed in Section 2.02 Using the MIT Travel Card, the MIT Travel Card may be used to pay for local travel and dining expenses associated with a meeting, and such charges may be expensed in the MIT Online Booking Tool. The MIT Procurement Card may also be used for such expenses. The same requirements for reconciling these expenses (detailed above) apply when either card is used.

    5.03 Payment of Charges on the MIT Travel Card

    • MIT pays the credit card service provider for charges incurred on the MIT Travel Card.
    • Travelers are responsible for reconciling credit card transactions and submitting a travel expense report within 30 days after the transaction date.
    • Travelers who have not submitted a travel expense report within 60 days will receive a past-due notification.
    • In the case where a travel expense report has not been submitted by 120 days, VPF Travel will charge outstanding balances to the discretionary cost object that was linked to the MIT Travel Card at the time the Traveler applied for the card.
    • If charges on the MIT Travel Card are deemed non-business related after MIT has already paid the credit card service provider for such charges, the Traveler is required to reimburse MIT with a personal check.

    5.04 Airfares Under Sponsored Projects

    • Travelers may fly Business Class (or First Class if Business Class service is not offered on the flight) only when the flight has a scheduled in-air flying time greater than 6 hours or if any part of a round trip airfare is in excess of six hours. The cost of Business Class (or First Class if Business Class service is not offered) may not be charged to sponsored projects.
    • In cases where Travelers traveling under sponsored projects fly Business Class (or First Class if Business Class service is not offered on the flight), Travelers must document the lowest available coach fare when submitting their post-trip expense report. Travelers must subtract the lowest available Coach fare from the Business Class (or when acceptable, First Class) fare and allocate the difference to a non-sponsored discretionary cost object.

    5.05 Miscellaneous Expenses
    Some miscellaneous expenses are reimbursable by MIT but are not reimbursable under sponsored projects. Below is a breakdown of common miscellaneous expenses according to whether they are reimbursable under a sponsored project, reimbursable only by MIT, or not reimbursable at all. Please refer to COEUS if you have any questions about whether a sponsored project allows reimbursement of particular travel expenses.

    • Reimbursable Under a Sponsored Project
      • Checked baggage fee
      • Overweight baggage fee
      • Oversized baggage fee
      • Change fee
      • Curbside check-in fee
      • Fuel charge fee
      • Confirmed same-day standby fee
      • Paper ticket fee
      • Spousal travel when the spouse is formally representing MIT (prior approval from Provost Office)
      • Seat fee
    • Reimbursable by MIT but Not Reimbursable Under a Sponsored Project Without Specific Approval From the Sponsor
      • Upgrade fees, including Economy Plus (must be approved by DLC)
      • Blanket Fee
      • Pillow Fee
      • Code share flights when the designator code is a foreign carrier (Code sharing is a mechanism by which a U.S.-certified carrier leases space on an aircraft of a foreign carrier.)
      • Alcohol (must be approved by the DLC)
      • Prospective student visits
      • Fundraising
      • Resource development travel
      • Entertainment (must be approved by the DLC)
      • Gifts in lieu of hotel stay to guest or customary gift (must be approved by the DLC)
      • Membership in airline clubs, such as the Admiral's Club (must seek reimbursement through VPF Accounts Payable with a Request for Payment)
    • Not Reimbursable
      • Frequent flyer mileage fee
      • Costs incurred by unreasonable failure to cancel transportation or hotel reservations
      • Fines for automobile violations including parking tickets
      • Personal auto repairs, insurance deductibles, and surcharges
      • Lost or stolen tickets, cash, or property
      • Travel accident insurance premiums
      • Expenses not directly related to the performance of the travel assignment
      • Hotel movie rentals and airline headsets
      • Frequent flyer tickets and/or cost for frequent flyer miles
      • Toiletry items
      • Medication
      • Dependent care for non-faculty
      • Health club fees
      • Magazine, newspapers, and books unrelated to business
      • Additionally purchased car rental insurance for domestic travel
      • Personal credit card delinquency fees or finance charges
      • Travel insurance (trip protection or trip cancellation insurance)

    5.06 Retention of Receipts

    • In order to ensure that integrity of the Institute’s travel documentation system, DLC's should retain/keep on file original receipts associated with Concur trips for the current Fiscal Year plus one additional year. This is necessary for audit purposes and is critical for travel under a sponsored research project.
    • Travelers must submit itemized receipts for all expenses in excess of $75
    • Travelers must submit itemized receipts, regardless of the amount, for the following expenses:
      • Meals or other expenses that include alcohol
      • Business meeting meals
      • Car rentals
      • Hotel
      • Airfare
      • All local travel; Boston-area expenses with no airfare, Amtrak or overnight stays
      • Receipts are necessary for reconciliation of expenses after the trip because these expenses may include unallowable or non-reimbursable charges.
        • If no itemized receipt is available for a business meeting/meal (and an attempt has been made to obtain one), the expense type in the Concur reporting system should be changed to "non recoverable expense"’ and allocated to a non-sponsored cost object.
        • To charge a business meeting/meal with no itemized receipt to a sponsored cost object, approval must be obtained from the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) or the sponsor.
  • If the MIT Travel Card is used for local travel and dining expenses ('local travel and meetings' trip purpose within Concur), receipts must be retained and provided as part of the reconciliation, regardless of the amount.